Food Freedom

"Time Magazine hits all time low with pathetic @nickgillespie article on #foiegras. Will he vote back #slavery too? @TIME shame"

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As someone who appreciates extremes, I'm happy to announce that I have been accused of bringing Time to its lowest point EVAH by celebrating the overturning of California's ban on the sale and production of foie gras.

Keep in mind that Time is a publication that used to routinely run articles about whether the dinosaurs believed in god, the Virgin Mary's Holy Water diet, and much, much worse.

Indeed, Mr. Luce's magazine saw fit to name Joe Stalin twice and Hitler once as "Person of the Year." Even more inexplicably, it once named Mrs. Wallis Simpson to that august post.

But since my piece on foie gras ran on Friday, my Twitter feed has been pounded with the identical message from a dizzying number of independent thinkers:

Time Magazine hits all time low with pathetic @nickgillespie article on #foiegras. Will he vote back #slavery too? @TIME shame

In the interest of providing context, here's a snippet of what I wrote:

In order to ban a choice that is as personal as food, government at any level should have extremely compelling reasons related to public health and safety for doing so. Simply finding something offensive is no more a warrant for prohibition than censoring art that you find disturbing. In the case of the foie gras, animal rights activists could only express concern for the birds that are traditionally force-fed in the production of foie gras. All animals that are ultimately slaughtered for human consumption may have our sympathy and our empathy. They do not, however, have rights that are equal to ours. The basic problem helps to explain why the California ban was written in a way that critics presciently called both constitutionally vague and impossible to enforce….

Which isn't to say that people opposed to foie gras have no means of carrying the day. They can work to end the market for foie gras and other animal products through persuasion and informational campaigns. But they cannot and should not bank on using the coercive power of the state to force their subjective value judgements on the rest of us who have a taste for foie gras or other delicacies they find abhorrent.

Read the full article.

And if you don't follow me on Twitter, please start, especially if you feel a need to reiterate a spontaneous and not-at-all mass-produced evaluation of just how unforgiveably rotten a defense of individual choice I've made.

NEXT: Remembering the 2012 Bibi-bomb image

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    1. Dang, you got it in first. Nothing left for me to post, so I will retire and sob quietly.

        1. I found it from Volokh, I think.

    2. Sampled it for the first time last year. Quite liked it, actually, despite being such a rich flavor and unusual texture for such a plain palette as mine.

      Thence made the mistake of eating my girlfriend’s, because she wouldn’t. Foie gras belches are horrendous, and persisted through the night and following day. Would not recommend.

  1. If it’s just that people find it offensive then that’s no justification, but I think the motivation for the law was that it harmed the animals. Is Nick saying stopping animal cruelty can never be an interest justifying coercive intervention? I’m not sure libertarianism demands that.

    1. Bo Cara Esq.|1.10.15 @ 6:52PM|#
      …”I’m not sure libertarianism demands that.”

      Which, naturally, is exactly backwards.

      1. Libertarianism doesn’t have an answer for every question. For example, you can’t answer a pro-life libertarian by saying ‘oh, you want to restrict people from getting abortions!’ The same is true for this issue. Cruelty to animals might be seen as an aggression prohibited by the NAP, or it might not. Libertarianism isn’t going to answer that.

        1. Bo Cara Esq.|1.10.15 @ 6:57PM|#
          “Libertarianism doesn’t have an answer for every question.”

          Which, naturally, is laughable.

          1. Really?

            What’s the libertarian answer on the death penalty?

            1. And abortion?

              And judicial review?

              1. Or the color giraffe?

                1. Or silly purple under?
                  See? Anyone can ask stupid questions!

        2. It is idiotic and illogical to claim that an entity you EAT can have rights.

          If it had rights, you wouldn’t be morally allowed to eat it.

          I’ve tried to argue the other side, but it’s always been PURELY from muddle-headed sentimentality with no reasonable basis.

          “I like my pets and have no personal role in raising animals for food and this makes me a great big pussy” is no basis for restricting people’s liberty. If you wanted to argue that we shouldn’t eat geese, then maybe the foie gras law would make sense. But “Don’t annoy that animal you’re about to fucking slaughter at whim,” just isn’t going to cut it.

          1. They wouldn’t have to have rights necessarily, or maybe just not rights at the level we do. Animal rights wouldn’t mean they could vote for example.

            1. Why do any of you take this sockpuppet seriously?

              1. SIV|1.10.15 @ 9:45PM|#
                “Why do any of you take this sockpuppet seriously?”
                I don’t think Bo is a puppet. I’m gonna guess he really is an insufferable piece of shit who posts here since, if he got out at all, would get his sorry ass beat to a pulp for being such an insufferable asshole.
                IOWs, this is the only place he can get away with his shit and live through it.

            2. What responsibilities do animals Have? I’ll tell you what, ducks have rights when a dick who kills another duck gets put on trial murder.

              Seriously, the PETArds should running around sub-saharan Africa arresting lions for killing antelope if they seriously believed animals had these rights.

          2. Of course we might just say we don’t have the right to eat them. There are vegetarian libertarians (I think Nozick was one, and he wasn’t really a muddle headed sentimentalist iirc).

            1. Vegetarians are plant murders.

          3. If it had rights, you wouldn’t be morally allowed to eat it.

            I disagree. I understand the moral reasoning that if you have the right to destroy a life, you have absolute rights over it, but that doesn’t hold. The right to control a life, decide absolutely how it should end, and to dispose of all products of that life is more absolute.

            Natural rights, non-aggression, and self-ownership all assume this.

            Example: if someone is threatening you, you are permitted to respond as necessary to defend that threat. Deadly force authorizes deadly force. However, even in those situations, it would be inconceivable to respond, even if it were effective and expedient to do so, to imprison the person for the whole of their natural life, torture them in the darkness with starvation, horrific noises, and disease, and permit them to die only when they had grown to maturity, then to inflict that on their descendants unto a hundred generations.

            You can much more easily justify killing a man or even eating him than being needlessly cruel to him.

            Is foie gras at that level of cruelty? I doubt it. But the fact that we can feel alright about slaughtering geese does not imply that all routes to a dead goose are equally moral.

            There is legitimate discussion to be had here.

            1. Although I don’t understand why the discussion’s being held at the level of a minor luxury food instead of factory farmed chicken.

              Wait, yes I do.

            2. Yes, and I’m discouraged by the black-and-white thinking on display above that leads to retarded ideas like “liberty means that you can torture animals all you like.”

              1. Juice|1.11.15 @ 12:37PM|#
                “Yes, and I’m discouraged by the black-and-white thinking on display above that leads to retarded ideas like “liberty means that you can torture animals all you like.””

                And I’m amazed at those who claim some familiarity with the concepts of libertarianism propose that acts like that should be outlawed.
                Do you propose the kid with the magnifying glass get jail time?

    2. I think the motivation for the law was that it harmed the animals.

      Harmed the animals? Harmed the animals? They are being raised TO EAT!

      Of course they are going to be harmed. We can do that because they are property without rights.

      1. Even animals being raised for slaughter can be treated more or less humanely Francis.

        The property argument isn’t very persuasive, they certainly are a property quite different than the computer I’m typing on.

        1. There is no way to get around “You can kill that animal any time you like, but don’t over feed it or you’re going to jail!” Is irrational, Bo.

          At any given moment when I walk up to MY goose, I can fucking kill it right then and there if I feel like it. You’re basically saying that if I kill it, we’re cool, but if at the last second I decide not to kill it but forcefeed it instead that’s a crime. It’s asinine.

          1. There’s lots of ways Fluffy. The killing might be relatively painless and bring good to someone or thing, the suffering of a specific cruelty could be really high.

          2. You have the right to kill your dog, but you cannot tie him up and flay him while he’s alive, for example. Laws about that have been around since the mid-1800s.

            1. and I understand the purely emotional anthropomorphizing impulse behind that law.

              It would only be a reasonable law if it similarly criminalized pulling the wings off flies, or poisoning rats.

              1. If flies cried and showed signs of suffering while they had their wings pulled off you might see a law or two banning the practice. But whether there is a law in place or not has no bearing on the morality of such actions.

                The whole moral question centers around suffering. That’s why there are people who eat meat and wear leather, but protest medical experiments being performed on rabbit and rats.

                1. Juice|1.11.15 @ 12:44PM|#
                  …”But whether there is a law in place or not has no bearing on the morality of such actions.”

                  Which is ENTIRELY irrelevant to the question of law.

          3. Uh, we have the same thing with humans. Death penalty/killing a man on the battlefield is viewed differently than torturing a prisoner.

            1. Does torture make the prisoner’s liver more tasty?

              1. There have been a few people that could answer this question, but we tend to kill them before anyone gets up the courage to ask.

              2. No, the bruising makes it harder to chew. Tortured liver has to be marinated to be any good.

        2. You are raising an animal to be killed and consumed. There’s nothing ‘humane’ about that, and it’s absolutely arbitrary to treat that as acceptable but draw the line elsewhere.

          Lecturing about cruelty to animals from people other than strict vegans is always so inconsistent.

          1. By that logic an instantaneous, painless mercy killing of an elderly person is the same as taking the same person and slowly torturing him to death over a week long period.

            1. What has feathers, a beak and goes “Honk!”?

              An elderly person.

              1. Mother Goose!

                  1. She told me you have a little weenie.

                    1. No, see, he stuck in his thumb…

                  2. You had pie?

                  3. Me, I just got oral from her. Very painful.

            2. Except that’s a false equivalence intended to assume your definition of ‘humane’. You aren’t ‘mercy killing’ an animal for its own benefit, you’re killing it for your benefit specifically. That animal never needed to be killed, you’re killing it specifically to fulfill your own needs. You’re deliberately killing something that did not need to be killed, for mercy or any other reason.

              You act like imprisoning something for life only to murder it for food purposes is ‘humane’. That’s not ‘humane’ by any definition. It’s deliberately barbarism for your own personal benefit. It’s really just an arbitrary line on what you feel is ‘humane’ so you can enjoy your meat but feel less guilty about it.

              1. Are you against having a pet, and when that pet starts to fade killing it swiftly? The fate of most domestic animals is their owner will have them killed, but I think we can distinguish between a case where cruelty exists before that point and one where it doesn’t, and I’m not sure that ‘I am going to make use of you’ pushes it into the first category.

                1. You’re attempting to change the subject while failing to engage the actual point. Food animals are breed to be killed, that is their function, and a comparison to pets, which serve a different function, is not productive. Again, stop trying to present it as a ‘mercy killing’. It is not a mercy killing, it is a selfish killing for your own benefit, and presenting it as anything but that is dishonest. But pets are another good example: namely, the spaying and neutering of animals is by definition of a form of cruelty. You’re neutralizing their ability to breed for the sake of your own benefit and the ‘function’ they serve, which is mainly companionship.

                  Deliberately imprisoning something for the purposes of killing it for food is in itself cruelty. You are negating that creature’s autonomy and personal well-being for your own benefit. To talk about ‘humane treatment’ but fail to recognize that the entire practice of enslavement and killing for optional food production is itself inhumane is to disregard the very definition of the term.

                  1. John, I think that’s wrong. When I googled inhumane here’s the definition that popped up:

                    in?hu?mane
                    ?in(h)yo?o?m?n/
                    adjective
                    without compassion for misery or suffering; cruel.

                    To be inhumane is usually thought of to have to do with cruelty and suffering, not respecting the autonomy and liberty of something. Of course, it can be wrong to do both, but I don’t think it’s ‘literally’ inhumane to purposefully breed an animal, give it a nearly misery and suffering free life, and then kill it humanely and make use of it.

                    1. Because the imprisonment and death of living things is clearly compassionate and not cruel at all?

                    2. I don’t think deaths are necessarily cruel. The imprisonment part, maybe, but that depends. Kids are ‘imprisoned’ by their parents, doesn’t seem cruel to me though.

                    3. Are kids imprisoned for the purely selfish reason of killing them for food production? It is not compassionate in the least to engage in that kind of behaviour. It is inhumane.

                    4. Kids are actually created for pretty selfish reasons a lot of the time. But my point is that imprisonment itself is not necessarily cruel. Again, as I think the definition illustrated, you’re throwing automony concerns into the concept of humaneness. We might be violating an animals right by imprisoning it with a purpose to eat, but we aren’t being inhumane. For it to be inhumane the animal would have to be in misery or suffering.

                    5. And creating something for selfish reasons is exactly the same as killing it for selfish reasons? Killing something for purely the sake of killing it isn’t engaging in an act of misery or suffering? Imprisoning something can easily put it in a state of distress, which is a form of suffering. Regardless of any autonomy concerns, you’re still in a situation where you are willingly allowing an animal to suffer for your own benefit. It is inhumane.

                    6. cru?el
                      ?kro?o(?)l/
                      adjective
                      willfully causing pain or suffering to others, or feeling no concern about it.

                      I think inhumane and cruelty is about suffering and pain. What you’re talking about is autonomy.

                      I’ll leave you the last word as I’m off to watch the Panthers game.

                    7. Yes Bo, when I said ‘regardless of any autonomy concerns’ while presenting why it’s still causing suffering, I’m just talking about autonomy. Just ignore everything about imprisonment easily being a form of suffering in itself. Killing something (especially in the ‘humane’ farming conditions you believe in) certainly isn’t willfully causing pain or suffering either (especially in the way that animals are killed in ‘humane’ farming settings).

                    8. It’s a cookbook. Specifically about human veal.

                    9. I think the issue is, you’re argument is essentially that gratuitous cruelty toward animals is immoral, not that it violates rights. But immorality is not in itself sufficient to justify outlawing it, clearly.

                  2. To talk about ‘humane treatment’ but fail to recognize that the entire practice of enslavement and killing for optional food production is itself inhumane is to disregard the very definition of the term.

                    And that’s not even addressing the way animals die in the wild. Starvation, freezing to death, disease, being eaten alive… Nature is brutal beyond most people’s comprehension.

                    Are we going to protect those animals as well?

                    The entire notion of giving animals human qualities is absurd.

                    1. Which is why you likely refer to your dogs and cat as Dog 1, Dog 2, Dog 3 and Cat 1?

                    2. My wife’s cat is “named” cat. The two dogs have names, but dogs have personality.

                    3. Also, several of my granddad’s cows had names. They were all delicious.

                    4. I really enjoyed Harriet, my friend’s cow.

                    5. My two cats have very different personalities.

                    6. This would be a terrific argument, Bo, if giving a name to an animal reflected upon the animal’s nature in the slightest. It reflects upon my nature, not the animal’s. I don’t imaging that the animal likes or dislikes her name. She couldn’t care less. Because she’s an animal.

                    7. It was just a joke Francis.

                    8. Bo Cara Esq.|1.10.15 @ 8:52PM|#
                      “It was just a joke Francis.”

                      Yes, twit, it’s ALWAYS just a joke when you’re caught bullshitting…
                      Oh, the hell with it…

                    9. Which is why you likely refer to your dogs and cat as Dog 1, Dog 2, Dog 3 and Cat 1?

                      Well, for me dogs get names because they respond to their names. Cats get names, but they are never called the name. They are all “kitty.” When I’ve had more than one, they get called “Big Kitty” and “Little Kitty” or “Black Kitty” to differentiate.

                  3. the spaying and neutering of animals is by definition of a form of cruelty

                    I have had many pets over the years. I’ve never altered them in any way. (I’ve had pets that were previously altered by someone else though.)

                    And the reason I kept these pets in the first place is because they were in a better place than a shelter.

          2. The worst are people who have no problem eating meat, but hate hunters. To paraphrase Ron White, I suppose its so much more holy for you to eat meet that was bludgeoned to death by somebody else.

            1. I don’t mind people who hunt for meat. I’ve eaten everything from duck to bear meat.

              But I despise trophy hunters. Kill a magnificent animal just so you can put its head on your wall? You are just a POS as far as I am concerned. (I might have some respect for trophy hunters if they hunted with spears, but most of them hunt with weapons that could drop an elephant at 300 yards.)

              1. What if the demand for trophies helped pay for the protection and preservation of the species as a whole?

                1. And the meat from the trophies was eaten ?

                  African safari hunters feed a lot of poor Africans while peoviding money to help the species as a whole.

                  My only beef as a fisherman towards hunters is that they take the best of the gene pool out. As a fisherman I let the real big ones go and eat the little ones because they are tastier.

                  1. Hmm, I once heard a priest say a very similar thing.

                  2. The big ones get smarter every time they are caught and released. They also breed bigger fish. I only keep very large bass for taxidermy, and smaller ones are eaten.

                2. What if the demand for trophies helped pay for the protection and preservation of the species as a whole?

                  Sounds great if you’re not e.g. a tiger.

                  1. Sure thing, Archer.

              2. I eat everything I kill, with the exception of rodents. But I don’t have a problem with trophy hunting at all.

                I kill animals because I enjoy hunting. I don’t do it for the meat, although I do enjoy the meat.

                What if I did it for their fur, to keep me warm?

                What if I did it because I like to adorn myself with their fur, but could keep warm via other means?

                Not a big jump to adorning my wall.

                If I can do it for the meat, I don’t see why the value of my hunting is superior to someone elses? It’s just making excuses.

                1. I agree FDA. Up until now, Ive eaten everything that Ive killed. However, I don’t care why other people hunt. The animal is just as dead if it’s stuffed and mounted or even if it’s left for the buzzards. Semi OT, I’m going hunting tomorrow for something I have no intention of eating. Coyotes have been scaring the horses lately. hopefully that end tomorrow.

                  1. I got a bunny eating my bushes that I’m making life and death decisions about. Three bird dogs and a cat and the bunny roams the grounds with impunity…sad state of affairs here at Fd’A acres.

                    1. I got a bunny eating my bushes that I’m making life and death decisions about.

                      Are you going to catch it and then torture it for a few days? Or are you just going to kill it? Prove that there’s no difference and make the thing suffer.

                  2. @antisocial-ist|1.10.15 @ 8:00PM

                    This sounds like the plot of Liam Neeson’s next inexplicable action movie.

                2. I have sometimes played with anti-hunters, asking them why a humane quick kill by bullet or arrow is immoral, but it’s ok for a lion to cripple a gazelle and eat it alive. If the former is murder, should we prosecute the latter and call 9-1-1 on the gazelle’s behalf, sign it up for Obamacare?

                  I don’t hunt myself, I am probably too squeamish, but the idea of trying to enforce my squeamishness as law is ridiculous.

                3. Does this mean if you kill an intruder in self-defense, you have to eat him too?…

          3. I don’t think you can stop anywhere short of Jainism on this one and be consistent.

            I tend to be a strict speciesist legally these days.

            The law and morality are about how humans live together.

            Any attempt to make them anything else runs into a buzz saw of contradictions, arbitrary distinctions, and emotivism.

            Life is a process when one species uses other species to live. Morality can’t cross species lines and still bear any relationship to reality. Past attempts to do so were proven irrational the day the microscope was invented.

            1. Fluffy, you don’t think you can differentiate between amoeba and chimpanzees on this?

              1. I’ve tried to, but it always comes down to an arbitrary bias.

                Lice don’t want to die. But you know what? I don’t care.

                1. I mean, chimpanzees seem so much closer to us than a louse does, and it strikes me that somewhere in the gap between them could lie a non-emotional distinction to be made.

                  1. So your distinction comes down to anthropocentrism. As Fluffy points out, that’s arbitrary bias.

                    1. Er, I said closer to us because I’d like to think everyone agrees we have rights. That’s hardly an arbitrary bias, especially if the ways they are like us are things like ‘intelligence’ rather than ‘hairy’ (which I’m not referring to).

                    2. And that’s still arbitrary, anthropocentric bias. We have rights, sure, but animals are not ‘we’. When has ‘intelligence’ related to the concept of rights? Are babies, the mentally handicapped, somehow less than human or less deserving of rights? No, they have those rights because they are human. You’re just arbitrarily picking out traits that have vague similarities to traits that humans see as defining themselves.

                    3. Why do ‘we’ have rights? Human DNA? That seems pretty arbitrary to me. Intelligence, self awareness, ability to feel pain, these seem like much less arbitrary qualities to base moral worth and/or rights on.

                    4. Except they’re not, because there’s plenty of humans who lack those qualities (or are unable to effectively communicate that they have them). ‘Ability to feel pain’? Now you’re just getting into arbitrary emotional definitions. Congenital insensitivity in humans alone negates that as a basis for rights.

                      And how exactly is it arbitrary to base the concept of human rights on the most basic building blocks of organic life?

                    5. Why do ‘we’ have rights?

                      We have rights because we are self-aware and intelligent enough (as a species) to understand the concept of rights and can claim them. And up to this point, only humans have been able to do so.

                      SIOW, a person (one having rights) is a self aware human being.

                    6. Hell, I’m totally willing to grant an entire species’ basic rights if a single member of said species is able to properly communicate the concept of rights and also show a willingness to respect the rights of other rights-holding beings (or, as I said sarcastically before: “No more eating babies, chimps”).

                    7. Strangely I agree with Bo on this,

                    8. We have rights because we are self-aware and intelligent enough (as a species) to understand the concept of rights and can claim them. And up to this point, only humans have been able to do so.

                      Why would my affording of rights to some animal be dependent on the animal’s ability to understand the concept (as I do)? That’s not how it works wrt to other humans. It doesn’t matter if that toddler over there can’t understand the writings of Thomas Paine, I’m still going to recognize its rights. Or even adults that don’t agree with what rights are what. Rights are all in your head and you dictate to yourself how you are to treat others.

                    9. So your distinction comes down to anthropocentrism. As Fluffy points out, that’s arbitrary bias.

                      So is Fluffy’s arbitrary bias in favor of humans.

                2. Lice are trespassing against me and assaulting me. (Well, if I had lice they would be.)

            2. The Jain aren’t consistent – they will eat something that you caused the death of because they believe that karmic sin is on you.

              The Jain are really just a living, breathing reductio ad absurdum. It is almost like they were a Monty Python sketch that the guys decided was just too dopey.

              1. Jain’s a girl’s name!

          4. John Titor|1.10.15 @ 7:16PM|#
            “Lecturing about cruelty to animals from people other than strict vegans is always so inconsistent.”

            They’re also in a bind, in that they MUST consume some animal protein or die.
            And Bo’s attempt to use sophistry to square the circle of conflicting claims is amusing too.

            1. Sevo, I’m still waiting for your answers upthread. Or were you talking out of your tail again?

              1. Bo Cara Esq.|1.10.15 @ 7:31PM|#
                “Sevo, I’m still waiting for your answers upthread. Or were you talking out of your tail again?”

                Twit, I’m here to laugh at you and your ignorant comments, not to provide the audience you so badly need.
                Keep dancing, Bo.

                1. The tail again then, huh?

                  1. Bo Cara Esq.|1.10.15 @ 7:36PM|#
                    “The tail again then, huh?”
                    Is that the jitter-bug, twit?

                    1. Look, you put your foot in your mouth and can’t get it out. I’ve made my case, you made your silly ipse dixit, and when I asked you about some examples you can’t answer. It’s there for all to see.

                    2. You’ve done such a poor job of making your case and defending it that I don’t think you’ve made your case at all.

                    3. Bo Cara Esq.|1.10.15 @ 7:40PM|#
                      …”I’ve made my case,”…

                      Shitstain, you’ve done nothing of the sort, which is irrelevant.
                      You’re a fucking liability to the human race and I can only hope to annoy you enough to make you shut up one day.
                      Fuck off, asshole.

          1. I’m not sure I’m going to grant rights to any animal, other than maybe something like a right to be free from infliction of cruelty. But of course I’d differentiate between animals that have more of the kinds of qualities that I think grant moral worth.

            1. And eating them isn’t cruelty? Who decides what cruelty is and can place restrictions upon how I use my property? You?

              1. Who decides what cruelty is when it comes to children? I’m not equating the two, just pointing to another area where it’s sometimes tough to draw a line, where you’re talking about something that ‘belongs’ to someone else, and where the defendant can complain that we’re imposing our values on them.

                1. Who decides what cruelty is when it comes to children?

                  Children are people who have rights. Animals don’t. Children aren’t property. Animals are.

                  1. You’re missing my point. I’ll repeat it: I’m not equating the two, just pointing to another area where it’s sometimes tough to draw a line, where you’re talking about something that ‘belongs’ to someone else, and where the defendant can complain that we’re imposing our values on them.

                  2. People said the same thing about their black slaves. Such a shame you weren’t around to set everyone straight on what counts as property and what counts as a rights-bearing entity. Could have saved so much trouble.

                    1. That’s just going to get people stomping their feet and saying ‘oho, so you think black people are just like geese!’

                    2. The difference is, biologically (and morally) speaking, blacks are people and animals are not.

                      I know you like to make up definitions of words to suit your political agenda, but, in the real world, words have meanings. People are people and all have the same inalienable rights, despite the fact that the political group you ally yourself with would wish it otherwise.

                    3. People are indeed people.

                    4. I’m sorry but does this pass for solid reasoning in your book? People have rights because they’re people! Again, why were you born centuries too late to inform the Confederacy how mistaken they were to treat black people as property? They obviously had a terribly distorted understanding of what constitutes a rights-bearing entity.

                    5. Ducks aren’t people, so no rights for them.

                    6. I’m sorry but does this pass for solid reasoning in your book? People have rights because they’re people! Again, why were you born centuries too late to inform the Confederacy how mistaken they were to treat black people as property?

                      What does this even mean, Tony? How can you expect one to answer for decisions and excuses made by others a century earlier? Are you making an argument or merely blaming someone for acts perpetrated by others of the same or similar physical characteristics over a century ago?

                      Or, maybe you’re just punting.

                    7. He’s just saying that the fact the law recognizes something as property is not dispositive of the moral matter.

                  3. Children are only property when they disconvenience their mothers during gestation.

                    1. And you want to tell me that the pro-life side of this very major and vexing controversy is the correct choice, end of discussion, right? How very convenient to have all the answers. Can I get an invitation to this club? Don’t dismiss the idea–I make a great cocktail and you’d have a major convert.

                    2. There’s nothing vexing about it. Ending the life of a viable fetus because it inconveniences the mother (and father) is treating that fetus as if it were property to be disposed of.

                      I’m certainly not a proponent of government intervention–certainly not federal intervention–but I recognize that a life that would very likely grow to maturity if it were not aborted is a life that is terminated.

                      Something I am a proponent of is personal responsibility.

                      I’m inconvenienced by my mortgage payment but I did choose to buy a house, and am thus responsible enough to follow through with my obligation to make my payments. Choosing to copulate has repercussions as well. There’s a chance that it will produce a child. That possible pregnancy is not a disease that randomly inflicted the parents, but is a result of their decision. Therefore, these parents are responsible for their actions–whether they kill the fetus or allow it to be be born.

                      Delivering the child or terminating it is a decision for which the mother is responsible. There is nothing vexing about it.

          2. I once knew a vegetarian who openly subscribed to this belief. She would eat animals she didn’t think were cute, e.g., calamari. It took a lot of will power to resist calling her a retard to her face.

      2. Let’s say you are having dinner with Hannibal Lecter.

        Would you rather he poison you with sleeping pills, or would you prefer he duct tape you to a chair and slowly carve away at your brain, while he runs a cheese grater up and down your shin?

        If you are being eaten, what difference does it make, right?

  2. Because slaves were pretty much geese.

    1. What, you’ve never played duck, duck, slave?

  3. Time, Newsweek et al are long past the point of irrelevancy.

  4. “And if you don’t follow me on Twitter, please start”

    I have the feeling there is a need for a Ron Bailey type disclosure statement here.

  5. If we could only make foie gras from dinosaur liver.

    1. With a nice Chianti.

  6. Maybe they meant not an EDITORIAL low but a SARTORIAL low.

  7. “It is idiotic and illogical to claim that an entity you EAT can have rights.”

    That’s what Jeffrey Dahmer told me too!

    Seriously though, I agree in this particular example, we kill geese already. But what if tomorrow aliens landed and asked: ” Humans, you look tasty. We will start eating you now, unless you give us a reason why not”. Well, why not?

    1. We’d have no answer we could give them that would be reasonable from their perspective.

      What reason could you give the flu virus to leave you alone? Why should it listen?

      It’s not evil for a tiger to eat you.

      1. Or we it .

      2. Well, we can’t have a conversation with a tiger or a virus. In the case of aliens, I would hope that they would be capable of reasoning and abstract thinking.

        1. So you are assuming that humans are so fucking smart that aliens would recognize that, unlike say our experience and attitude toward cattle?

          You want to convince some other lifeform to not eat you – kill it’s sorry ass.

  8. Democratic communities should be able to support animal rights if they want to. I am personally opposed to a foie gras ban, because it’s yummy and because I don’t feel that the animals are treated any more cruelly than cows and chickens. Is it the libertarian approach to celebrate getting their preferences enacted by whatever means possible (legislature, courts, referendum, armed revolution)? Or do you possess the maturity to accept routine laws you don’t like because a majority disagrees with you? Yeah I think I know the answer to that.

    1. Tony|1.10.15 @ 7:33PM|#
      …”Or do you possess the maturity to accept routine laws you don’t like because a majority disagrees with you? Yeah I think I know the answer to that.”

      Do you posses the maturity to understand you regularly poison the well?
      To someone in the early 20th century, Jim Crow laws were “routine”, so I suppose you are fine with them?

      1. How is he ‘posion(ing) the well?’ I’m not sure you know what that means (hint: it doesn’t mean ‘you said something I disagree with or don’t like!’)

        1. Bo Cara Esq.|1.10.15 @ 7:39PM|#
          “How is he ‘posion(ing) the well?’ I’m not sure you know what that means (hint: it doesn’t mean ‘you said something I disagree with or don’t like!’)”

          See if your mom will pay attention to you.

          1. You really have nothing to offer but buffoonish insults, do you?

            1. Bo Cara Esq.|1.10.15 @ 8:35PM|#
              “You really have nothing to offer but buffoonish insults, do you?”

              Shame a buffoon is offered buffoonish insults, isn’t it?
              Fuck off, twit.

      2. By “routine” I mean to contrast normal laws with those that violate individual rights. Your deflection is an admission that, yes, you are a baby who cares more about getting your way and that the ends always justify the means. That’s the rule.

        1. Your deflection is an admission that, yes, you are a baby who cares more about getting your way and that the ends always justify the means.

          Stop projecting.

        2. Tony how old were you when you father abandoned you and your family ?

    2. The very worst defense of animal cruelty law is just that a majority of people want them. Surely as a gay man you can understand what a terrible justification that is for laws that restrict people.

      1. I think whether to grant animals certain rights is, at this point in history, a question reasonable people can disagree about. Such questions should be left up to majority vote. Why shouldn’t they? Which minority gets to decide on this question?

        1. Such questions should be left up to majority vote. Why shouldn’t they?

          Because The Majority aka The Mob is not some magical diving oracle but a dangerous arbitrary grouping. Fuck your democratic totalitarianism.

          1. You are the one implicitly arguing for a totalitarian approach. Thou shalt not ban foie gras, because you say so, even if 99% of the people want to, because you’re just so smart and should probably be in charge.

            1. Nice try, asswipe. The burden of proof is on he who asserts the positive–in this case, the pussy leftoids like you who are afraid to assert your natural supremacy over animals, and demand that the state outlaw the laws of nature and reality. You are parasites who exist for the sake of others, to derive your self-value from whatever control and influence you can assert over them.

              1. My mistake, you should definitely be in charge.

              2. You sound unhinged.

              3. In libertarian hands logic 101 is a deadly weapon (positive claim!). So thanks for dulling it with the addition of absolute declarations about the laws of reality. Maybe that’s where we liberal pussies have failed–we don’t simply assert things are true because God speaks through us. We’ll have to keep that tactic in mind.

                1. Tony, that guy should not be taken as emblematic of all libertarians. You won’t see me, or Nick or people at Cato, for example, talking about ‘p*ssy leftoids…who are afraid to assert your natural supremacy over animals’

                  1. That’s because you and Nick are fucking weak Bo.

                  2. Well you’re certainly a decent and thoughtful person. I’m not sure you are the norm here, but there may be some bias in my interactions.

                    1. No bias Tony. Just much projection and evil on your part.

                2. Yes Tony, logic is a powerful weapon. Your attempt to compensate for not having any with sophistry doesn’t go very far.

        2. You’re talking about the process whereby we arrive at a law, I’m talking about the justness of a law. A law is not just simply because it went through that process you’re talking about.

          1. Not always, but on routine matters, when there is no consensus on what a just course is, seems to me that taking away people’s democratic choice is the unjust route.

            1. If there were ten people in a society, six of which wanted to oppress the one gay guy there and four who were opposed, if the four kept the six from enacting their will on that would it be wrong?

              1. By what standard of right and wrong? A conservative Christian one? A 21st-century secular liberal one? I’d prefer that the group find some way to protect minorities from abuse. If six aren’t interested, I’m not sure how the four oppose them except by forcing them somehow. I’m not sure the angels standing on their shoulders are of much use.

                1. That’s pretty relativist. Do you really live life like that? When you hear of a majority denying a minority, say in the area of gay rights, do you just say ‘well, that’s the way that majority sees it, so until we change their minds that’s OK?’ I bet you say ‘they’re wrong.’

                  1. Of course I deem things right and wrong all the time without consulting an opinion poll. We’re doing the is/ought thing. What I want is one thing, and it’s a long and detailed list. What actually happens isn’t really up to me individually.

            2. Not always, but on routine matters, when there is no consensus on what a just course is

        3. Since your ilk force fed us OCare, you’ve got no standing to weigh in on force feeding geese.

    3. do you possess the maturity to accept routine laws you don’t like because a majority disagrees with you?

      Do you possess the ‘maturity’ (LOL) to accept anti-gay laws you don’t like?

      1. Let’s be realistic about this gay thing you guys always throw out there. We haven’t had equal rights, or even the ability to live openly with basic human dignity, for most of the history of civilization. What good has anyone’s conception of a sacrosanct right done for us in all that time? The brutal truth is that you don’t overcome overwhelming opposition to minority rights. You get there when enough people, at least something close to a majority, finally get around to deciding it’s a good idea. It’s either that or hope a benevolent liberal despot imposes it. Patting yourself on the back for your personal enlightenment doesn’t really accomplish fuck-all.

        1. Tony, you’re not all wrong about that. There’s certainly a reason that gay rights is advancing now much more than it was in 1870, even though we had the same 14th and 5th Amendment in place. But there are an awful lot of states today that are issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples where the majority of voters don’t want that to be happening.

          1. Including my own. My point is that 100 years ago courts would not be ruling this way. The question would probably be considered absurd. I contend that the courts were only able to force the issue once the American people started inexorably moving toward a majority opinion in favor of equal rights. Even the courts are not in a political vacuum. How many centuries did black people have to live with second-class status or worse before we finally got around to doing the right thing? Funny how it doesn’t ever seem to happen until majorities get around to being OK with it. I guess that’s why it’s good to have national policy. The slow states sometimes have to be dragged kicking and screaming.

            1. As a practical matter most people don’t get around to standing up for the right thing until a lot of other people do too, but my point is that it doesn’t become the right thing when that point is reached.

              1. Well, that’s a question for a seminar on Plato. When some enlightened few decide what the right thing is, their job is to convince enough people to go along with it so that it becomes reality. Sitting in an armchair and declaring something right has never actually helped anyone.

                1. I’m not sure about that. The notion of rights has many a time stepped in and helped an otherwise unpopular minority in history, both ours and worldwide. It’s failed to a lot, sure, but it’s also had some results that were incredibly important to the people involved. It’s often quite useful.

                  1. I’m not denying the existence of rights or their importance, I’m just saying that it seems to be the sad truth that people don’t get rights until society at large decides to come around on the idea. To circle back, as someone with progressive politics, I feel that it is a worthwhile endeavor to move public opinion toward protecting animal rights, and hope that some day we can afford both luxuries of being able to eat what we want and protecting animals from abuse. But as the time for gay equality was apparently around 2015, the time for robust animal rights might be 2050. Let’s not pretend the eternal moral truths of the universe are etched in a stone somewhere.

                    1. That people often fall short of an ideal doesn’t mean the ideal is not, well, ideal.

                      Of course there’s what’s right, and there’s building a system where what’s right get’s protected from that inevitable falling short that happens. But let’s not deny the ideal because people so often fall short.

                    2. I deny the ideal. What is “right” is, in the end, determined by popular sentiment, and I mean not just questions like animal abuse vs. freedom to eat foie gras, I mean even the most seemingly basic. Why is it right that you are not doing my every bidding? God has declared me king! He told me so, and I have all this money and all these men with sticks which I inherited from my dear dead father. Is there a magical moral elf in a wood somewhere declaring what’s right and challenging people to live up to that eternal and magical code? Or have you merely arrived at your moral code through absorbing what your community, your parents and society at large, perhaps a niche political ideology, has already believed? If on the contrary there is an etched stone somewhere, you should find it and become immortally famous.

                    3. “What is “right” is, in the end, determined by popular sentiment”

                      That might be how it is expressed as laws and norms, but that doesn’t mean it becomes the right only at that point. MLK’s Dream was not ‘wrong’ before he convinced a majority of people it was right. You’re again confusing the process whereby what’s right gets recognized and implemented into policy or norms and what is right itself.

                    4. Yeah well I was a pretty firm materialist by high school. I’m saying I don’t believe in the concept of right-in-itself. More importantly, I think the idea is hostile to progressivism (small-p, making society better for people). Are you not just saying that there is a set of absolute moral ideals written down somewhere? If that’s not what you’re saying, you aren’t required to explain what you mean in a materialist context, but you’d first have to convince me why another one is valid. 🙂

                    5. What is “right” is, in the end, determined by popular sentiment

                      If there is no right to be identified by an individual, popular sentiment is meaningless. Why should I care about popular sentiment?

                      Since none of the individuals that make up the popular sentiment can have any idea what the right is, the sum of their complete lack of knowledge is zero.

                      In addition, the idea that popular sentiment should be respected would be among the set of ideas you’ve already told us can’t be known.

                    6. You should care about popular sentiment if your ability to live with basic rights and dignity depends on it. (What a mystery that libertarians are almost totally white and majority male!)

                      But very good point that the value of democracy isn’t etched in stone. As I’ve been saying, I don’t believe any value is! I’m willing to be convinced that an alternative is superior. Which form of authoritarianism are you suggesting fits the bill?

                    7. I’m willing to be convinced that an alternative is superior.

                      No, you aren’t, idiot. There is no “superior”.

                      And you can’t embarrass me with the term “authoritarianism”. Authoritarianism can’t be bad, according to the terms of your argument. I could slaughter every human being, taking particular time and delight in rending you into pieces one cell at a time, and no one could tell me it was wrong. Least of all you. You’ve already thrown that away.

                      Like most progressive retard scum, you want to traipse in and out of morality, employing its concepts when it serves your argument and declaring that it can’t possibly exist when that serves your argument. But I always remember everything you say, and I’m not willing to let you do that. It’s got to be one or the other. We can either know what is good, or we can’t. And if we can, then we can’t.

                    8. I never traipse, and certainly not into mysticism when convenient. I value having an ethical system, I just don’t think it got here via deity. There’s no cosmically relevant reason we should bother preserving our species at all. I just sort of like the idea. You like the idea of having a small government. You aren’t cosmically right because you stomp your feet about it. We’re but bipedal meat bags on a dust in space. What we decide to do with our time is up to us. It’s not terribly surprising that we decide to preserve ourselves and attempt to make our existence tolerable.

                    9. You should care about popular sentiment if your ability to live with basic rights and dignity depends on it.

                      What the fuck does that even mean in the context of what you just said? If rights depend on popular sentiment, then no matter what my condition is, I am not living without basic rights as long as the majority thinks so. I could be chained to a wall, starved and whipped daily, and my “rights” would not be violated as long as the majority though that was ok.

                      This is utter gibberish, Tony, and you know it.

                    10. Or have you merely arrived at your moral code through absorbing what your community, your parents and society at large, perhaps a niche political ideology, has already believed?

                      I’ve arrived at my moral code because it maximizes liberty for myself and every other living human. It has nothing to do with the beliefs of others.

                    11. I’m saying I don’t believe in the concept of right-in-itself. More importantly, I think the idea is hostile to progressivism (small-p, making society better for people).

                      Frisco, forget it. He’s too fucking stupid to realize that you can’t identify what is “better for people” without determining the right-in-itself. He’s too fucking stupid to realize that you can’t even identify wanting to make things “better for people” as a desirable course of action without determining the right-in-itself. So what do you expect to accomplish?

                    12. Well said, Fluffy. You’re right.

        2. The brutal truth is that you don’t overcome overwhelming opposition to minority rights. You get there when enough people, at least something close to a majority, finally get around to deciding it’s a good idea.

          And we get there with the conception of sacrosanct rights. For that, we will give ourselves a pat on the back. It accomplishes more good than you ever will.

          1. Whatever works. I’m not opposed to mystical bullshit if it serves to make society better. I’m just opposed to it on an intellectual level.

            1. You have already stated that you have absolutely no basis for judging what does and does not “make society better”.

              In fact, each of those three words requires you to make an intellectual judgment you’ve already declared no one can possibly make.

              Why do you persist in using words you have already stated have no meaning? It’s like you’re a fucking drunk or child. Or maybe a drunken child.

              You can’t know what’s better or worse. Knowing what is better or worse would require a magical fucking elf.

              You can’t know what a society is, or whether we should care about it, or whether it can in fact possibly be better. Knowing any of those things would require knowledge you have already forbidden yourself.

              And you can’t know how to “make” anything occur, because that would require a knowledge of the connection between means and ends you’ve already stated can’t possibly exist in an individual mind.

              1. I do appreciate that we’re getting into some good freshman philosophy. Certainly a step up from the norm.

                Here’s the deal. No matter how much you want to believe, there is no magical elf. You are basically saying “yes there is!” and chastising me for not going along with it. I didn’t make the rules, but we both have to live by them. There is no fucking elf.

                For the record, I am perfectly aware that, to the cosmos, whether geese are food or objects of worship doesn’t have an objective, scientific answer. I am aware that human well-being must be defined, and that such a definition is both subject to debate and dependent on yet more imperfect axiomatic assumptions. I’m going with “human well-being is defined as the ability to meet basic physical needs and have a reasonable opportunity to enjoy luxuries beyond that.” Sure, a sadist might have a different definition. Point is neither of us has the elf on our side, because there is no elf. Be glad sanity has done as well as it has.

                1. So to be clear, Tony is a drunken retard.

                  1. He’s just disingenuous.
                    He feels like arguing with libertarians about rights today. Thus, invade a thread about fois gras and talk about how the majority should be allowed to ban it, or keep it legal, irrespective of whether that’s morally right or wrong, because the majority defines what is moral. Therefore, force-feeding ducks is morally ok because the majority says so, therefore it should be legal, or, force-feeding ducks is bad because the majority thinks so, so they should ban it.

                    And so on for everything else. Whatever the majority thinks is right is BY DEFINITION right, according to Tony.

                    By this logic, we all have moral obligation to agree with the majortity on everyone. because the majority is by definition right. Therefore, nobody should EVER dissent, because they will always be wrong.

    4. Democratic communities supported slavery for generations.

      Maybe you should think about just how legitimate “democracy” is?

      1. An abolitionist dictator would certainly have moved things more quickly (some think that’s what happened). But I don’t trust dictators, and I don’t trust that they would tend to be progressive.

        1. Instead you trust The Masses in spite of all the evidence of their evil. Of course that’s because you’re evil.

          Thankfully, it is easier every day for Man to defy Men.

          1. If I recall benevolent despotism was the preferred form of government Plato arrived at. It has points in its favor. But you’re trying to tell me that you are the one who should rule, like many libertarians do, and that alone is good enough reason for me to distrust this form of government. Democracy makes mistakes but at least the people get to decide things for themselves in the only fair way I can think of, by voting.

            1. But you’re trying to tell me that you are the one who should rule, like many libertarians do, and that alone is good enough reason for me to distrust this form of government.

              Yeah.

            2. But you’re trying to tell me that you are the one who should rule

              I never said that in this discussion.

            3. You really don’t understand the concept of the rule of law, do you?

        2. most dictators are your modern day progressives (ideologically speaking)

          show me where “progress” isnt being forced on others at the point of a gun

          yes such a hard thing to trust them to be!

    5. “I am personally opposed to a foie gras ban, because it’s yummy and because I don’t feel that the animals are treated any more cruelly than cows and chickens.”

      That’s sensible.

      But is that the attitude of most progressives (and even some conservatives)?

      As far as I can tell, most progressives oppose exotic meat, not animal cruelty. In other words, if there was a humane way to produce dog meat, they would still support banning it.

      Marriage is a state recognition of a relationship. There should be “democratic” discussion on just how far marriages can be redefined.

      There should be less discussion on “animal rights”, because animals generally don’t have them. And it’s nonsensical to debate whether “it’s fair that we eat some animals more than others”.

      We can put some restrictions on cruelty, but even then, a person shouldn’t be hanged because he killed an animal out of sadism, right?

    6. Tony
      I choose to not recognize the state, or its claimed authority, or the authority of any other human on this planet.
      so how does your “majority vote” have the legitimacy to interfere with my life when i never consented to be bound by the decisions of the majority or by any “social contract”.
      I never signed a god damned thing, so how is it morally correct to impose your narrow bigoted world view (yes you are a bigot, you just hate the “right” people according to the majority, which isn’t very progressive of you is it?)

  9. If you force feed that goose to eat, I’m gonna make you stop. If you don’t stop, I’m gonna lock you up. If you protest by hunger strike, I’m gonna force feed you. The circle of life is a beautiful thing.

  10. If scientists are getting to the point of growing replacement organs for humans can cloned, vat grown foie gras be in the near future?

    If so, goodbye controversy.

    1. Or what about a technique was developed where you make a bird grow additional livers. The bird would still be force fed but what if these extra livers could somehow be harvested without killing the creature?

      1. The goose with the golden liver.

  11. It should be noted that Time’s “Person of the Year” is not a celebratory honor, but more like “Newsmaker of the Year.” It doesn’t necessarily mean they approve.

    1. Don’t interrupt nick, he’s on a roll.

  12. Animal rights are an abomination and a sacrilege. Only people get rights.

    1. Except Canadians.

      1. Blame Canada!

  13. I would like to thank Bo for arguing with me about animal rights long enough for me to avoid the TV for the entire second half of the Patriots game, which I have now learned ended in triumph.

    I apologize to Patriots fans for watching the first half. Everyone knows I’m not allowed to watch when they play Baltimore. I don’t know what I was thinking.

    1. So you were the reason they went down 14-0! You monster.

      1. They managed to come back from a 14 point deficit, twice! Holy shit, that’s just unreal. I really like Belichick’s lack of style, been a fan of his ever since I read his dad’s book.

        1. His dad wrote a book? Why?

          1. His dad wrote the best book on football scouting and game planning Ive ever read.

            http://www.amazon.com/Football…..1891396757

            Bill Belichick basically follows this book to the letter, and it’s real cool to see how his defense attacks their opponent.

            1. Thanks, added it to my list.

        2. His dad wrote a book? Why?

        3. His dad wrote a book? Why?

    2. Terrible INT by Flacco.

    3. I would like to thank Bo for arguing with me about animal rights long enough for me to avoid the TV for the entire second half of the Patriots game

      fascr is your friend

  14. Yes, it’s true. Fois Gras is exactly the same as slavery. There is absolutely no difference between the two.

    1. My ex-wife tried to use foie gras to plow her field but it turned into a unsatisfying mess.

  15. It is not unreasonable to assume that if you oppose a foie gras ban today that in the 1800’s you would have opposed a whipping ban.

    1. What a conveniently unfalsifiable hypothesis. There’s nothing inherently wrong with whipping either so now it’s banal too!

      1. They were both considered property, despite knowledge that they are complex emotional beings. The same justifications used then are used today. (ie we’ve always done this, it’s the natural order of things, mind your own business etc etc.)

        1. Libertarians are probably closer to the Radical Republicans of the 1860’s than any other modern political group.

          I therefore call bullshit.

          Your position only makes sense if you subscribe to a progressive or Marxist view of history.

          1. You’ll get no argument from me on that, liberals get way to much credit for animal issues. People forget that only like 1% of population is vegan where something like 50% are liberal.

        2. It’s quite rich hearing the ‘you’re racist!’ card from a racist who’d compare an autonomous black individual to a food resource.

          1. I never called anyone a racist, and validly compared animals to all humans. They have similar neural anatomy, biochemical makeup, behavior, and cognition. Peer reviewed science is making these comparisons.

            1. Ha ha no. Animals aren’t intelligent cognitive or self-aware like humans are. I don’t rule out that we could fine a select few are close enough to give some special consideration, but right now there is no evidence to do so. Animal rights are immoral.

              1. Peer reviewed science from multiple disciplines disagree with you. If I remember correctly you are immune to science and logic, so this is probably a waste of time.

            2. Depends on your definition of ‘similar’. Some of the studies of cognition prove some viable data, neural anatomy of mammals being similar isn’t impressive at all, it’s expected, biochemical make-up and behaviour are equally irrelevant factors. How many animals have questioned the nature of free will or endorsed a concept of universal rights?

              1. How many children have John? And you are right it is not surprising that animals have similarities given that we coevolved with them, thus why is it so controversial that they would feel pain, fear, happiness, and pleasure?

                1. Children aren’t a separate species. And none of those are controversial concepts, nor are they actually that complex or impressive in terms of cognitive abilities. Assuming that animals breed and designed by humans for food production have some concept of rights is a fair more controversial and ultimately arbitrary concept.

                  1. So if we had children bred for food purposes and killed before the age at which they could come up with a theory of rights you would be okay with this? Or maybe a better example would be if we bred children who could not develop this level of intelligence at any age? It doesn’t matter if they are the same species you are saying rights come from a certain level of intelligence (a pretty arbitrary concept itself).

                    1. Actually I’m saying human rights comes from being genetically human, as a species that is (overall, not on an individual basis, but the capacities of the species) capable of far greater cognitive function, self awareness, and rationalization skills than others.

                      As I’ve already said before in this thread, I’m actually perfectly willing to grant an entire species basic rights if a single member of said species is able to properly communicate the concept of rights and also show a willingness to respect the rights of other rights-holding beings.

                      Namely, this means chimps have to stop eating human babies out of respect for their rights, dolphins would need to stop gang-raping each other or attempting to rape human beings, orca pods would have to give up their weird semi-slavery system, etc. Or would you accept that behaviour as instincts rather than punish their abuse of their fellow rights-holding beings?

                    2. Which definition of species do you subscribe to?

                      I think like with children I wouldn’t hold them responsible, but I wouldn’t add to the harm either. Many animals are relatively harmless, cows for example are herbivores who on average probably violate others at a lower rate than humans. I agree nature is unpleasant but I think part of being a civilized species is that we no longer have to participate in that sort of behavior.

                      If you are going to take the view you do though then essentially anything we can imagine would be ethical, dogfighting would be no different than tickling a puppy.

            3. ZackTheHypochondriac|1.10.15 @ 10:26PM|#
              “I […] validly compared animals to all humans.”
              Stupidity or sarc?

              “Peer reviewed science is making these comparisons.”
              OK, stupidity…

        3. Something got lost in translation here. Whipping =/= complex emotional beings.

    2. Yes, and there’s also no difference between black people and geese.

      No difference at all. All of the lower animals should be treated equally to white people, in my opinions.

  16. And Richard Sherman makes the first big play.

  17. Love your site and your magazine, have subscribed for over a year, but I have to say, you realize that Time’s “Man/Person Of The Year” is someone who had a great impact on the world the year they were chosen. Being chosen is not a celebration of their actions, nor does it mean they are to be applauded. Only that they, for one reason or another, for good or ill, affected the world.

    1. Employee of the Month, Salesman of the Year etc isn’t given to workers that screwed over their own business. Time chose this title despite knowing it was normally used to indicate an individual that excelled. Time got too cute and can’t claim to be misunderstood.

  18. And Seattle takes the lead.

  19. We should probably outlaw the SPCA and get rid of the animal cruelty laws too.

    Let the market decide.

    1. #ReductioAdAbsurdum is Awesome dood! #moralNarcissismFTW #smartpeopleusebadanalogies ####

      1. You’ve got a hashtag monkey on your back.

    2. We should get rid of animal cruelty laws.

    3. Oooh, only one so far? I thought we’d have more. And this was pretty poor trolling. You’ve got to do better than that.

    4. Action and inaction are not the same.

    5. obadiahlynch|1.10.15 @ 9:15PM|#
      “We should probably outlaw the SPCA and get rid of the animal cruelty laws too.
      Let the market decide.”

      Too stupid!
      Hint Oba, the market deciding really doesn’t require “outlawing” much of anything.
      But pointing that out to ignoramuses prolly isn’t gonna help.

  20. This is a pretty good cover of Take Me to Church which I was listening to, but the comments are goddamn hilarious. Since a woman is singing, they changed the pronouns they use to the opposite gender. So instead of being ‘she’ they’d change it to ‘he,’ etc. For some reason, a bunch of people complain about this totally irrelevant bullshit, which culminates in this brilliant comment:

    When you cover someone’s song it is a varying process. You could either approach it with a concept with which to filter the song to alter it or you could reproduce it and use your performance as the “alteration”. Its obvious this entire channel has an unifying concept of altering genres typically of american origin pre-80s, but that is a concept specific to performance style. The concept has absolutely nothing to do with the lyrics of any of the songs covered. If everything I have said above is “correct” or at least applicable to this channel and cover then the pronouns written into the song should not have been changed. It only shows two things: an uncomfortability with gender fluidity and a lack of imagination. ?

    Hahahahahaha. Okay, buddy. Calm down.

    1. Dude’s just pissed that they didn’t pander to his lesbian love song fantasy.

      Someone should inform him that Pornhub exists.

      1. You’re just uncomfortable with gender fluidity.

        Also, this is from that guy’s youtube account:

        Hi, I am a vocalist attending the Louisiana State University’s School of Music. I am a part of Mensa, Talent Across America, ACDA (American Choral Directors Associations), LMEA (Louisiana Music Educators Association), and Gleeks of the World (Official Gleek Web page). I am an early high school graduate.

        He is a serious intellectual. Apparently he’s just way above our petite bourgeoisie understanding of reality.

        1. What is a gleek?

          1. Fan of the show Glee, or people who are actual members of glee clubs.

        2. Ayatollah Khomeini
          3 days ago

          You can tell this song is only really big with the SWJ community like its EXTREMELY common to change the pronouns in a cover of any love-related song to the one that matches the singer. Only hyper-sensitive gay allies are complaining about this really get a life people covers are not suppose to be exact copies of the original ?

          Only in the world of Youtube comments would the Ayatollah Khomeini be the voice of reason.

          1. He lived some time in France in exile, you know..

        3. “He is a serious intellectual. Apparently he’s just way above our petite bourgeoisie understanding of reality.”

          Most of the ‘stupidest’ people I’ve ever encountered are in fact of “way above average” intelligence.

          in fact, i’d argue that its the ‘only slightly above average’ smart people that seem to know WTF is *actually going on*…

          …whereas, the “extra-special smarty pants” live on a fucking planet where they are so confused by their own opinion of themselves and then (OMG) the tons of fucking information they don’t need and mis-apply constantly that they’ve become the architects of their own universe of problems to solve.

    2. Or it shows a third: It’s almost like culture is a constantly shifting systems of customs and values that anyone can contribute to in any way they wish (of course whether that contribution is positive or negative is up to your own views).

    3. Sounds like a gender studies thesis

    4. Incidentally, that girl is not only super good looking, but has an unbelievable voice.

      Her version of Maps is awesome.

      1. I love Postmodern Jukebox. Robyn Adele, who usually does a lot of the singing, is fantastic.

        1. I think Morgan James is probably their best recurring singer. They had a great black woman named Miche Braden who sang on some of their songs, but I think she’s only done two in the last year or so. One of them was their incredibly good version of Sweet Child of Mine.

          Robyn Adele is good, but vocally I don’t think she can touch Morgan James. She’s classically trained and has sang on Broadway. I even found a Youtube video of her doing a pretty good audition for an opera.

          Morgan James is a very gifted singer, probably the best they have.

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  23. Nick “I wrote a stupid article for a shitty magazine, boo hoo” Gillespie.

    Clown.

  24. Bo Cara is right.

    Tony is having some sort of epileptic seizure.

    Noted libertarians Peter Singer and Robert Nozick both had problems with eating animals, and wrote about it, and were vegetarians for moral reasons. There is a small but long-existing libertarian animal rights tradition. I have met libertarians who very much belong to that tradition. It’s no more impossible to be a libertarians supporter of animals rights than it is to be a pro-life libertarian.

    1. HazelMeade|1.11.15 @ 9:41AM|#
      “Bo Cara is right.”
      Bullshit. That could only be true if Bo actually held a consistent POV for longer than it takes for someone to prove Bo’s current POV is wrong.
      ——————
      “Noted libertarians Peter Singer and Robert Nozick both had problems with eating animals, and wrote about it, and were vegetarians for moral reasons. There is a small but long-existing libertarian animal rights tradition. I have met libertarians who very much belong to that tradition. It’s no more impossible to be a libertarians supporter of animals rights than it is to be a pro-life libertarian.”
      Which had nothing to do with outlawing certain foods.
      Who are you and what have you done with Hazel Meade?

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  26. I’ve never had foie gras even though I consider myself someone of a foodie. Don’t necessarily have and issue with this. It seems as though increasing the the livers size six times would be painful but I can’t say that for sure. I would think that would be something that could be scientifically determined but maybe not. I doubt ducks understand causation so the fact that they wouldn’t try and avoid the process if they had pain in their liver means nothing. On a side note, to those of you who who think that its perfectly fine to brutally torture animals because we eat them, fuck you in the ass with a red hot poker. Anyone who would do that is a piece of shit who deserves the same treatment.

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  28. Other forms of cruelty to animals have been outlawed, and for good reason. There is certainly legal precedent for banning foie gras, since its production is inherently cruel. Animals may not have the same rights as humans (ducks can’t vote, for example), but they do have a fundamental right not to be tortured, especially not for a product that no one needs.

  29. I find your support of animal cruelty abhorrent. Do you suggest we also help Michael Vick get his dogfighting ring back up and running?

    1. Yeah, I mean it’s not like there is a fundamental difference between an animal that is bred to be your companion and one that’s bred for food or anything.

  30. I don’t really know enough to argue one way or the other on foie gras, but I am genuinely confused by those on here arguing that there is no moral distinction between killing an animal for food and torturing an animal.

    Mammals, and possibly other animals, do suffer. It is not anthropomorphizing to acknowledge this. They register physical pain, they make attempts to avoid physical pain, they show many physiological responses similar to human fear and stress under the right conditions, and they have analogous brain regions to ours for registering something similar to human suffering. That does not mean they feel as deeply or experience feelings qualitatively similar to humans, but this is not a binary situation.

    If an animal displays qualities of suffering that share fundamental characteristics with human suffering, how is a moral calculus not warranted?

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