Saturday, September 6, 2008

A Third Quote From One of My Favorite Australians

Peter Singer says:

Intensive animal production is a heavy use of fossil fuels and a major source of pollution of both air and water. it release large quantities of methane and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. We are risking unpredictable changes to the climate of our planet--which means ultimately the lives of billions of people, not to mention the extinction of untold thousands of species of plants and animals unable to cope with changing conditions--for the sake of more hamburgers. A diet heavy in animal products, catered to by intensive animal production is a disaster for animals, the environment, and the health of those who eat it.

I already knew all this, but I think Singer summarizes it pretty well.

The Sydney Morning Herald had a fun article about it a few weeks ago.   It shows each type of diet and how many kilometers of car driving it would equal--well, in terms of the effect on the environment.   If the amount of kilometers would actually GET me somewhere, I'd TOTALLY eat meat.  Screw the animals.

No, I'm joking. 

Have I mentioned enough about how much I love Peter Singer?  I'm ready to rename this blog The Girl Who Totally Loved Peter Singer.

Although I am kind of waiting for the ball to drop--for him to say something that I totally disagree with and find completely offensive. You know something like he thinks breast milk is bad for babies or he's totally against homeschooling.

Will I still be able to love Singer if he says something I strongly disagree with? I don't know. Maybe? Maybe not.

Well, I still love South Park and they had a very anti-homeschooling episode once. So there!
I'm tolerant of people who believe differently than me--well, at least about 75% of the time.



Catatonic Kid said...

I <3 Peter Singer, too.

He's an amazing person, lecturer, mind etc. I remember reading Practical Ethics at University, and practically falling in love with the guy (bad pun intended ;)

Dina said...

Catatonic Kid,

I'm glad someone else loves him!! Well, I'm sure a lot of people love him. And a lot of people seem to hate him. I think he'a amazing. I was thinking of reading more of his books, but I think I might instead read his articles online. That way I can read the more up to date stuff.

Here's a good website if you haven't seen it yet.

I also think he's kind of sexy for an older man. Tim and I watched a video of him on YouTube last night. And we both agreed that when he was younger, he kind of looked like Billy Crystal!!

Catatonic Kid said...

Heehee Yes, he has a little something something going on ;) Like Sean Connery, age is of no matter.

Darcy said...

Well I take it you haven't read about killing mentally retarded and handicapped infants?

I think that is the one he gets the most criticism for. The book is literally called Should the Baby Live? The Problem of Handicapped Infants. Not that I am trying to burst the perfection bubble, just thought I would pass the information on.

Dina said...


I actually have read about it. He's not in support of going around killing babies that are imperfect. That's what the Nazis did.

What he's saying is for babies who are SEVERELY retarded and handicapped...where there is very little hope for a comfortable life....where the baby would experience nothing but pain....he is in support of the doctors and parents deciding together to "pull the plug". Or whatever. Lethal injection, maybe?

He's not saying that parents SHOULD make this decision. He just thinks they should have that option.

What Singer says is a lot of these babies are allowed to die anyway. They're starved to death or they leave infections untreated.

The idea is we can't KILL a baby, but we CAN allow it to die.

But how horrible would it be to watch an infant starve to death. Or to watch an infant suffer through an infection.

The challenge with this of course is that there's the worry that if we allow severely handicapped infants to be euthanized, will people have a negative reaction towards handicapped people who are still alive. "Oh we don't need to make our buildings accessible. Why didn't your parents kill you when you were an infant?"

But then the same could be said of abortion. Because some parents decide to abort their handicapped fetus, does that mean all parents are obligated to?

What Singer essentially wants is to end as much suffering as possible. If I could summarize his viewpoint in one phrase it would be "There are some things that are worse than death."

I used to work with children who had Cystic Fibrosis. I went to vist one of the kids I knew in the hospital. I think she was around 10 years old. She was so sick. It was horrible. I remember praying for her to die. I don't think any child should suffer that much. And compared to what some other kids go through, she might not have been suffering as much.

The other thing....if someone is anti-abortion, it makes sense that they're anti-infantcide. But if someone supports abortion, what is the difference between a 19 week old fetus and an infant that's missing it's brainstem. They're both humans. They're both alive.

I think the worry in all this is that parents are going to be smothering their infants left and right. Ooh, he has an ugly freckle on his nose. Let' kill the kid. Oh, he has Down Syndrome. We don't want that! But the thing that protects us from this is most parents have a tremendous amount of love for their kids and would not do such things. The other parents are messed up sick and/or selfish people who would probably harm their children whether there is a law against it or not.

tiff said...

Thank you for linking to back to Ivy and for commenting on my weekly winners!

You are very sweet!

Dina said...


Thanks : )

Your photos really are beautiful!!!