So I was listening to the NPR recently and they were covering a case before the US Supreme Court which considers a Federal law banning sale of depictions of animal cruelty (NPR text here, here). The bit that I heard quoted some HSUS flack extensively which got me thinking.
There is the legal side of things and the ethical side of things. Let’s take up the ethical side first. I think the argument is that getting your jollies off* of video or pictures of animals being injured, hurt or killed seems reprehensible. Disgusting even. Criminal.
From the quoted bits, one might assume that the HSUS flack-guy is adamant about most depictions of animal cruelty. As are many on the ARA tail of the distribution. Bad, bad, bad. Hunting, animal fighting….all objectionable.
So how do they feel about those faked up depictions of supposed laboratory animal cruelty that they love to drag out at the slightest opportunity. That they use to give themselves and their followers a little thrill over how awful it is a(nd how great they are for opposing it). They are getting their jollies off of (often faked) depictions of animal cruelty are they not? The larger organizations are profiting from such depictions, are they not? How can they associate themselves with such things? Doesn’t this violate the spirit of the law they are backing here?
Before you get too bent about dogfighting, let me ask if you read Tetrapod Zoology in these parts and view some of the footage of animals predating each other? Do you watch the fishing channel? Is this any better or worse than video of hunts of doves or even charismatic big game?
I’m actually not a big fan of the hunting and the fishing and I can do without it. However, I’ve had cats for much of my life so being around predation is pretty much a given there and I don’t have a problem with the Mutual of Omaha Wild Kingdom predation video stuff, so long as the gore is minimized. I am not certain why this is so but I take this as a signal for additional reflection on how and why I draw a line. I wonder if the wackanuts ever consider for a millisecond the places where their positions are seemingly in conflict or flagrantly hypocritical? Do you?

I last broached the topic of immunization against drug use some time ago and I concentrated more on the ethical implications of vaccinating. I was being ever so slightly disingenuous because the current state of progress is not such that we need to consider such questions as:

Would you recommend it broad-spectrum for all children much like MMR?
Would you recommend parents be permitted to subject their drug abusing teen against his or her will?
Allow the courts to mandate inoculation?
Suppose it were made a condition of employment? This post was chosen as an Editor's Selection for ResearchBlogging.orgA recent paper by Martell and colleagues provides a nice opportunity to review the promise and limitations of immunopharmacotherapy for drugs of abuse. The rationale for such studies is pretty easy to grasp, although at present the results fall short of the lasting immunity you associate with childhood vaccines and even the seasonal flu shot. Drugs of abuse are molecules that do not generate any immune response because they are too small. The starting rationale is that if you create a drug mimic and attach it to something that will attract the attention of the immune system you might be able to generate antibodies that recognize the target drug.

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