Friday, June 29, 2007

Matthew Scully

Here's something I mentioned a while back on my (mostly) cycling blog: Every issue, Newsweek gives it's back page to either the conservative George Will, or the liberal Anna Quindlen, to discuss whatever is on their minds. Despite the fact that I myself am pretty darn liberal, I find Quindlen boring as heck and Will quite interesting.

Last summer Will did a piece on the conservative Matthew Scully's book Dominion: The Power of Man, the Suffering of Animals, and the Call to Mercy.

As Will writes, Scully's argument runs along these lines:
Why is cruelty to a puppy appalling and cruelty to livestock by the billions a matter of social indifference? There cannot be any intrinsic difference of worth between a puppy and a pig.

Animal suffering on a vast scale should, Scully says, be a serious issue of public policy. He does not want to take away your BLT; he does not propose to end livestock farming. He does propose a Humane Farming Act to apply to corporate farmers the elementary standards of animal husbandry and veterinary ethics: "We cannot just take from these creatures, we must give them something in return. We owe them a merciful death, and we owe them a merciful life."

The book is from 2002. If you want to take a look at his 2005 essay (which I think led Will to the book) titled - Fear Factories: The Case for Compassionate Conservatism - for Animals, it is available here.

And I cannot BELIEVE this website he mentions in the above essay:

As for the rights of animals, rights in general are best viewed in tangible terms, with a view to actual events and consequences. Take the case of a hunter in Texas named John Lockwood, who has just pioneered the online safari. At his canned-hunting ranch outside San Antonio, he's got a rifle attached to a camera and the camera wired up to the Internet, so that sportsmen going to will actually be able to fire at baited animals by remote control from their computers. "If the customer were to wound the animal," explains the San Antonio Express-News, "a staff person on site could finish it off." The "trophy mounts" taken in these heroics will then be prepared and shipped to the client's door, and if it catches on Lockwood will be a rich man.

1 comment:

Melissa said...

I sometimes wish I could just plug my brain into yours and get all of your knowledge.