Lying to Dogs

Could you lie to this dog?

I am looking at a box of “premium dog treats” that my sister gave Rugby, my Jack Russell Terrier. (All right, she gave the stuff to me to give to Rugby.) The box says that they are “ridiculously delicious.” I have just offered him one of the “natural wellness nuggets” because we are temporarily out of regular dog biscuits and he is clamoring for his afternoon snack, driving me crazy in the process. You don’t want to be in the room when a Jack Russell clamors.

He refuses to touch it. In the past, he has spat them out; occasionally he will throw them around the house like an Olympic discus thrower would do if he had no arms and could only use his mouth. Clearly, Rugby doesn’t believe the damn things are edible. Continue reading

Unappetizing Spam Of The Day

Ethics Alarms gets about two times as many spam comments as real ones, most of which I can discard without a second’s thought. Occasionally one brings me up short, however, like this one. If it’s not spam, the blog is being followed by some very strange people. The comment was:

“Thanks for the post. I am always looking for ways to improve my gardening and cooking skills. My family loves eating real food.’

The post it was in response to is… “Unavoidable Bias in the Embryonic Stem Cell Research Controversy.”


Food Preparation and the Right to Have Unethical Views

Ethicist Chris McDonald, who holds forth on his  Business Ethics Blog, has a provocative post on the right to know what you’re eating on another of his blogs, the Food Ethics Blog. I have no quarrel with the main point of his post, which I recommend that you read it here.

A related point in the article, however, not involving ingredients but food preparation, caused me to stop and ponder. Dr. McDonald writes…

“… imagine again that you’re a waiter or waitress. As you set a plate of food down in front of a customer, the customer asks: “Were any ‘minorities’ involved in the production of this food? Do you have any foreigners working in the kitchen?” Appalled, you stammer: “Excuse me?!” The customer continues, “I don’t like immigrants, and I don’t like the idea of them touching my food. I have the right to know what I’m eating!” Does this customer have the right to that information? Most of us, I think, would say no, of course not. She might see that information as really important — important to letting her live her life the way she wants to — but few of us would agree that anyone else is obligated to help her live out her racist values.”

I think the customer’s request for information regarding who is preparing one’s food is a valid one. Continue reading