Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Blizzard: after losing the lottery

Yesterday there was hope--I thought the Wolves might get lucky and have a championship-ready roster despite themselves. Today it's back to empty pessimism. Ce la vie.

I Heart KG links to some of the mainstream reactions to the Wolves' #7 pick.

The Vikes have started organized team activities.

Wait a minute: it was freaking NIKE that figured out Troy Williamson had vision problems? Nike? I would like to know if the Vikes and Williamson are just teasing us with hope that Williamson has fixed his one problem and will now become a competent football player, or whether we should still expect nothing at all from him.

How did Clinton Portis get roped into the dog fighting story? But he does say that hunting is legal. Certainly he's minimizing the significance of dog fighting, but there is some truth there--should there be moral outrage over one brutal treatment of animals when there is basic acceptance of another brutal treatment of animals?

The Starting Five offers criticism of the media coverage and organization outrage over the Vick dog fighting story.

The Starting Five compares this year's draft to 1984, suggesting Portland passing on Oden would be like passing on Jordan. Ballers, Gamers, and Scoundrels compares this year's draft to 1984, suggesting that if Portland passes on Durant he'll torment them.


  1. Anonymous9:00 AM

    Seriously, you really think the killing of animals for food is the same as watching animals tear each other up for sadistic pleasure? The vegetable diet is affecting your logic circuits. We're biologically designed to be omnivores. Do bears, lions, dogs, cats, chimps, etc... feel guilt over fulfilling the mandates of their biological design? No. Our species has come to terms with it by making laws that ensure humane methods of killing the animals we use for food and material goods.

    You do all vegetarians a disservice when you try to compare the sadistic brutality of dog fightnig to the killing of livestock for food.

  2. Humans are not biologically required to eat meat. Some animals are (cats, for example, but not dogs).

    No, animals don't feel guilty for eating for survival. Do you want to suggest humans are no better than animals?

    We don't eat meat for survival anymore; we eat meat for pleasure. It is not NECESSARY to eat meat at this point in our human; there is no survival requirement involved.

    So no, I don't think there is a major difference between killing of animals for pleasure (hunting, forcing them to fight) and killing them for food.

    Do you think a cow on its way to the slaughterhouse faces less brutality than a dog forced to fight? Do you think chickens that spend their entire lives in cages are given more dignity than animals made to fight? You may think I'm crazy for comparing dog fighting to a slaughterhouse; I think you're minimizing or ignoring the brutality of killing animals for food.

    Even if I believed it was acceptable to eat meat, I would still find the way we actually treat the animals slaughtered for food to be reprehensible. Instead of caging chickens for their entire life (and often mutilating them), we could have free range, cage free chickens. The factory farm system, and the factory slaughterhouse system, is brutal. I'm not going to apologize for saying that.

  3. You're also focusing on the intent rather than the effect (the intent of dogfighting is sadistic pleasure so it is bad, while the intent of the slaughterhouse is food so it is different); I'm more interested in the effect.

    Biological/Evolutionary arguments are tricky and can go either way. On the one hand, Survival of the Fittest implies no morality, and if there is a morality, it is that a superior species is justified in using an inferior species (but then we come to Herzog's E.T. Dilemma: would a superior alien species be justified in using humans in any way they choose for their benefit?). On the other hand, Evolution implies a closer relationship between humans and animals than previously thought, and new scientific studies are showing us just how advanced animals are (mice have metacognition. Freaking mice), and so we may need to re-evaluate how we use animals).

    But the purpose of this blog has never been to try convince people to become become vegetarians. I write about issues in sports that interest me; when an animal rights story intersects with sports, I comment on it. If others' comment or ask questions, I'm willing to delve deeper.

    I'm not interested in condemning others' behavior; I am not an animal rights advocate out of compassion, sense of righteousness, or moral outrage, but because I've been convinced by the IDEA of animal rights. Most of my friends and family eat meat; many members of my family hunt (Hi Dad and J-Rod). I am rarely judgmental and only preachy if they ask questions (besides, I've found people are often more judgmental of me for being a vegetarian than I am of them for eating meat). I've been convinced by the idea, but I recognize others simply haven't (I also don't feel guilty for eating meat for the first 26 years of my life--I just wasn't convinced by the idea at the time).

    So what I'm doing here is not trying to condemn or judge yours or anybody else's behavior; I am merely pointing out what I see as a logical inconsistency. That is what interests me here: finding logical fallacies and logical inconsistencies and examining them. I see a logical inconsistency here; that's all. Peace.

  4. PV-
    While your argument that humans are not biologically required to eat meat is mostly true there has been recent discussions on the necessity of animal protein at early stages of human development. The New York Times contained an editorial on the topic on Monday. And if I was a better friend I would have remembered the name of it, but as a new father and vegan you may find it interesting

  5. Anonymous5:01 PM

    Thanks for the articulate response, PV. I hope you didn't take my initial post as an attack; it wasn't meant to be. I graple with these issues in my own life too.

    I agree wholeheartedly that the factory farming system in this country is terrible and my wife and I pretty much exclusively buy organic, free range animals, when we buy meat at all.

    Most of the meat we consume I have stalked, shot, given thanks for, butchered and put in the freezer myself. I live in Idaho, so am able to catch Steelhead and Salmon, and hunt for both deer and elk. I personally feel better about eating meat from animals I have killed myself. That way I take full responsibility for taking that animal's life to nourish my family and understand completely where my food is coming from.

    What is bugging me about this Vick story are all the people coming out of the woodwork on these talk shows wondering how we can condone people running around in the woods and killing innocent deer (Bambi) while condemning dog fighting. Then they go buy a Big-Mac, without giving a second thought to where that meat came from, what kind of life that animal lived, how that animal was killed, etc... The hypocrisy is sickening.

    The physical and social distance from slaughterhouse to dinner table insulates us from the fear and pain the animals feel as they are led to the slaughter, and turns a dead animal into just "a piece of meat." In ancient hunting and farming societies, killing was up close and personal, and it was impossible to ignore the fact that this was recently a living, breathing animal. This is an important connection to understand the world around us and the entire tapestry of life and death.

    As much as modern societies want to hide from the reality of death, it's going to occur and there isn't anything necessarily evil or wrong about it. The question shouldn't be "was there killing", it should be, "was this food taken in rightness and harmony"? Did the cow live a life that a cow ought to live? Was it treated cruelly or well when it walked the earth?

    There is a right time to live and to die, not just for animals but for myself as well. Eating meat isn't an arrogant, selfish act for me, it's a way to be in harmony with the natural tides of life and death on this planet, as our ancestors were.

    But, to each his own. We all learn life's lessons in different ways.


    as always...

    Go Vikes!!

  6. For what it's worth, it's that distance between animal and plate that so disturbs me about meat eating in the industrial world. More and more the food bears no resemblance to--and seems to have no connection to--the animals, so people don't have to think about what they are doing. You know my basic stance--however, I have more respect for the person who hunts or raises the animals that are to be eaten. You're not evading the consequences of your actions, and I respect that, even if I have a different worldview.

    I'm interested in discussing these ideas, in sharing these perspectives--I don't have a desire to preach at people. When discussing these issues--issues that cut to the core of how people live--discussion can get rancorous, but I'm glad we're discussing it reasonably and respectably.

    These are topics I'm much more likely to get into in the offseason than the football season, though.

  7. Anonymous12:07 PM

    Steak....its what for dinner!

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