03 September, 2011

Joel Marks and defenseless baby chicks.

Joel Marks is my new best friend. (Sorry about the lameness of that link, buddy. I don't have time right now to do better. Feel free to drop me a line about it.)

Joel Marks is totally cupcake worthy.

And I am totally excited about Joel Marks, in case you cannot tell, even though the only things that I know about him are: What he wrote in a recent article published in the New York Times.

The Stone: Confessions of an Ex-Moralist
Published: August 21, 2011
How one philosopher learned to live without moral truth.

One of the things I love about the world, since I have fallen out of my depression, decided to dance with my deepest desires and look at my fears even more directly than I had in the past, is that I am constantly falling across people who are doing these things better than me.

I have also fallen in love with a good, long, run-on sentence, in case you haven't already noticed. My bad.

People doing things better than I do, so I don't have to: Joel Marks. And my friend Lily Elaine. And a friend of hers. And another friend of mine. And, literally, dozens of others. And I digress.

Because I would be happy to take Joel Marks up on an ethical question he raises, that I have already resolved for myself.

It is a difficult ethical question. And we have both gone opposite ways. Again.

And I don't want to get lost in the eleven pages of commentary on the article linked above, though I thoroughly enjoyed reading the first page of the (at this time) approximately 272 responses.

This ethical question is regarding what we do about baby chicks we don't need. Which is a problem currently solved using a wood chopper. Totally gross! And horrific! And possibly terribly wasteful, considering a good capon makes quite a tasty dish.

Are they bad capons, that they must suffer so? Not the question I asked myself. The question I asked myself was this:

Does it matter to the baby chick? Wood chopper or Birds of prey. Hmm, let me see.

I introduce birds of prey because we used to raise chickens for the eggs, my brother and I. We bought them from the store, and tended them carefully until they were grown. They didn't get gobbled up by birds of prey as promptly as their own baby chicks, and our grown chickens are another question, because I am talking about other baby chicks.

And in particular the baby chicks raised in the benevolent neglect provided by their own parents, in the context of living off of the public tit--our roadside property.

In my own heart, I do not believe it matters to the baby chicks. Or their parents.

But it probably matters to humans, because nobody really wants that job. Tossing the baby chicks into to the wood chopper. Who is it going to hurt? It hurts that person's soul, who would like a more fulfilling job, like tending baby chicks in an ethically responsible way. But can't find one, because the bottom line has called up the wood chopper. And because we don't have the right kind of social support to allow most people the luxury of examining any other option for as long as it takes to find the right job. Or even one that is good enough.

Egg farmers, this is your problem, and you need to fix it. And for the love of god, help that guy at the wood chopper find a better job, or give him one. If you, the owner, are willing to stand at the wood chopper yourself to benefit, your bottom line, fine by me. I may or may not buy those eggs, who knows. I can't actually cook eggs, so I don't buy a lot of them.

Everyone else? Make sure this is not a process used in the production of eggs you are willing to personally purchase.

One way or the other, these problems have better solutions. Labeling is the next problem. Which I do not have a smarty-pants answer for. Chopper-free? Doesn't quite have the right tone.

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