Category: Animal Rights

Would Human Extinction Be a Tragedy?

TODD MAY—There are stirrings of discussion these days in philosophical circles about the prospect of human extinction. This should not be surprising, given the increasingly threatening predations of climate change. In reflecting on this question, I want to suggest an answer to a single question, one that hardly covers the whole philosophical territory but is an important aspect of it. Would human extinction be a tragedy?

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Climate Change and the Limits of Reason

MICHAEL F. DUGGAN—Humankind is a runaway project. With a world population of more than 7.3 billion, we are a Malthusian plague species. This is not a condemnation or indictment, nor some kind of ironic boast. It is an observable fact. The evidence is now overwhelming that we stand at a crossroads of history and of natural history, of nature and our own nature. The fact that unfolding catastrophic change is literally in the air is undeniable. But before we can devise solutions of mitigation, we have to admit that there is a problem.

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PETA and the ‘S’-Word

MICHAEL HOWARD—A few polemics were attempted. Asked by a CNN colleague for his personal reaction, everyone’s favorite talking head, the venerable Don Lemon, had this to say: “An animal who gets eaten doesn’t get eaten because of their gender.” True enough: they get eaten because of their species, hence the term everyone is having so much difficulty with.

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Cyrus, the Bodega cat (NYT Lottery commercial)—gift for all feline lovers

We do NOT approve of lotteries in general, of any kind, regarding it as another form of gambling or taxation, mostly on the poor, a regressive form, and we did NOT get paid for running this ad. We are doing it because we like what we see and the spirit of the production, with Cyrus, a truly heartwarming feline. Sure, we love animals. And we have a special place in our hearts for kitties—who in his right mind doesn’t? Cats are special. (No offence to cows, birds and dogs, of course, or the rest of the animal nations, all of whom we embrace as siblings and co-travelers in this journery through life and space.)

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