I had been blissfully unaware that someone discovered that cats are freaked out by cucumbers. This spawned a large number of “hilarious” online videos of pet felines finishing a meal and turning around to see the dreaded green things behind them, resulting in spectacular leaps in panic. We often hear the cackling of the cat’s owners, who probably are Jimmy Kimmel fans.
I bet they would also enjoy their beloved animal companion’s reaction if they set off a cherry bomb near Fluffy.
What assholes. The Golden Rule is not usually applicable to lower species, but humans don’t enjoy being terrified, and neither do cats. This is animal abuse.
Ed Wood was never so profound as in that profound snippet of dialogue from “Plan Nine From Outer Space.”
Last week a female dolphin was washed up on the sand at Quintana Beach County Park in Texas. According to the Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network, which posted about the incident on Facebook, beach-goers discovered the distressed sea mammal and, not having a clue what they were doing, tried to push it back out into the ocean. Then some of the morons attempted to ride the creature, which soon ended up back on the beach. Again stranded, it was harassed by the crowd that had gathered until it expired. By the time rescuers arrived to take care of it, officials said, it was too late. Continue reading →
It is the esteemed veteran ethics warrior Michael West who focused on the question from a practical viewpoint, and, after all, this is a practical ethics blog. In a series of comments he wrote,
I voted for the apology route because there’s no choice between apology and appropriate punishment that incorporates aspects of both. His conduct is gross and indicative of his character, but our society is getting to a point where we don’t allow for any rehabilitation ever. And that’s not a good development.
I had posited to another commenter a public official caught on camera terrorizing his family to counter the argument that it was unfair for this conduct to be made public, and Michael countered,
I think psychologically terrorizing family combined with being a public official changes the scope of invested parties and certainly justifies a larger body of people interested in knowing about the behavior. In this case, while not absolving him of being scrutinized and shunned by an appropriate section of society, “it’s just a dog” does guide the level of this man’s infamy as compared to your hypothetical. But yes, once the video is out the video is out. But, if, after appropriate demonstrations of genuine remorse, repentance and change of character and appropriate consequences are leveled against this man and…such as reduction to mere data entry job…I don’t think I would “take my business elsewhere” if I discovered he happened to be the man entering the data I need entered.
I mean at some point the “shunned by society” is clearly disproportionate…should grocery stores refuse his ability to buy food?
Jeffrey Previte is –last I checked—the co-CEO of EBI Consulting in Los Angeles. That’s him on the left, and that’s also him on security footage where he lives, abusing his little dog. There’s a video too. You can view it—if you have the stomach– here.
The Daily Mail broke the story after it obtained the video from the concierge at the Seychelle Condominiums building in Santa Monica, California, where Previte lives. The concierge passed along the film–why to a British tabloid I don’t know (it probably paid him) and asked to remain anonymous in case he wanted to be a source for an Atlantic Monthly hit piece on President Trump. He told the Mail that he heard the dog whimpering from the front desk, saw the video, and filed a report with the police about the incident. “I heard the dog screaming and when I looked on the camera, I saw him beating the dog,” he said. The concierge claims that the building’s management did not take his report seriously.
Previte has only made himself more despicable since the story came out, and revealed himself as an individual without ethics alarms.
“I think this is very unfortunate that this has come across your desk. I don’t even know exactly what to say but I will say this: [The concierge] called me the evening of this interaction with my dog and that was at nine o’ clock at night and he attempted to extort money from me so that he wouldn’t report it to the building,” said Previte in a statement.
All absolutely irrelevant to the issue at hand, which is what we see on the video. How does someone think impugning the character of the person who reports his misconduct mitigates the conduct? Dead ethics alarms. Then he said, “There’s nothing illegal about what I did.”
This might be the best example of Rationalizations #4, Marion Barry’s Misdirection, or “If it isn’t illegal, it’s ethical,”and #5, The Compliance Dodge I have ever seen, except that I’ll want to gag every time I think about it.
Your Ethics Alarms Ethics Quiz of the Day is..
“What is a fair and proportionate way for society to treat this creep?”
A self-described “underground radical group”called “Pigeons, United To Interfere Now,” ( PUTIN, get it? HAR!) released pigeons with tiny “Make America Great Again” hats glued to their heads in anticipation of President Donald Trump’s visit to Las Vegas, Nevada. (One bird had a Trump style blond wig.) “The stunt was intended as a gesture of support and loyalty to President Trump,” “Coo Hand Luke,” a spokesperson for the group said with his tongue firmly in his bill, er, cheek.
Now we know what end-stage Trump Derangement looks like. Not pretty.
The group also claimed that gluing things to pigeons’ heads wasn’t cruelty to animals, because “It’s what women use to put around their eyes for eyelash extensions.” Oh! The pigeons should enjoy it then!
As I said.
Imagine the amount of time and effort these fools spent on making little MAGA hats and gluing them on pigeon heads, to make a completely incoherent statement in opposition to President Trump. All my Facebook friends who scour the news and “resistance” websites every day for stories attacking the President, hysterical memes and manufactured outrage so they can post them for the Facebook Borg and harvest likes and angry faces and “Pray for Bernie!” comments need to realize that these are the kinds of people they are allied with, and that little pigeon hats may be in their futures if they don’t, you know, get help.
And it is cruel. (Would YOU want a MAGA cap glued to your head?) PETA isn’t on the case because the group is doubtlessly occupied with more important matters, like fighting “anti-animal language.”
Robert Crosland, a popular veteran science teacher at Preston Junior High School in Idaho, apparently fed a puppy to a snapping turtle in front of students after school last week. Apparently the puppy was infirm and not expected to live, justifying his conversion into Turtle Chow in the teacher’s view.
Crosland has not been criminally charged or placed on leave—yet—but the school is still investigating and considering its options, as is the Franklin County prosecutor.
Interviewed students said Crosland is a well-liked, “cool” teacher at the school who kept snakes and other reptiles in tanks in his classroom, and had fed guinea pigs to snakes and snapping turtles in past classes. School officials describe him as a passionate, dedicated, gifted teacher. On the other side, Jill Parrish, an animal activist who filed a police report in connection with the alleged feeding, called Crosland’s actions “sick” and “disgusting.”
“Allowing children to watch an innocent baby puppy scream because it is being fed to an animal … that is violence,” Parrish said. “That is not okay.”
The farm described the horse as a step towards ‘perfection’, but equine experts expressed alarm, warning that such an animal may find it difficult to breathe.
Equine expert Tim Greet told reporters that although Arabians were known for their ‘dished’ features, the new mutant colt “takes things to a ridiculous level.” Such a deformity, he opined, could be even worse for a horse than for dogs bred with pushed-in muzzles, like bulldogs…
They do it to cats, too:
Your Ethics Alarms Ethics Quiz Of the Day:
Is breeding animals to emphasize features that may constitute handicaps unethical?
I’m going to hold my fire, but suggest that any analysis consider…
1. “Data from the Association of American Medical Colleges indicate that race is a substantial factor in medical school admissions, not one of many. For example, from 2013 to 2016, medical schools in the United States accepted 94 percent of blacks, 83 percent of Hispanics, 63 percent of whites and 58 percent of Asians with top MCAT scores of 30 to 32 and grade-point averages of 3.6 to 3.8; for MCAT scores of 27 to 29 (G.P.A. of 3.4 to 3.6), the corresponding figures are 81 percent, 60 percent, 29 percent and 21 percent. For low-range MCAT scores of 24-26 (G.P.A. of 3.2 to 3.4), 57 percent of blacks were admitted, 31 percent of Hispanics, 8 percent of whites and 6 percent of Asians.” (New York Times, August 4, 2017) Yet the announcement that the Trump Administration Justice Department Civil Rights Division will be looking at illegal discrimination in university admissions was condemned across the progressive spectrum as an effort to bolster white supremacy and proof of the President’s “racism.”
Those statistics are res ipsa loquitur to me; no further evidence is needed. How can they be otherwise? Medical school admissions are discriminating on the basis of race. A similar set of statistics in any field where blacks rather than Asians were at the bottom would be treated by courts as “disproportionate impact” discrimination no matter what the explanation was.
In the same issue of The Times where this appeared, the paper devoted its entire letters section to readers expressing indignation that any Times writer could praise the President for anything. Micheal Kinsley had triggered them with a tongue-in cheek (Michael has only one tone) “he’s not all-bad” column. This shows the blindness and bias of “the resistance,” Democrats and the Left generally. They cannot even see that open, blatant discrimination based on color, which would have certainly been embraced by a Clinton Administration, is a blight on democracy, and that striking it down will be an absolute good for which any President responsible would warrant praise.
2. When the NFL is involved, all ethics alarms freeze up, apparently. In September, former NFL quarterback Michael Vick will be inducted into the Virginia Tech Sports Hall of Fame. Vick is a convicted felon and confessed animal abuser as a central figure in a dogfighting ring. The case study by the Animal Legal Defense Fund states, “After his three co-conspirators pled guilty and began cooperating with authorities, Vick also pled guilty, admitting to funding the dogfighting operation and the associated gambling operation. He admitted to knowing about four dogs that his co-conspirators killed in 2002, and he admitted to agreeing to the hanging and drowning of 6-8 dogs who underperformed in 2007. Vick admitted he provided most of the operation and gambling monies, but he claimed he did not gamble by placing side bets or receiving proceeds from the purses”.
As I have noted before, admitting athletes like Vick is defensible for Halls of Fame that make it clear that only what a player does on the field matters. The athlete can be a child-molester, serial rapist, mass murderer or airplane bomber, but as long as he could hit his receiver 70 yards down field, he should be held up as a great role model for kids and fit to represent the entire sport forever.
Oops! The Virginia Tech Sports Hall of Fame has a character clause, unlike the NFL’s Hall. It says an admittee “must be of good character and reputation [and]not have been a source of embarrassment to the university in any way.”
I guess we can assume that the school isn’t embarrassed in any way by its alum being responsible for this…
I promised myself I would write this the next time I saw a young woman in my neighborhood, fit, with earbuds, jogging along briskly as her dog desperately tried to keep up while eying enviously my dog, who is allowed to sniff the plants, mark his territory (aka “the world”), enjoy life, and be a dog instead of a pull-toy.
The freedom to do this is why dogs get excited about walks.They also like the companionship of their masters, at least when said master is paying some attention to them. They like being talked to, and looked at. I know this will come as a shock to my neighbor, but they do not like being dragged on a leash and forced to trot unstopping, while their self-absorbed owner listens to Adele.
I know dogs aren’t the most edifying conversationalists, but really, if you can’t spare them your full attention for a few short walks a day, don’t get a dog. What my neighbor does is animal cruelty disguised as a fitness regimen that benefits dog and master.
The look in her dog’s eyes as it passed, panting, collar tugging, broke my heart. The pained expression communicated to my dog, “I’ll love to stay a minute and say hello, butGHHHAHHHG…” and off he went. No pausing, peeing, or playing for him. His owner can’t spare the time.
She’s an asshole.
Next time, I’m going to block her way, make her take out her buds, and tell her off.
No, this isn’t my sister’s Havanese, but you get the idea…
“There are two kinds of people…” and one of the most undeniable ways to finish this much-worn sentence is “those who understand dogs and those who don’t.” To understand them is to marvel at them, cherish them, and love them. Not to understand them, as an astounding number of humans do, is to live in ignorance and fear, and to miss out on one of the mystical joys of life: bonding with an animal.
I never fully appreciated this until my younger sister under went a rare midlife conversion, changing sides from the canine-phobic to the dog-allied. Divorced, she was faced with an empty nest, and though she had always emulated my mother, who had nothing but contempt for dogs (cats too), decided that she could not bear returning to a house with no one to express joy that she had returned.
My wife, who had witnessed my sister’s callous treatment of our dogs, who were greatly insulted, was dubious, and was certain her new companion, an abusrdly cute, cheerful, silly, dumb as a brick Havanese named “Elphie,” would be neglected. She has never been happier to be wrong.
My sister’s entire attitude has changed, not merely toward dogs, but toward the whole of humanity and the world. She is happier, friendlier, more resilient and less anxious. She has fearlessly assisted a huge lost wolf hybrid; she has guided a wandering Great Dane home; she lets pit bulls leap up to lick her. Now she complains that she missed so many years of interaction with what she has learned are fascinating, empathetic, loving creatures with individual personalities and the ability to surprise and delight every single day.
I thought of my sister as I read Lisa Weber’s Comment of the Day on the most recent Ethics Alarms post about the other side. Here it is: