The New York Yankees baseball franchise is worth $3,200,000,000. Damn! I was thinking of buying it and putting a losing team on the field every year. Oh, wait. They're already doing that. (Sorry, John and David.)
If you thought conservatives stayed home in 2012, when Mitt Romney was the Republican presidential candidate, watch what happens in 2016 if Jeb Bush is the nominee. Many conservative Americans, including me, will stay home. (As readers of this blog now know, "stay home" is meant figuratively, not literally. I may well go to the poll that day, but I will not vote for a presidential candidate.)
Dr. Dean Ornish notes the vast inefficiency of meat consumption, which entails growing large quantities of soy, corn and grain to feed animals, so that humans can eat those animals (“The Myth of High-Protein Diets,” Op-Ed, March 23).
Dr. Ornish also ably makes the case that animal protein is linked to heart disease, cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. What this means is that we are, as a society, wasting resources to create a product that is destroying our quality of life and killing us. This makes as much sense as taking pure well water, cycling it through a sewer system and then drinking it. It is past time for a societal shift away from meat consumption.
The writer is director of policy for Farm Sanctuary, a national farm animal protection organization.
Ms. Engeln’s research shows that “fat talk” is pervasive and linked to body dissatisfaction and disordered eating. She suggests that the solution lies in our hands: “What matters is that . . . we women stop talking this way.”
My research reveals that the damage runs much deeper. Personal narratives of 250 young people show a fat-obsessed culture in which identity is tied to weight. Struggles over weight are tearing families apart and worsening inequalities of gender, class and race. Fat talk is deeply damaging to us as individuals and as a country.
Stopping the fat talk is not as simple as changing the conversation. Fat talk is the main “weapon” in a large-scale war on fat in which fatness is tied to citizenship. Those who do not meet the thin, fit ideal are considered undeserving of membership in the community of good Americans.
Based on the false notion that anyone can lose weight by dieting and exercising, it is culturally legitimate to “educate,” badger and bully people about their weight.
The war on fat is now deeply embedded in the American way of life. Fat talk and the harm it does will continue to diminish us as a people until we change the wider cultural, political and economic complex that fosters fat hatred.
The writer, a professor of anthropology at Harvard, is the author of the forthcoming book “Fat-Talk Nation: The Human Costs of America’s War on Fat.”
Note from KBJ: If you weigh more than you want to, eat less and exercise more.
The very word 'partial', in its predominant usage, tends to carry pejorative undertones. The Oxford English Dictionary gives its first meaning as 'unduly favouring one party or side in a suit or controversy; biased, interested, unfair'. The negative connotations are long established: a seventeenth-century sermon condemns the sins of 'worldliness, luxury, and sinister partial dealing'. In the past the word could sometimes be used with more neutral or even positive associations; thus Hume speaks (apparently without disapproval or irony) of sexual love as 'an affection more partial than that of friendship'. But such usage is described by the OED as 'now rare'. The reference to lawsuits in our first dictionary quotation is no accident, for the context in which partiality acquires its negative connotation is of course the public arena. In government and the administration of justice, officials are expected to serve the public interest, and bias in favour of personal and sectional interests is the hallmark of corruption—akin to, and often in fact linked with, bribery. It is interesting to compare bribery with its non-financial analogue, nepotism. When a public official takes a bribe, a financial inducement enters into, and distorts, what should have been an impartial evaluation of the case, based on its merits. Nepotism is free of this financial taint, but is widely felt to be tainted in a parallel way: a personal inducement, in this case desire to give a boost to a relative, distorts what should be an unbiased evaluation of the merits of rival candidates. (Etymologically, the word 'nepotism' comes from the classical Latin term for a grandson (nepos), though in medieval Latin by a curious shift the word came to mean 'nephew'; the OED lists the first meaning of 'nepotism' as 'the practice on the part of Popes or other ecclesiastics of showing special favour to nephews' . Since the rule of priestly celibacy prevented direct-line dynasties, for a Pope to elevate a nephew to the College of Cardinals was the next best thing to elevating a son—and in some cases 'nephew' may in fact have been a euphemism for an actual son born out of wedlock.)
Michael Ruse is a dolt masquerading as a philosopher. He acts as though nobody has solved the problem of evil. Has he read the literature? Has he engaged it? How sad that he gets a column in the New York Times to display his sophomoric understanding.