22 September 2005


Humans are not the only sentient beings harmed and displaced by hurricanes. See here for a worthy organization.

From Today's New York Times

To the Editor:

Re "Girls and Boys, Meet Nature. Bring Your Gun" (front page, Sept. 18):

I was saddened to read about children being taught to hunt.

It is dangerous to put guns in the hands of children, and it is cruel to teach them to enjoy killing animals for sport. A smart and sensitive child will never forget the horror involved in getting such a bloody "trophy."

Children should look forward to hanging diplomas on their walls, not the ghoulish, stuffed heads of their victims.

Carole Raphaelle Davis
Los Angeles, Sept. 19, 2005

To the Editor:

As a "liberal, tree-hugging" teacher, I agree with hunting advocates that there is value in being out in the woods, getting exercise and even in developing the skills to sneak up on animals unnoticed. But don't give children guns. Give them cameras.

Dena Abramowitz
Shorewood, Wis., Sept. 19, 2005

To the Editor:

It seems ironic that many Americans are uncomfortable with hunting because it seems cruel and involves killing animals, yet they don't give a second thought to sitting down and eating a burger.

Animals killed in the wild at least had the luxury of a life of relative freedom; animals we eat for dinner are generally confined to small, overcrowded cages.

The point is that most people care little whether the procedure is cruel or unkind. It's worth opposing only if it involves getting your hands dirty.

Peter Hsu
Emeryville, Calif., Sept. 18, 2005

13 September 2005


Animals are mad as hell and not going to take it anymore. See here.

Animal Theory

Here is a new blog.

09 September 2005

Animal Rights and Stupidity

Look at this site. I was shocked to come across this sentence: "We do not believe that animals have rights but we do believe that people have responsibilities." Question: Who are the beneficiaries of these "responsibilities"? There are two possibilities: humans and the animals themselves. I assume this organization is not making the Kantian claim that our responsibilities to animals are really just duties to humans who happen to be interested in them. So the beneficiaries of our responsibilities are the animals themselves. But how does this differ from saying that the animals have rights? If our responsibilities are to refrain from harming animals, then they have negative rights against us. If our responsibilities are to promote the welfare of animals, then they have positive rights against us. I'm starting to think that people who deny animal rights are stupid. See here.

03 September 2005

J. J. C. Smart on Utilitarianism and Vegetarianism

[E]ven though they may not have the capacity for happiness and suffering that whales have, nevertheless I would suppose that chickens can suffer quite a lot, even though their consciousness should be very much a sort of daze, and this should be taken into account in our dealings with them. Perhaps in order to qualify for a moral elite one should become a heroic vegetarian like Peter Singer. I am myself not so heroic. I eat eggs though they may come from battery hens. Moreover at present I see no moral objection to eating the flesh of free range cattle, which seem to me to have a happy life which they would not have at all if they were not destined to be eaten.

(J. J. C. Smart, Ethics, Persuasion and Truth, International Library of Philosophy, ed. Ted Honderich [London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1984], 134 [italics in original])