Thursday, June 04, 2009

Edible mammals and altruism

I studied altruism in my college psychology classes’ decades ago, and I remember the theory that Western civilization eschews eating animals that demonstrate human-like qualities like empathy, self sacrifice and altruism.

For example, we don’t eat dogs and horses because they are a “friend” to mankind, and antidotal evidence abounds of equine and canine altruism.

A dog or a horse will die to help you, and that’s why we don’t eat them.

This principle also extends to the “lesser” mammals (sheep, pigs, and cows) for whom we have no problem eating because they do not express any empathy or compassion for the suffering of others.

No altruism with cows

The behavior of cows reminds me of the uncaring behavior of the business world.

When cows get into a problem:

They can always count on another cow to come along and try to screw them: