Wednesday, November 2, 2022

The Ethicist: One Man's Pleasure

Dear Ethicist:

I have a friend who’s a real humanist. In fact, he’s a card carrying member of the Humane Society and is all in when it comes to protesting the horrible conditions that go along with industrial pig and chicken production. He doesn’t find “Where’s the Beef?” funny even though you can often find him at Burger King where he's a big fan of The Impossible Whopper. Animal rights are his mantra, but human beings can can say one thing and do another. One man’s pleasure is another’s pain. Thus I'm always perplexed about what to do when I see him rolling his basset hound's ears up in a little ball. The animal whimpers, but my friend doesn't realize he's torturing his pet. I'm not the only one who's been disconcerted by the sight of my friend in front of a roaring fire at his country estate, drinking brandy from an oversized snifter with one hand, while pulling that poor animal’s ears (and naturally the legs of all those around him). What to do? If I tell him he will feel humiliated and aghast. If I remain silent, I'm complicit in animal abuse, which is a felony in most states. Am I no better than one of those hunters who shoot rhinoceros for taxidermic purposes? Should I even turn myself in, though my friend himself is so clueless that he doesn’t realize anything is wrong?


Name Withheld 



Hi, The real question goes back to why you're friends with this person in the first place. It’s fun to be around would-be aristocrats who have hounds which give chase to their quarry, but grow up. It’s 2022. This isn’t Tom Jones and even the most pretentious country gentleman is more likely to travel by Uber than horse.

read "The Ethicist: Warning Signs, TheScreamingPope

listen to "Dogg Pound" by Snoop Dogg


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