Jens 'n' Frens
Idle thoughts of a relatively libertarian Republican in Cambridge, MA, and whomever he invites. Mostly political.

"A strong conviction that something must be done is the parent of many bad measures."
  -- Daniel Webster

Monday, April 04, 2011 :::

There are a couple items about this article that betray a worldview that's foreign to mine, even if I view my overall response to the news item as being essentially the same as that of the author.
Chinese street vendors are selling live animals, permanently sealed in a small plastic pouch where they can survive for a short while as someone's conversation piece. Apparently, these unimaginably inhumane keyrings are actually quite popular -- and worst of all, it's totally legal.
Really? That's the worst part? So, given the choice between
  • It's illegal, but people do it anyway, or
  • It's legal, but nobody does this,
you prefer the second outcome?

This seems related to talk I've heard from people that they want to move to a given country because it requires that employers offer certain benefits. If you're doing a job search, all else equal, and those are benefits that are important to you, perhaps it makes sense to concentrate your search there, but if you're choosing between a job in one country that offers the minimum benefits the country requires, and a job in a different country that offers better benefits even though it doesn't have to, what sense does it make to choose the former over the latter?

Anyway, back to the article:

"To put a living thing inside a sealed and confined space for profit is immoral and pure animal abuse," Qin Xiaona, director of the NGO Capital Animal Welfare Association, told the Global Times.
"For profit" strikes you as a significant modifier that you want to include in this quote? I don't think profit makes this activity ethical, but it still seems like the best reason I can imagine someone having for it. If they interviewed two sellers, one who said, "I do this to provide for my family," and another who said, "I don't make money at this; I just do it for the pleasure of slowly asphyxiating animals," which guy do you want moving in next door?

::: posted by dWj at 10:41 AM

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Idle thoughts of a relatively libertarian Republican in Cambridge, MA, and whomever he invites. Mostly political.

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