1) Animal cruelty — as much as I mistrust government to enact sensible legislation on this topic, particularly given all the lobbies involved, I’m getting more and more convinced the older I get that while it isn’t intrinsically immoral to kill animals for meat, it may be immoral — and is at the very least unnecessary and creepy — to treat the animals that we eat as ranchers and chicken farmers do before they are killed.
What about a law that allowed a public representative to photograph the conditions on these farms at any time, and to post all the images on the Internet? Consumer choice might work wonders to improve things were full information easily and widely available.
I am beginning to think that zoos are suspect too, especially for primates and dolphins.
Perhaps inconsistently I do like bullfights, though the bulls are actually treated astonishingly well up until the moment they die. Were I born a bull, I might wish to be born a bullfighting bull, though the bargain would really smart in the end.
2) Tortious Interference — if you’ve seen The Insider, this is the law that caused 60 Minutes to hold back an interview with an ex-tobacco executive who knew the company was intentionally trying to addict smokers by manipulating chemicals in the cigarettes.
The law is basically this: if you sign a secrecy agreement with your employer, and then I, as a journalist or an activist or whatever, convince you to break your secrecy agreement, I can be held liable. It’s a big problem for investigative journalists. I favor narrow exceptions for legitimate industrial secrets — the formula for Coke, for example — and national security concerns.
Posted by conor friedersdorf in Uncategorized