31 March 2011

From Today's New York Times

To the Editor:

Re “Lost Cobra May Hide for Weeks, Zoo Says” (news article, March 29):

The sideshow atmosphere surrounding the lost cobra at the Bronx Zoo has yielded online hilarity and supplied material for late-night talk show hosts, but the zoo is never fun for the animals.

By putting animals in zoos, you eliminate all that is natural to them; the zoo is where they live according to humans’ feeding and breeding regimens. Captivity in zoos causes the animals to go mad, exhibiting abnormal behaviors like swaying, rocking back and forth, head bobbing, endlessly turning in circles and even self-mutilation.

The only way to learn about animals is to observe them respectfully undisturbed in their natural environments.

Rego Park, Queens, March 29, 2011

22 March 2011


Here is a New York Times story about veggie burgers and how they are getting better with time.

05 March 2011

Henry Sidgwick (1838-1900) on Duties to Animals

Henry Sidgwick (1838-1900) 3 [I]t is not quite clear whether we owe benevolence to men alone, or to other animals also. That is, there is a general agreement that we ought to treat all animals with kindness, so far as to avoid causing them unnecessary pain; but it is questioned whether this is directly due to sentient beings as such, or merely prescribed as a means of cultivating kindly dispositions towards men. Intuitional moralists of repute have maintained this latter view: I think, however, that Common Sense is disposed to regard this as a hard-hearted paradox, and to hold with Bentham that the pain of animals is per se to be avoided.

(Henry Sidgwick, The Methods of Ethics, 7th ed. [Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, 1981], bk. III, chap. IV, sec. 2, p. 241 [first published in 1907; 1st ed. published in 1874])

01 March 2011


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