Friday, May 8, 2009

ACSH on Stossel, Animals on Our Minds


I hope you’ll forgive me for delaying the comment on Star Trek porn until tomorrow, but I have a more important media note: One of my ACSH colleagues, nutrition expert Dr. Ruth Kava, will be on John Stossel’s 20/20 special episode, You Can’t Even Talk About It, tonight at 10pm Eastern, 9 Central. She’ll be talking about the advantages of irradiating food to make it safer to eat, but Stossel will cover several taboo topics — including the argument that eating endangered species is a good way to ensure their survival (by making their continued existence profitable).

That’s an argument that probably wouldn’t sit well with the winning side in our debate two nights ago on the question “Should Humans Radically Decrease Their Exploitation of Animals?” They voted yes by about 2 to 1.

•I suspect they also wouldn’t be happy with these business cards “made from meat and lasers” that my taxidermist/writer girlfriend Helen pointed out to me.

•They probably also aren’t happy that PETA-praised celebrity Oprah Winfrey is (sort of) giving people free KFC chicken, as Diana Fleischman points out to me. (ACSH is more upset Oprah’s giving Jenny McCarthy airtime and blogging space to spread anti-vaccine conspiracy theories.)

•Finally, the pro-animal faction won’t like stories like this one about kids supposedly made ill by veganism.

Nonetheless, any decent person is moved by animal suffering — whether it’s the limping of an oddly-deformed dog I see near the ACSH offices who has one extra-long, bendy leg or the occasional seizures of my parents’ dog Jaycie, who’ll I’ll see while in New England over the next two days (along with my Grandmother), before a Tuesday night trip to DC (so don’t be alarmed if I’m hard to reach).

And you can help an animal — and ACSH — if you like (and if someone else hasn’t already done so) by giving a nice home to Tiki, the big, chubby, grey tiger tabby (in the photo above) belonging to ACSH second in command Dr. Gil Ross and his family, who have moved into new, less Tiki-appropriate apartments. You can reach Ross at ross[at] if you’re in NYC and want to meet Tiki (and should assume that by the end of May, the situation is resolved).


Todd Seavey said...

In related news, a kangaroo is apparently loose in upstate New York:

I’m sure to Australian readers, if I have any, this doesn’t sound too exciting. But then again, I often see foreign tourists in NYC excitedly photographing squirrels in Central Park, which to us is like pointing at the sky and saying “Look! Blue!!”

Gerard said...

I’m going to pay close attention to this Stossel special, especially the segment focusing on performance-enhancing drugs. I got a lot of pushback from one of the ParcBench founders-who’s also a fervent supporter of The New York Mets-when I meticulously laid out my pro-steroids argument on Facebook in response to the Manny Ramirez controversy.

BTW, I ate sirloin steak the day after that debate, and plan on having another sometime this afternoon/evening.

-good times, G.

Gerard said...

FWIW, I agree with your point that being carnivorous-and/or being in favor of animal experimentation that leads to tangible medical advances-does not preclude sympathy for animal welfare in genera.

Take the recent story of an escaped cow from Queens, for example. I myself think halal slaughterhouses should be, if not entirely outlawed, then extremely circumscribed in their activities.

Diana said...

“They had a strict vegan diet, and ate only raw food. ”

raw diet ≠ vegan diet

Diana said...

well, all raw diets are vegan but it’s really hard to get all the calories and nutrients you need by eating raw. Plus the animals don’t care if you eat your greens raw or cooked as long as it’s not a side dish for one of their shanks.