Sunday, March 29, 2009

MMM... Suicide!

It's hard to believe it's been almost three months since my last entry here. Largely it's been a combination of procrastination and having more pressing things to do. But also, there was the fact that while there have been many news items that piqued my interest I have had a hard time lately finding something to put a unique spin on. In matters from the stimulus plans to the War on Drugs, time and again Becky C. has said what I would have said had I thought of it first and had her eloquence. On the subject of the Octomom, Becky made some good points as well, though I think she glosses over extreme irresponsibility of both Ms. Suleman and her doctor to implant the 8 (EIGHT!) embryoes in the first place. Still, she's far from the only irresponsible parent, or the only person being rewarded for irresponsibility with taxpayer funded handouts. And while I think its in the best interest of all 14 of her children to be placed with people who don't see parenthood as a game, taking away someone's children should never be easy for the state.

But anyway, what finally brought me back to blogging was the discovery of a blog called Suicide Food. (I don't want to publicize the blog that led me to this, but you'll find if you look up anti-sex spinster cunt aunt). As a dedicated omnivore, I find the SuFoo site enjoyable in a way the author probably doesn't intend. See, while I understand that while creatures wanting to be eaten do not reflect the reality of today, I do hope that genetecists can make that happy vision a reality some time in the future. Interestingly enough, SuFoo's author, Ben is, like me, not only aware of but also a fan of the Ameglian Major cow from Douglas Adams' The Restaurant at the End of the Universe. While it does seem that Mr. Adams created the Ameglian cow mainly for satirical purposes, it is obviously more moral to eat a creature that clearly wants to be eaten than a vegetable or fungus that we assume has no feelings. Broccoli and mushrooms don't appear to have feelings but neither do clams and mussels (two of the few animal species I have harvested with my own hands).

This does, of course, present a dilemma, sure the Ameglian cow could scold Arthur Dent, and the rest of us, for eating a salad against the wishes of the vegetables but what did he eat (yes the creature was male and was called a "cow", not a bull or a head of cattle; Douglas Adams wrote that not me - so deal!) Even assuming that the cow ate other animals somewhere down the food chain something had to eat something that got its energy from photosynthesis. And, I would find an all an meat diet almost as unappealing as a vegan one. So I hope that someday some bioengineer will come up with plants that can express their wish to be eaten. And they should be able to express joy for having their embroyes eaten unless we never eat peas, corn, nuts or any kind of beans, including the vegan favorite soy beans (is it too much to ask for biotechnology to create plant embroyoes that could express their own desire to be eaten, obviously not all should have that desire since some we will want to grow into the next generation of plants). Otherwise eating seeds, or eating fruit containing seeds that one throws away, is just as immoral as eating eggs. Incidentally, the issue of eggs raises one of the biggest questions I have about the animal rights movement: There are people who are against eating meat and people against abortion. There are people who are against both. Generally I can respect all of their opinions, and can understand why people in the third category would be against eating eggs. But there are also people, from what I can tell a very large percentage of self-proclaimed vegans, who believe there should be no restriction on aborting human fetuses, but consider it immoral to eat the eggs of a chicken. Am I missing something, or am I justified in my desire to feed the people in this last category to the lions?

Well, since these ethical dilemmas have no solution in the foreseeable future, I guess the best that I can do is try to make sure whatever species my food comes from is treated as ethically as possible. To that end, I have decided to link to the Animal Welfare Institute (as for why I am so emphatic about making sure that people know I am not supporting PETA, the reasons are many, though here is a good place to start). I have also decided to link to the site of Temple Grandin. In addition to being one of the best self-help advisers for her fellow autistic people, Dr. Grandin has probably done more to improve the lives of farm animals than all of the people who have tresapassed on farms or broken into labs to "liberate" animals combined.

1 comment:

Meadester said...

This is a reply to David who posted a message on my following post. I am putting my reply here since that post is not related to the subject of his comments, while this one is.

I do commend you for consistency for at least considering the moral implications of abortion. I have mixed feelings about it myself during the early stages of pregnancy when the fetus is just a clump of cells, but I am definitely opposed to it in the 8th and 9th months when the fetus is barely distinguishable from a newborn baby (of course I would make an exception to save a woman's life, but that would be the only exception). As I said in this post, I can respect people with a wide spectrum of views on abortion and meat eating. I have a hard time, though, respecting people who want no restrictions on abortion at any time during pregnancy, but condemn others for eating chicken's eggs.

Now, maybe the concern is not for the possibility of eating an unborn chicken (a slight possibility since most egg farms don't have a rooster to fertilize the eggs). I can understand concern for suffering of the hens but I know that making hens suffer is not necessary for egg production. I usually buy "cage-free" eggs myself. I don't know if the cage free hens are living in ideal conditions, but I do think it's a step in the right direction.