Wednesday, November 24, 2010

To Turkey or not to Turkey

Seems like every Thanksgiving I wonder if I should eat turkey. I like turkey, esp. the greasy skin. So why don't I eat it?

I like too a number of other things walking the street. But I refrain.

So I've been thinking about whether not eating turkey is based on a principle of some kind, or whether it is just a rather arbitrary point on a continuum.

There is a famous bio-ethicist, Peter Singer, who won't sit at the table with people eating meat. There are probably others who won't sit at the table with such an extreme bio-ethicist, esp. one born the same year as I was.

So imagine a bowl of eye-ball soup, made with human eye-balls. The eyes look out at everyone at the table, and winks when someone is too obvious with their stares. Not many of us would sit at this table.

At the other end of the continuum, imagine a table of vegan fare, captured in the wild by Jainists who carefully sweep the path before they walk, making sure not to step on anything living. I suspect not many would eat at their restaurant, but who would object to anything that they serve? (Probably someone.)

So we are all somewhere on this slippery slope. Where do we draw the line? We don't eat the family dog, but we do eat the family chicken. I guess each of us has to decide for ourselves what we'll do or not do.

In the meantime, think twice before inviting Peter Singer to dinner.


Anonymous said...

I hope I can enjoy our turkey after reading this blog! H.


Trevor said...

Peter Singer is an interesting guy. He really takes anti-speciesism to it's conclusions, as far as I can tell.

Anonymous said...

pessimitistic budhism? sad u make us

Who's in the world?

Xiushan said, "What can you do about the world?" Dizang said, "What do you call the world?"