This Guardian article by John Sweeney argues that because the intelligence of elephants is similar to that of humans, it’s wrong to kill them.
I don’t understand this argument; if a creature’s right not to be killed is correlated to its intelligence, then humans with developmental disabilities have less right to live than those who don’t.
I suspect that Sweeney wouldn’t agree, because his argument seems to be less about logic or morality and more about what could be called Human Exceptionalism - a narcissistic view of our own species as being superior to all others, the old “God created man in His own image” saw.
Although I no longer eat meat, I have argued that it is better for the environment if we eat locally-raised, grass-fed beef rather than organic vegetables trucked hundreds or even thousands of miles. It turns out I was wrong. This article in The Guardian explains:
Organics are… not even necessarily good for the environment, either. Increasing demand has led to organic meat being raised on vast industrial feed lots, and the scarcity of organic ingredients means they are flown around the world. Research sponsored by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs showed that the production of a litre of organic milk requires 80% more land than conventional milk. And that organically reared cows burp and fart twice as much methane as conventionally reared cattle, which would be amusing if it weren’t for the fact that methane is 20 times more powerful a greenhouse gas than CO2.
On Christmas Day, Princes William and Harry drove separate cars to the hospital from Sandringham, the Queen’s private Norfolk estate, taking the Duke of York’s daughters Beatrice and Eugenie and the Princess Royal’s children Zara and Peter with them for the 45-minute visit to their grandfather.
|Great Eastern Hotel, Glasgow|
The Guardian reports that David Cameron is vowing to “end the state’s monopoly over public services,” i.e. hand over the National Health Service and the education system to private business. He calls this “putting power in the hands of the people.”
|The next U.S. President?|
I know Democrats who’re hoping Trump will get the Republican nomination, and Republicans who’re worried that he will, and, judging from The Guardian report, that seems to be the general mood. I think they all might be underestimating the stupidity and childishness of the United States.
Speaking at an event called The Reagan Revolution: From Ronald to Donald, Trump made his pitch to an audience of Nevada Republican bigwigs and curious onlookers in one of the key early-voting states in the nomination process. In the casino’s ballroom, which featured an ice statue of himself, Trump gave a virtuoso performance that was full of braggadocio and littered with expletives. “Our leaders are stupid, they are stupid people,” he said, before referring to the Chinese government as “motherfuckers” against whom he’d raise trade tariffs.
Despite such a performance – and perhaps because of it – there is no doubt that Trump has injected a remarkable shot of adrenaline into the stilted Republican search for a nominee to take on Barack Obama next year. One perhaps should have expected no less from the flamboyant figure who is a household name in America not for his politics, but his TV show The Apprentice and his catchphrase, “You’re fired!”
|Robert Winston and Sam Harris|
The Guardian reports:
If the supreme court says innocence is no reason to commute, is it any wonder the US is one of the world’s leading executioners?
…[It is] a significant but little-known fact about death-penalty law in the US – namely, that current court precedent allows the execution of innocent people. Remarkably, the supreme court, in a 1993 opinion, suggested that “actual innocence” is not a sufficient cause to be let free. The court only cares if the legal rules are followed, while acknowledging that innocent people could still be convicted and put to death.