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  • Writer's pictureCrone


This hawthorn is part of a hedge that's been sliced down to about 5ft, but it's close enough to the old oak to avoid the hedge-cutting machine.

I feel like I could do with protection.

I would protect myself from stupidity. Like the stupid unthought claims people make to justify their self-interest. Actually, maybe stupidity isn't the problem. The bloody self-interest.

I'm reading a rather good book by a bioethicist called Melanie Challenger. She recently wrote an article for Aeon and that persuaded me to get the book, How to be Animal. She seems to believe, as I do, that there is no difference, morally, between us and other animals - it's just our human-made and humanly convenient claim of our uniqueness.I don't understand how anyone can believe that the ability to think in a certain way or be of a certain species makes one being's life infinitely more valuable than another's.

Look, I'm not saying meat is murder. Especially if one actually needs it to survive (well, that cuts down the percentage to possibly single digits). But I am saying that killing another animal matters. And that it matters as much morally as killing a human, whom one can also kill to survive. I guess I'm saying it's just not ethical, but that we all do some unethical things, we won't go to hell for them, but why can't we admit them?

I supported animal killing when I had my COVID-19 vaccine. And I support animal killing when I eat cheese. I don't think either are ethical but my self-interest overcame my morality. I'm not going to pretend that my behaviour is consistent with my beliefs, but nor, dammit, will I attempt to make up spurious arguments to justify my self-interest. So there.

Incidentally, Challenger is also a poet and... er... writer of operas. Sickeningly, she's younger than me. Mind you, there are probably more people younger than me than older than me. Especially after COVID.

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