Animal Ethics: Is it okay to eat ants?

Cheryl Abbate authored the most recent Philosophy Phriday entry over at The Daily Ant on the subject. Here’s a preview if you haven’t already seen it:

Even though some animals have different behaviors and different neurological structures from that of humans, we, more likely than not, are the same in a way that matters. The evidence of ant sociality, communication, teaching, and memory, taken together with Barron’s and Klein’s (2016) finding that the insect brain supports a capacity for subjective experience, provides us with compelling reasons to believe that even “mere” ants are conscious and thus deserving of our moral consideration. The behavior of ants is highly complex and arguably intelligent, and it indicates that there is something that happens in ant life other than mechanical stimulus-responses similar to reflexes.

The whole post is here.

 

“Calcium does not increase bone density”

According to the NY Times:

Calcium, eaten in foods or taken as supplements, has little or no effect on bone density or the risk of fracture in people over 50, according to two large reviews of studies in BMJ.

Presumably that’s the British Medical Journal. Before dismissing the finding as just another of these reversals of beliefs so ingrained as to seem like common sense, do know that the studies together had over 50,000 participants. And the BMJ is very highly regarded.

I can’t decide quite why I’m feeling a bit irritated. Maybe one or many of these:

– The chances of a reversal of this showing up within a year, given how these hot health news stories get worked out.
– The sanctimonious manner in which one can be asked by anyone taking health data, “And calcium supplements”?
– The number of times I’ve checked on the calcium content of foods.
– The times I’ve bought prime cost yoghurt because of its high calcium content.

The Ethics of In-Vitro Flesh and Enhanced Animals

Abstracts and call for participation: The Ethics of In-Vitro Flesh and Enhanced Animals (sponsored by the Wellcome Trust)

When will this conference take place?
18-19 September 2014

Where will the conference be held?
Rothbury, Northumberland, England

The conference will take place at the Rothbury Golf Club, starting at 9.00 hrs on Thursday and finishing at 17.00 hrs on Friday.

Call for participation
Everyone who is willing to discuss the conference themes is invited to participate. As places are limited, early booking is advisable. Speakers will generally present papers in 30 mins, followed by 30 mins of discussion.

How do I register?
Registration is made by paying the fee of £ 30, using the following link: http://webstore.ncl.ac.uk/browse/extra_info.asp?compid=1&modid=2&catid=36&prodid=301
Registration includes the conference dinner on Thursday night, as well as lunches and refreshments on Thursday and Friday. Lunches will comprise a main course, with an option to purchase dessert. For any specific dietary or access requirements, please email Jacqueline.McAloon@ncl.ac.uk. Please note that, for administrative reasons, it is not possible to register for part of the conference. Please also email Jacqueline to inform her whether you would be interested in participating in an informal, pre-conference meeting for drinks and/or dinner on Wednesday evening.

Who are the speakers?
Bernice Bovenkerk, Philosophy Group, Wageningen University.
Amanda Cawston, Faculty of Philosophy and Downing College, University of Cambridge.
Jan Deckers, School of Medical Education, Newcastle University.
Clemens Driessen, Cultural Geography, Environmental Sciences Group, Wageningen University.
Arianna Ferrari, Institut für Technikfolgenabschätzung und Systemanalyse, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology.
Linnea Laestadius, School of Public Health, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Clare McCausland, Human Rights & Animal Ethics Research Network, University of Melbourne.
John Miller, School of English, University of Sheffield.
Lars Øystein Ursin, Department of Public Health and General Practice, Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
Kay Peggs, School of Social, Historical and Literary Studies, University of Portsmouth.
G. Owen Schaefer, Lincoln College, University of Oxford.
Barry Smart, School of Social, Historical and Literary Studies, University of Portsmouth.
Cor van der Weele, Department of Communication, Philosophy and Technology, Wageningen University.
Read More »

Breakfast of champions

A great new blog affords us a glimpse into each other’s cereal bowls, along with some glorious photos, some pithy research blurbs and some neato reflections on food and eating. academic breakfast invites anyone who thinks of themselves as an academic to snap a pic of their breakfast and send it in along with brief answers to questions about research interests and philosophy of food. There are already a few feminist philosophers in the gallery… and some great breakfast ideas. Fun!