Wednesday, June 14, 2006


So, I'm taking a course related to ethics and animals and we're reading an article about whether or not it would be moral to breed chickens that don't think or feel or... anything really, except lay eggs. Imagine - headless creatures fed intravenously with more or less the thought capacity of a worm. Almost like a plant, only it grows meat.

Setting aside safety concerns or other human-oriented issues, and assuming that current "factory-farming" methods are morally unacceptable, would it be morally acceptable to keep the genetically modified chickens in the poor conditions? Would people who now don't eat chicken for moral reasons feel that certain modifications would render chickens fit to consume?

Bill and I actually had this discussion a while ago and we called the modified chickens "McChickens". Thus, it makes sense that when you go to McDonalds, you can either get the "crispy chicken" sandwich or the "McChicken" sandwich. Eeewwww... (in Bioethics, this is called the "yuk" factor.)

Funny quote

Respectful of Otters has a quote that I liked:

"Faced with a mountain of evidence demonstrating the significant health benefits of breastfeeding, a consortium of health experts and U.S. government officials is making an aggressive push for paid maternity leaves; longer maternity leaves comparable to the recommended length of exclusive breastfeeding; exemptions from welfare-to-work programs and welfare time limits for nursing mothers; insurance and/or public funding for lactation clinics, breast pumps, and milk-bank milk; greater support for nursing mothers doing salaried work, including protected opportunities to pump milk at work, increased flex-time employment options, and greater availability of part-time daycare slots; discouragement of routine obstetric and neonatal care practices which hinder breastfeeding; and, of course, stricter controls on environmental contaminants, such as mercury, known to taint breastmilk.

Hahahahahahahaha! No.

They're pushing an extensive PR campaign to make formula-feeding mothers feel guilty. Because who needs all that other stuff, when we could focus on personal responsibility?"

More theory on trolls

I just learned today that Tolkien actually foresaw the existence of internet trolls:

"But Orcs and Trolls spoke as they would, without love of words or things; and their language was actually more degraded and filthy than I have shown it. I do not suppose that any will wish for a closer rendering, though models are easy to find. Much the same sort of talk can still be heard among the orc-minded; dreary and repetitive with hatred and contempt, too long removed from good to retain even verbal vigour, save in the ears of those to whom only the squalid sounds strong"

Wow! :o)