Archive for June, 2010


Yes, America

June 29, 2010

Jonah Goldberg is an eediot. Not that you needed confirmation of this. (Straw men are fun. Whee!)


Lion Burgers

June 24, 2010

No, but seriously, what is wrong with people?

During one of the restaurant’s Wine-Pairing dinners, where they serve wine with other uncommon meats such as wild boar, customers heard about the availability of lion meat and seemed interested in trying it. [Owner Cameron] Selogie was inspired by the FIFA World Cup’s location and decided to serve the meat to coincide with the games.

The restaurant advertised their decision through their e-mail newsletter club to keep the attention to a minimum, but one member and animal activist, Susan Cooper, spread the word. —

Okay. Right. It’s just a large cat. But… is nothing sacred? Just because something is there doesn’t mean that we have to eat it. I’m sure it tastes different than other meat. I’m sure it’s probably quite tasty if prepared well. (Not sure that a burger meets that qualification, but that’s another story.) I’m sure some people will pay a pretty penny to eat it…

But why? Why go to such extraordinary lengths to eat a large mammal in a ground-up patty?

It must be true that there are an enormous number of things in the world that could be ingested that haven’t yet been ingested.

Suppose we find some rare krill population near the deep horizon rig. Would your first thought be, upon discovering this krill population, that we should identify some way to cook and eat it?

It’s a very strange food psychosis that gives a person to think these thoughts. It’s an even further strange food psychosis that gives a person to believe that a rare and exotic meat would certainly taste best as a hamburger.



June 22, 2010


Vodpod videos no longer available.


Sex and Obliviousness

June 20, 2010

Neil Levy has this interesting post over at Practical Ethics:

An interesting case is reported in the most recent issue of the Hastings Center Report.  Mrs Z, is a 29 year-old woman who was released into her husband’s care following a traumatic brain injury. She is in a minimally conscious state (MCI), a state of severely impaired consciousness. MCI cases cover a range of cognitive deficits; Mrs Z seems to be at the lower end of cognitive functioning. She is unable to speak and requires 24 hour care, provided by her husband (who is also the guardian of their 4 year-old twins).

Recently she was found to be suffering abdominal pain. An examination revealed that she was pregnant (the pregnancy was terminated for health reasons). Mrs Z’s brothers have now applied for guardianship of her, and have asked police to file rape charges against her husband. Mr Z has replied that she would have wanted to continue a physical relationship with him, and that he is still married to her. He seems to suggest that he will continue to have a sexual relationship with her if she remains in his care.

I really like this case. It’s deeply vexing, but I’m inclined to agree with Levy’s conclusions.

It does seem plausible that as a way of showing genuine love to his wife, Mr Z may well do exactly that by having aconsensual sex with his wife. What it seems to me he is not justified in doing, however, is in having aconsensual procreative sex with his wife. At least, I can imagine a few circumstances where this wouldn’t be nearly as problematic as it first appears.

I do think, however, that it does raise a great many questions about the nature of the sex that Mr. Z is having with his wife, where a determination of its appropriateness will have to boil down to a state of affairs that only he has access too assess. And this privateness may, ultimately, be a problem for Mr. Z. If his reasons are so private that they cannot be made available to the scrutiny of outside parties — at least those acting as proxies on his wife’s behalf — then there is some question as to whether the reasons that he has can or ought to count as reasons.

I’ll have to think a little more about this tonight and try to integrate this example into a future presentation of mine.


Happy Father’s Day

June 20, 2010

BP is ‘burning sea turtles alive.’

“They ran us out of there and then they shut us down, they would not let us get back in there,” Ellis said in an interview with conservation biologist Catherine Craig.

Part of BP’s efforts to contain the oil spill are controlled burns. Fire-resistant booms are used to corral an area of oil, then the area within the boom is lit on fire, burning off the oil and whatever marine life may have been inside.

“Once the turtles get in there they can’t get out,” Ellis said.


Candy II

June 18, 2010

Kant Was Right

June 18, 2010

…at least on one aspect of animal cruelty.

In other news, what the heck happened to Germany and England? And yes, the US was robbed.

In Portland for an environmental conference. Back soon.