Category Archives: Animals and ethics

The ethics of human interaction with animals

Is Violence Declining?

Harvard psychology professor Steven Pinker, in The Better Angels of our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined (Penguin Books, 2011), argues that human violence has declined. Violence was much more widespread in primitive societies than in historical times, and more widespread … Continue reading

Posted in Animals and ethics, Limits to Growth, Nonviolence | 2 Comments

The basic argument against backyard chicken ordinances

NOTE: this is the basic argument against city ordinances allowing backyard chickens, though obviously you could apply the same arguments to one’s personal decision to keep chickens. The basic argument against backyard chickens is that allowing this practice creates an … Continue reading

Posted in Animals and ethics, Backyard livestock | Leave a comment

More Problems With Abandoned Backyard Chickens

When I protested against the proposal to encourage backyard chickens in Denver two years ago, one of the questions I asked was “What do you think is going to happen when owners get roosters from hatcheries? Chicks are hard to … Continue reading

Posted in Animals and ethics, Backyard livestock | 2 Comments

Ingrid Newkirk in Denver

It has been literally decades since I last heard Ingrid Newkirk (of PETA fame) speak.  She is coming to Denver and in fact, by a quirk of fate, speaking at Denver University on Thursday, August 22, just a few blocks … Continue reading

Posted in Animals and ethics, Politics, or the lack thereof | 2 Comments

The Normalization of Cruelty (continued)

Michael Pollan, while celebrating the virtues of keeping backyard chickens, recently made a comment that chickens are “nasty and stupid” — and therefore, it sounds like, more deserving of being killed.  Karen Davis, founder of United Poultry Concerns, incisively responded, … Continue reading

Posted in Animals and ethics, Backyard livestock, Vegetarianism / Veganism | 4 Comments

Dear Professor Fesmire

Steven Fesmire, a professor at Green Mountain College, has posted a thoughtful response on the controversy over killing Bill and Lou.  For those of you hiding under a rock for the past few weeks, Bill and Lou are two working … Continue reading

Posted in Animals and ethics, Vegetarianism / Veganism | 3 Comments

They’re Not Your Animals

Green Mountain College in Vermont has, in the name of “sustainable agriculture,” chosen to kill its two working oxen — Bill and Lou — rather than allow them to retire in peace at Vine Sanctuary. The attempt to defend the … Continue reading

Posted in Animals and ethics, Politics, or the lack thereof | 3 Comments

Slaughter as Art — update

UPDATE Feb. 29: the “slaughter for art” project has been cancelled. Local activist Judy Carman met with Amber Hansen (the artist), her partner Nicholas, and KU professor Elizabeth Schultz on Monday. Amber will still display the empty coop and there … Continue reading

Posted in Animals and ethics, Backyard livestock, Politics, or the lack thereof | 2 Comments

Slaughter as Art

“The Story of Chickens — a Revolution” is an art project sponsored by the Spencer Museum of Art in Lawrence, Kansas.  The stated purpose of the project is “to transform the contemporary view of chickens as merely ‘livestock’ to the … Continue reading

Posted in Animals and ethics, Backyard livestock, Nonviolence, Politics, or the lack thereof | 2 Comments

The Fish Stories in the New Testament

One of the big problems that people have with the idea that Jesus was a vegetarian is the “fish stories” in the New Testament — stories in which Jesus distributes fish as food to people, or in one case actually … Continue reading

Posted in Animals and ethics, Christianity, Ebionites, Historical Jesus, Vegetarianism / Veganism | 4 Comments