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Messages - yourlocalsuperhero

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Law School Admissions / Re: honors thesis
« on: March 28, 2007, 10:45:04 AM »
i have at least 100 pages to write in the coming weeks and may, depending on this and that, approach both the college of law and honor's program and say, "hey, is it cool if i withdraw from the course?  (it's not really a class, but a pedagogical status that facilitates the thesis at my school.) i want to give this puppy the attention it deserves and hope to turn it into a notable manuscript during the next four or five years.  you know i'm good for it!"

it seems perfectly acceptable, but maybe i am missing stuff?

General Off-Topic Board / Re: Suggest a Masters Degree
« on: March 27, 2007, 12:27:39 PM »
something that you are fascinated by that is also convenient to your needs ... like a top-flight epidemiology program at the university down the street or a program in wildlife policy at u of montana.
this way, you'll have a masters with little or no debt and be a better candidate for continuing to do as you wish -- teach, non-profit administration, etc.

waitlist.  letter said 120 or so are on it and a decision will be made by june 26 (memory).

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Animal Rights and Law School
« on: March 26, 2007, 11:06:27 AM »

I always get a kick out of how frequently I see vegetarians berating non-vegetarians for their moral decisions when it comes to what they eat. 99% of the time, if the tables were turned and someone else were berating them for their moral decisions when it comes to things like religion, abortion, gay marriage, et al., they would (rightfully) tell said person to take their morals and shove them.

The two situations are not similar at all.  Animal activists often claim that animals do indeed have rights.  If that is the case, our eating them would infringe on the animals' rights, while gays marrying infringes on nobody's rights.  The question is of course, do animals have rights?  I obviously think they don't, but if someone thought they did, I could definitely see how they could be outraged by people eating them. 

How are they dissimilar? Animal activists often claim that animals do indeed have rights, just like anti-abortion activists often claim that fetuses (fetii?) do indeed have rights. In both cases, killing them would theoretically infringe on that entities rights. I can definitely see how people are outraged in both cases, but that doesn't mean that either one of them is right.

I hope you donít feel berated Ö Thatís just not the way to have an important conversation on what is right, on the morality of our actions.  My objective is to talk with mutual respect. 

I think itís fair to say that rights are codified based on our understanding of similarity (a little simple, but good enough).  It took a while, but rights were finally extended to powerless people that didnít have white skin, and later given to people without penises, because on all matters relevant to the establishment of personhood those with power finally accepted that the Ďotherí was similar.

So too, I think, with species.  Have you heard some of the remarkable nuanced social behavior or emotional intelligence that scientists are beginning to report?  Just because someone has four legs instead of two or a trunk instead of a nose does not mean that their interests to pursue their own ends should be completely restricted.  Worse is to have ones' entire life exploited and relegated to the task of accumulating wealth for another -- how can this not be a moral wrong?  Most terrible yet, as paratactical has correctly stated, lives in the factory, agbribusiness model of production are total, unmitigated misery.  Just because someone has a snout does not mean it is right to treat them as this industry does.

I believe that those who recognize these notions have an obligation to stop perpetuating the wrongs and, in fact, to actively dismantle them.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Animal Rights and Law School
« on: March 25, 2007, 03:00:18 PM »
Thanks for the advice everyone! 

And people are animals... do you support eating people so long as they are tastey?

Are you suggesting, then, that when animals (other than humans) eat other animals, following the food chain that has existed, oh, say, forever, they are doing something wrong?

I truly don't want to sound like a jerk, because I respect someone else's right to choose to not eat animals.  What I don't respect is people who make that choice and then bother other humans who choose to follow the food chain.

That said, I love living animals, too (see avatar).  Duke has lots of animal law stuff, including both a class and a clinic.

So does GW:


With respect, nothing resembling a food chain can be found in an industry that slaughters more than ten billion sentient beings every year -- just in the United States!  The massiveness of animal agribusiness has profound impacts on us all:

* there are more than <a href=''" target="_blank">ten billion non-humans dying in this country each year[/url] simply to satisfy our cultural pallete preferences



the prevalence of <a href=''
target="_blank">foodborne illnesses[/url]

*how much do you care about <a href=''
target="_blank">our global environment[/url]?

* or <a href=''
target="_blank">advancing human rights?[/url]<Br>
* what of our <a href=''
target="_blank">personal and public health?[/url]

any way you cut it, our relations with animals have a huge impact that ripples all around the world.

While I too don't wish to be bothered with trivialities that I have already considered (such as, say, the impact my boots have on a back country trail), I welcome others sharing their feelings on how my actions may hurt them or those they love.  If, as a society, we choose to continue ignoring the huge set of social ills that arise from animal agribusiness, it's almost like saying: "Look, while those who don't drive their Hummers over everything in their path have a right to be respected, I just don't want to hear about how my driving effects others."

You don't sound like a jerk, but I hope you realize that choosing to eat meat, dairy and eggs is a political decision that has deep implications for all of us.

Yeah, the asw concept makes me ill.  Seriously.  I don't know about gender differences ...

The only reason I'm attending one this weekend is due to the all the suggestions on here that meeting and establishing yourself is important in order to get more money (read: debt is more sickening than wasting time).

DICLAIMER: There is no insinuation attached to this honest question.

Do most animal rights activists pick and choose which animals count as animals, or are they relatively Jainist when it comes to that kind of thing? I mean, do you still kill flies, mosquitoes, etc.?

An excellent question, Johnny.  Just as in mainstream culture, there is no consensus among activists.  According to ethicists like Singer, who most activists are familiar with, the most important criterion when establishing our treatment of other individuals (ranging from those nearly identical to us to members of different genders, races, creeds, ideologies, intelligences, and yes, species) is to cause as little harm as possible to anyone who has interests (i.e., water, or maximization of happiness) that deserve to be protected.  Just as most Americans accept that individual humans with down syndrome deserve equal consideration of interest and, (almost) just the same, that dogs and cats have the capacity for a wide range of thought and emotions, we each therefore have interests which are rightly considered.

Singer also adopts the concept of erring on the side of caution.  For example, if there isn't scientific consensus on whether or not a member of a given species (or ... whatever criterion) is sentient, but it is reasonable to think that they may be, treat them as if they are.  Except in very special circumstances (say, week 13 of pregnancy), Singer finds that this "just-in-case consideration" is a maximization of justice. 

So to your question.  Most activists that I know really care about their interaction with others and consider these issues at great depth.  Since most activists probably also possess ethics of striving for environmental sustainability and related principles, they seek to cause only positive effects on the lives of all animals (including humans and bees), and attempt to minimize destruction towards other life (including insects, trees and members of the executive branch).

PETA is evil and has a history of its members harming animals (like "liberating" them from labs and then leaving them in dumpsters), and does a huge disservice to animal rights by delegitimizing the entire cause with their insanity.

It is deeply unfortunate that a legitimate and just movement is discredited, for sure.  But does the discrediting stem from actions of members of PETA? 

Evil?  Animals liberated from labs just to be condemned to a dumpster?  A "history" of this sort of behavior?

There are public relations organizations like the center for consumer freedom (and their, nothing more than a front-group for tobacco, alcohol and other massive business interests -- seriously, they're opposed to Mothers Against Drunk Driving and the Union of Concerned Scientists.  Maybe you got your info from somewhere like here, or from their ripple effects?  Just as with the movement toward racial equality, a very vocal minority currently resist considering ideas of ethical treatment of animals with great vigor; perhaps you heard an untruth from someone in this camp, someone more interested in condemning their perceived opponent than considering the issues at hand? 

There is a complicated case of two PETA employees that disposed of the bodies of (humanely euthanized) dogs and cats who in a dumpster -- a wrong which attracted tons of attention.  While their actions were wrong, however, there is a case that the mission they were serving is ethically justifiable.  This one circumstance, moreover, does not constitute a history, or evilness, in my opinion.

EE, you're right, most people probably think of PETA.  I wish I knew why!  There are a ton of people and philosophies -- even among activists -- not represented by the organization.  In fact, the movement for animal protection is as heterogeneous than many other social justice causes, if not more so.


In the fair state of Utah, a guy was convicted of beating "his wife's dog" and baking him/her at like 400 in an oven.  Dog survived and is recovering, psychopath confessed and served a month or two in the county jail. 

I mean to demonstrate that, in all cases I'm familiar with of heinous and inexcusable crimes against non-humans, the perpetrators always gets off far too lightly.  Ever seen ?  Absolutely intolerable treatment of 10 Billion non-humans happens every year in this country with sub-minimal regulation, reforms or outrage.  Non-human animals, just as humans, are sentient with the ability to suffer.

I'm hoping the e-mail means we have been accepted and they're trying to figure out how generous the financial awards will be.

Regarding Gates PLS, I called earlier in the week and was told that finalists have been selected; however, those of us who have not yet been admitted were not considered for the scholarship.  At all.  Weeks of putting words together and getting letters of rec. for nothing. 

Law School Admissions / Re: BOALT
« on: March 04, 2007, 05:57:09 PM »
applied 1/19, complete 2/8, silence, hope and rehersals in the theatres of the absurd since.

i carry a 3.6 and scored a 162 (now that i know a february score may have been included in a decision, i regret not retaking), encouraged to apply because of the so-called holistic nature of boalt's admissions.  striving for social justice is important, right?  come on, berkeley, validate me!

i wish you all the best.

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