Re: Extropians and animal rights

Michael S. Lorrey (
Tue, 19 Jan 1999 10:22:49 -0500

Ian Goddard wrote:

> At 01:15 PM 1/18/99 -0500, Michael S. Lorrey wrote:
> > I think that no human
> cities are
> >anywhere near the crowding levels necessary for the rat/mouse effect in
> the study
> >to be as pronounced.
> IAN: Good point, however, a possibility could be
> (just speculation backed with no known research)
> that our cities are more violence since they are
> not homogenous cultures, that is, the U.S. is a
> classic "melting pot," and urban communities in
> the U.S. are quite often divided by voluntary
> selection into ethnic areas. In areas with
> multiple cultures, or "gangs," we tend to
> see more aggression. Look at the problems
> in India between Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs,
> look at Yugoslavia, look at East L.A.'s gangs.
> But look a Japan, a monoculture with low crime.

Yes, good point, and one that I've made in the past. If we accept this premise, we also must acknowledge that the crime, as a function of demographics, is related to the lack of available 'acceptable' economic opportunities in general as well as a lack of proper preparation of the individual to take advantage of economic opportunities, thus forcing those falling through the 'cracks' of the system resort to predation, as well as translating their economic and personal stresses into violent acts.

This sort of resorting to predation in a rural environment as a natural behavior is accepted, because the individual has the ability in most rural environments to exercise his or her predatory instincts upon wilderness species, rather than on other people. There is a large percentage of the rural population who live a large percentage of their productive hours in a hunter/gatherer lifestyle. They become excellent hunters, and maintain hunting licenses in several states, so they can harvest a half dozen deer during the fall, possibly a couple moose, as well as partridge, grouse, woodcock, and ducks, etc., not to mention trout and salmon fishing. They maintain a good sized garden in their yards producing a significant amount of vegetables to can for the winter and springtime (then there are those who are involved in more lucrative crops.. pot is the #1 cash crop in Vermont..).

These sort of opportunities to survive despite lack of employment opportunities and with high urban taxes, forcing people to become welfare slaves to the system, is a significant departure from the rest of human history, which our natural behaviors are optimized for. Add to this the criminalization of cash crops like pot, and you add a significant percentage of the population to the criminal class, which further limits their "acceptable" employment opportunities beyond their ethnic or racial problems.

Mike Lorrey