NY Times on foie gras...and circumcision! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 06-27-2005, 05:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I work in animal advocacy, and so was reading this NY Times article that discussed current foie gras legislation and general ethical issues surrounding farmed animals. And then I came across this seemingly tossed-off line (see bold):

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The human appetite for sentient protein - food that flinches - is an ethical puzzle that many of us solve by deciding not to think about it. But those who lament the exploitation of God's creatures for human consumption and fun should be careful not to spend all their pity in one place. There is, after all, a vast universe of discomfort and death in American agribusiness, which processes 9 billion chickens and 98 million pigs a year, often in close confinement, ending in slaughter on a monumental scale. Against this backdrop - not to mention the misery of the veal pen, the mass agony of the trawler net, the sadness of the pet shop and circus - the sum of animal unhappiness in Hudson Valley's tidily run operation, which kills 250,000 ducks a year, seems trivial.

What seems brutal in isolation can be mitigated in context, as any parents who have had a baby circumcised might tell you. Singling out the foie-gras duck for salvation in Albany seems unwarranted and unwise, particularly when doing so would threaten the livelihoods of farmworkers and only drive foie-gras production somewhere else.
and realized that the article was important to me as an intactivist, as well.

Consider sending your comments--whether about humans or other animals or both-- to:letters@nytimes.com. Don't forget to read their letters guidelines first.
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#2 of 6 Old 06-27-2005, 09:30 PM
 
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I sent my letter!

I mentioned the connection between brutality to helpess infants and brutality to helpless animals. Perhaps if we stop the one, we'll have the compassion to also address the other.
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#3 of 6 Old 07-26-2005, 01:31 AM
 
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I hope I don't sound dumb, but I don't really understand the point the author of the article is trying to make. If mitigated means "relieved" is he saying that parents who circumcise their sons should be relieved they have done so, even if it seems painful at the time?

Also, is it too late to send a letter? I just found this thread while reading around randomly.

~Nay
: my little booby bandito, Antonin

I love my super supportive DH

Our kitties!

Reneé, 34 year old mom to Antonin 8/04 and Arianna 9/06  (6 weeks) 5/08. Married to Matt since 6/03 .  
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#4 of 6 Old 07-26-2005, 03:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by AntoninBeGonin
I hope I don't sound dumb, but I don't really understand the point the author of the article is trying to make. If mitigated means "relieved" is he saying that parents who circumcise their sons should be relieved they have done so, even if it seems painful at the time?
I think that's basically it. His perspective seems to be that circumcision, which seems cruel and senseless when viewed in isolation seems less brutal when rplaced in its larger societal context (ie, in a society in which it is accepted by most)--just as our treatment of farmed animals does. I agree with him on neither point, BTW (I think both circumcision and factory farming are unethical, regardless of how many people in our society think they are fine)

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Also, is it too late to send a letter?
Yes. The Times doesn't take letters sent in more than 7 days past the original publication date of articles.
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#5 of 6 Old 07-26-2005, 05:18 AM
 
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The NYT seems to be on a role with really thoughtless, revenge-filled stories or editorials. DH was just reading one making fun of the farmer's market and it's "ugly" vegetables, and how that sort of thing was bad for farmers $($U&#)%(#

Early intervention specialist and parent consultant since 2002.
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#6 of 6 Old 07-26-2005, 06:14 AM
 
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LOL, ugly vegetables? Isn't this pursuit of "pretty things" going a bit too far?

Mind you we have the same problem over here - the supermarkets have the farmers by the you-know-whats, and they only want uniform, blemish-free fruit and veg. I try to shop in the local farm shops - at least then I know it hasn't been transported half way around the world and the farmer gets a decent price for it.

I think factory farming is appalling too, as an EHO I've seen far too much on the other side of the counter (I had to work in a slaughterhouse doing meat inspection as part of my training) to eat either factory farmed meat or battery produced eggs. Actually it turned me mostly vegetarian, it was horrible.

But that's another story.

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