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Monthly Archive: August 2008

Aug 15 2008

Food fads

I find it a little odd the fascination that many people have with food. I know people who watch the cooking shows on TV with almost a religious fervor. Diet books abound. People eagerly seize on the latest ideas about what may be good for your health and what may be bad and make wholesale …

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Aug 14 2008

The etiquette of food

After grappling with some heavy moral issues involving the treatment of animals and the eating of meat, I want to look at a related but lighter topic: the etiquette of food restrictions in the host-guest relationship. Sometimes I wonder if we have gone too far in being accommodating of people’s food restrictions, to the extent …

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Aug 13 2008

The ethics of food-10: Minimizing suffering

(For other posts in this series, see here.) The theory of evolution says that we are all connected in the tree of life. So humans are not only related to apes and other animals, we are also related to plants and even to the ‘lowly’ fungi. But no one is arguing that therefore we should …

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Aug 12 2008

The ethics of food-9: Does a good life compensate for an early death?

(For other posts in this series, see here.) In trying to arrive at some ethical consensus on how humans should treat nonhuman animals, I think we might all agree on a minimal condition: that once born, every animal deserves to have a good life while they are living. So that means that the inhumane treatment …

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Aug 11 2008

The ethics of food-8: Interests of species versus interests of individuals

(For other posts in this series, see here.) I wrote before that the theory of evolution, by giving all animals equal standing in the evolutionary tree of life, provides a strong argument against the exploitation of one sentient species by another. There seems to be no defensible criteria by which we can prefer the interests …

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Aug 08 2008

Changing the political calendar

(The series on the ethics of food will continue next week.) If you are at all like me, you are probably already sick of the presidential election and simply want to get it over with. We are currently in that part of the political season where nothing of significance is happening and yet there is …

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Aug 07 2008

The ethics of food-7: Increasing the rights of animals

(For other posts in this series, see here.) In addition to the morality of treating all animals humanely, the arguments of the animal rights philosophers and activists that animals should have more legal rights are slowly gaining ground. It is clear that over time, humans are slowly expanding our circle of consideration to be more …

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Aug 06 2008

The ethics of food-6: Against speciesism

(For other posts in this series, see here.) Peter Singer opens his 1975 book Animal Liberation with this statement: This book, Animal Liberation, is about the tyranny of human over nonhuman animals. This tyranny has caused and today is still causing an amount of pain and suffering that can only be compared with that which …

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Aug 05 2008

The anthrax case-2: The scandalous behavior of ABC News

(The series on the ethics of food will continue later.) The way the anthrax scare was used to panic the public in the wake of 9/11 and create a rush to war was one of the many low points in recent media history. The way they did that was by presenting totally false information that …

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Aug 04 2008

The anthrax case-1: The collusion of the FBI and the media

(The series on the ethics of food will continue later this week.) The death of Bruce E. Ivins, an anthrax researcher at Fort Detrick, Md has suddenly thrust the ignored anthrax story back into the news. The fact that Ivins apparently killed himself just when he was about to be indicted by the FBI is …

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