Moo/Boo! Was: Agricultural Skyscrapers
Wed, 28 Jan 1998 06:17:58 -0800 (PST)

On Wed, 28 Jan 1998, Jim McCoy wrote:

> Don't think of it as a cow, think of it as a "mobile cereal
> compression/archive device." (one that happens to be mighty tasty if
> you marinate it just right and then toss it onto the bbq :)

Smiley or not, try this thought-experiement on for size: No, go ahead,
think of it as a *cow*, a "device" which experiences a great deal of
absolutely unecessary suffering so as to satisfy your unhealthy hankering
after the sensation of its "tang" on your tongue and its corpse rotting
away in your tummy. Concerns on the list about how sentient machines will
be treated in the future are well justified by awareness of the ways in
which sentient machines like nonhuman animals (not to mention most human
ones) are treated in the present. Uh, the vegetarian meme marches on.

> The whole "diet for a small planet" mantra reminds me of Karl Marx
> spending time in England and coming to the conclusion that production
> was everything because the transportation and distribution system was
> so well-developed (comparatively) that he didn't even notice it.

The whole carnivorist mantra reminds me of nothing so much as the
transparent rationalizations for self-destructive and morally
indifferent behavior one finds tripping from the mouths of any substance
abuser you happen to meet. And the same judgments apply, as far as I'm
concerned: Should be legal, morally shunned, and laughed at as stupid.

> p.s. skip the veggie flames please. I eat very little meat and have
> almost completely given it up for health reasons, but spent most of
> my childhood on a farm I know that the only reason cattle, sheep, and
> most livestock exist in the world today are because we keep them
> alive. If it were not to become burgers and steaks then cows would
> have long since become another evolutionary dead-end (you cannot
> quite appreciate just how dumb these animals have been bred until you
> watch sheep trying to get out of the rain by hiding under the other
> sheep.)

PS: Sorry for the veggie flame-broiling. I daresay a meat-cow would just
as soon become a literal evolutionary dead-end then experience the
privilege of prolonged abuse and subsequent consumption.

Best, Dale