A very good sentence

We care about African animals and British people, but ignore African people and British animals.

That is from Andrew Pearson, via Ben Southwood.  And here is an interesting WaPo Lindsey Bever article about the economics of hunting big game.

Comments

I think there is plenty of utilitarian balance to be had caring for both living humans and vanishing species. In fact, such "pithy" objections just punt on the obligation.

No you're either #LionLivesMatter or #AllLivesMatter. Where you stand decides which friends you keep.

I think if someone lured a lion out of Whipsnade Zoo and killed it, the British would be rather upset. Even if the killer wasn't from Minnesota, or even a dentist.

What British animals are being ignored?

considering the initial tweet is hashtagged 'veggie', i think we can presume that we are not supposed to be eating british animals.

One good thing about Cecil was, he never ate a British animal!

Yup, if we all turned veggie we'd have no need for all those pesky meat animals and could just exterminate the lot.

Paddington Bear. No one went to see his movie.

This comment cannot be surpassed.

Paddington is from Peru.

Bloody immigrants, coming over here, eating our marmalade.

/slow clap

He's Peruvian. Bloody immigrants coming over here, eating our marmalade.

Possibly referring to the government plans to allow a free vote on overturning the ban on hunting with hounds (which has been postponed until the government can rig the vote more effectively), although this is opposed by ~75% of the population.

How about the debate over culling the Seagull population in the U.K.?

Our British friends actually get very passionate about several charismatic local species, including hedgehogs and badgers. Bird-watching is, I believe, a British invention. Fox-hunting was a huge national issue a few years ago.

Yeah, no one who thinks that is a good sentence has spent any substantial amount of time in the UK.

But it is not bad to care about African animals. Although it would be best to care about all of these things, it is silly to label a "small step towards a better world" as hypocrisy. A mediocre sentence, at best.

Is a world where people show greater interest in the death of an animal with a youtube page than in the death of a human obviously a better world? Or is it simply a world where people spend too much time on the internet?

I'm not sure how clear the answer is.

I liked Alex's tweet: "Pro tip: Don't kill an animal that has a name."

Shows the limits of economics to explain human nature. Sure, there is a basic utility in preserving the planet and future environmental services, but also we can bond to an animal with a name. Whatever makes us identify in groups also lets us bring in animals to those groups. See also expensive cancer treatments for the family dog.

"one death is a tragedy, a million is a statistic" is generally not regarded as a POSITIVE attribute to human nature (at least not without heavy qualification).

One death is Kahneman's system one, one million deaths is system two. It's harder.

BTW, I applaud the Gates Foundation because they approach charity in a very "system two" way. Not many do.

I applaud the Gates Foundation because they approach charity in a very “system two” way. Not many do.

But Kahneman actually uses an anecdote involving the Gates Foundation to illustrate tendency for spurious reliance on statistics.

Found it. But of course we knew system two is hard. I don't believe Kahneman suggested a Gladwell Blink as the alternative.

Why do people keep using "system X & Y" terminology to describe anything? It's completely nondescriptive.

So, this is what it feels like when I tell other people about moral weight worthiness.

Man, I gotta be more careful with that. Then again, is there any way to actually talk about morals without being a bit of a scold?

Nope. Morals is about not doing things that are easy and immediately satisfying. Like Thai food.

"but ignore African people and British animals": au bleeding' contraire - the moral preeners of the UK bang on and on about African people and British animals. You can't shut the sods up on those topics. Presumably the writer was being wilfully blind and deaf.

We care about African animals killed by Americans, but not about the corrupt and incompetent management of their native species. American dentists are not the main reason why elephants and rhinos are disappearing.

yep, let's lay the blame where it belongs: squarely at the feet of the rich asians buying poached horn.

Or, possibly at the fact that these are nasty predators had a bad habit of killing the livestock and damaging the crops of the local populations, thereby earning themselves a bad reputation. Don't those silly locals know that these animals are really cuddly in the photos that wealthy foreigners take?

thank god there are small-dicked minnesota dentists around to protect the livestock.

Dude, hunters are commonly the reason that the populations survive. Legal hunting turns the animals from a nuisance to be exterminated to a source of revenue.

But, we can't let facts get in the way of a clever and sophisticated dick joke.

Biggest danger to lions is poison

Michael probably has it right. As Henry George observed, "Both humans and hawks eat chickens — but the more hawks, the fewer chickens; while the more humans, the more chickens [http://www.henrygeorge.org/pchp8.htm]." This statement would likely apply to lions, elephants, and rhinos as well as chickens, if property rights over those animal populations were firmly established.

"if property rights over those animal populations were firmly established."

You get to be the one who puts the collar on the lion...

Right. The African people have been ignored by the West to the tune of Trillions of $ in aid over the years.

African people were bought and sold as property for what in current economic terms and price theory would be a price in trillions. Ie, conservative economists would call the lost wealth of ending slavery today instead of circa 1865 in the range of at least a trillion dollars.

Not to mention the price of oil products from pillage and plundering Africa.

Or the price of gold from white people pillage and plundering Africa and doing so by enslaving Africans to dig it out.

"African people were bought and sold as property"

People of all races on pretty much all continents, including Europe, have been bought and sold as property. Also, Africans bought and sold EACH OTHER as property, and still do. There are plenty of white slaves, bought and sold by Africans. What's your point?

What's remarkable about the British when it comes to slavery is that they were the first people to ban slavery!

White slave traders waited on the seashore for blacks to deliver other blacks to them.

Yet slavery is solely a white sin.

I am genetically an Icelander, so as it happens probably the last people "my people" kept as slaves were probably British.

That said, I totally get why the linkage to black slavery is so strong in America. Duh, it is the last slavery. It is almost in living history, whereas any linkage in Iceland is buried in the genetic record. Not only that, it can be buried. Icelandic descendants of Irish slaves do not look different. They are not discriminated against. There is no Icelandic freaking KKK out there protesting against them.

So NZ and Bob, get over yourselves. It'd different.

"it is the last slavery"
"get over yourselves. It’d different."

The US abolished slavery before the Brazilians did. So, not the last.

A fixation on race and whose ancestors did what to whose others ancestors is unhealthy and counterproductive.

It is *our* last slavery. If we were Brazilians, yes, indeed we'd be talking about a different *our*.

Ohio did better than most in the US though, outlawing slavery in 1802. A good 50 year jump on the plantation holders. One of the strange twists of 21st century politics is that northerners suddenly think they should identify more with plantation holders. Did you buy your Confederate flag?

"1894: Korea officially abolishes slavery, but it survives in practice until 1930."
"1906: China formally abolishes slavery effective 31 January 1910,"
"1928: Iran abolishes slavery."
"1962: Saudi Arabia abolishes slavery."
"1981: Mauritania abolishes slavery."

"That said, I totally get why the linkage to black slavery is so strong in America. Duh, it is the last slavery. It is almost in living history ..."

LOL, no it's not even close.

If you guys admitted to being Korean or Saudi slaves, you might actually get some sympathy. But no, you are just smug white people with no sense of empathy for your close neighbors.

you are like, if I can get over the possibility that one of my ancestors might have been a slave 1000 years ago, why can't this guy get over the KKK march that was held last week?

http://www.postandcourier.com/article/20150629/PC16/150629298/kkk-to-rally-for-confederate-flag-july-18-at-statehouse

The only smug white person around here is John.

You did not say "our" last slavery but "the" last. Wrong on the facts you resort to playing the confederate flags card.

As for empathy, you do not have close neighbors who were slaves. The last US slave died before we were born. Guilt over something no one in my ancestry chain had anything to do with is not my idea of empathy.

"A fixation on race and whose ancestors did what to whose others ancestors is unhealthy and counterproductive."

Can you explain, (and not calling you one), right-wingers, have a particular fascination with bringing up what their colonial ancestors would want America to look like now, when its convenient? Or why some seem to care so much about honoring their ancestors, ones they are generations removed from, who fought in certain wars? Is that healthy?

Well the founding fathers wrote the fricking constitution so it actually does matter what they thought

BTW, slavery has been banned lots of times, starting in the 3rd century BC.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abolition_of_slavery_timeline

Our 1863 ban is just the most recent, for us here in America. Interesting to read about the laggards who took even longer.

The French were the first to abolish Slavery (1794). This was repealed by Napoleon who restored it in 1802. The British abolished the slave trade in 1807 and slavery itself in 1833.

Sub-Saharan Africans are reproducing at an unprecedented rate, and it is Western technology and disease prevention that is allowing this. It is the West (and China) that has transformed Africa from the fairly static, disease ridden, subsistence level societies that dominated Africa 5 centuries ago to the rapid growth we see today.

king of beasts slain by midwestern dentist = marketing gold

Planned Parenthood doesn't care about British people. They'll cut 'em up and sell the body parts.

Given I found a private hunting reserve with a price of $35,000 for a trophy lion, http://www.africahuntlodge.com/lion_hunt_package.asp with photos of lions bagged that are very impressive, the idea that Cecil was not the intended target of the dentist from the day he left Minnesotta is not credible.

Wrong. We care about what British people do to African animals.

"We" care about whatever gets us more "likes."

...in a couple decades British people will be endangered.

My good friend Bruce Janz (philosopher at UCF) once did a lecture on the view of Africa provided by The Lion King. A continent "peopled" by animals, with no humans. The sentence you quoted is quite accurate!

You mean cartoons are not documentaries?

Plutocrats under fire, unleash the hounds Smithers!

Minnesotan dentists are considered plutocrats?

No just the ones that have $55K to drop on hunting trophies.

Only the ones who are good at their jobs and also enjoy travel

I remember a few days ago watching a Anthony Bourdain talking to a Mexican photographer who has been reporting murders in Mexico who also photographed an animal that was brutally killed and he said, quite sadly, that the picture of the killed animal was the one that generated more outrage...

It's possible the Mexican populace understands the ordinary run of homicides to be composed of casualties of intramural disputes among gangbangers.

Yeah, and a similar comment was made in his recent episode in Madagascar by a local politician. About how westerners want to protect the monkeys, while the hungry locals want to eat them. People care more about the monkeys than the people.

I get it, but this is also so cynical. I can't stand these debates where we disregard human emotion. Its what makes being alive in this world such a gift.

Irrational love for wild animals makes being alive a gift?

There are well over a billion humans living in Africa, but only about 30,000 lions, so I'd only need to weight a lion as worth about 2.5*10^-5 as much as an African human to care as much about a dead lion as a dead African.

It's far worse than simply ignoring African people. The rich, white bleeding hearts in power had banned DDT and more millions of African peoples were stricken (malaria, sleeping sickness, etc.) and too many died.

Dr. Carson asked how can Planned Parenthood could sell unborn-baby body parts if the murdered fetus isn't HUMAN?

Liar. DDT was never banned for mosquito control, just for indiscriminate agricultural use - which was leading to resistance to DDT anyway.

Try arguing facts instead of made up right wing (and really stupid) propaganda for a change.

Hmm, that doesn't sound right to me

Yet the African population has grown far more quickly over the past 50 years than any other continent on Earth. If the bleeding hearts' goal was higher African mortality they failed miserably.

ROFLMAO!! Folks, everyone is so hilarious, and I presume that is the intent

"We care about African animals and British people, but ignore African people and British animals"

There is some massive Cognitive Dissonance going on in that statement, considering all the aid to Africa, and the fact that nobody cares about the British working class anymore.
It also brings up a very good question, why should we help people in Africa? - Are not they our competitors for resources?

I don't care about British people.

I ride 30 miles in the morning and see about 5 dead animals in the road. Anything from squirrels to peoples' pet cats. 30 miles is a tiny fraction of the UK's road network so imagine the killing that goes on overnight in total in the UK. Do you think for one moment any lazy British motorist would consider not driving or not driving so fast or agreeing to speed limiters on their cars just to save something in the road? This happens every night, every day.

It's quite possible that lions may go extinct in my lifetime.

I could care less about africans who breed like rabbits, and will soon make up the majority of the worlds population despite contributing extremely little in art, music, science, architecture, medicine, or pretty much anything that gives value to my life.

In fact, more africans means more africans moving to my country and making my life that much worse. Lions are cool and I can go see them at the zoo. They don't go suck up all the tax dollars, make my city dangerous to live in, increase income inequality, and raise the price of good real estate so that I can't afford to start a family. I quite like lions.

Lions > Africans

I could care less about africans who breed like rabbits,

My great-great grandparents had more children a piece than the typical denizen of Tropical Africa.

Note to the moderator: your comment box has been invaded by a neo-Nazi.

Judging from the harassment of the dentist that is described in the WaPo Lindsey Bever article, we can also probably say that some people care more about African animals than American dentists. Understood that some people believe that hunting is immoral and sinful, just as others believe that eating meat, gambling, premarital sex, or gay sex are immoral and sinful. If people bombarded a dentist's Yelp page with non-dentistry-related negative reviews because he ate meat, gambled, engaged in premarital sex or gay sex, we would recognize such behavior as over-the-top harassment, an inappropriate abuse of Yelp and, in the case of gay sex, it might even be a hate crime. And, before someone tries to distinguish between legal and illegal hunting, targeting a dentist's dentistry practice because the dentist illegally plays poker with his neighbors would also be inappropriate.

Catch and release sport fishing is considered a good thing. Why isn't it considered fish torture? http://nailheadtom.blogspot.com/2015/04/fish-torture.html

They did an exit poll of caught fish. Those that were released had an overwhelming positive response. Those that weren't, remained silent on the issue.

When you say care, do you mean put them in a zoo and put them on welfare?

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