Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Peter Singer and human battery cages

I listen to the ABC news on the radio every night (I don't have a TV). Usually we time dinner so we're eating when the headlines come on. Monday night I tuned in a bit early, because Peter Singer was the feature of the show Talking Heads. I have only just started reading a book by Singer (In Defense of the Animals: the Second Wave which came out in 2006), and I know he's a slightly controversial figure, but it was interesting to hear him speak about his life and his philosophies. He also showed off his cooking skills. The transcript of the interview is here, and if you scroll all the way to the bottom, you can find his recipe for dahl. Andy made it last night, with a few minor adjustments (no bay leaves, extra ginger, cumin, cloves, etc.). The camera batteries died, so I didn't get to take a photo, but it looked like dahl, so it's not that exciting. But it was tasty!

So, blog readers, what are your thoughts on Peter Singer?


Now, on to the human battery cages. Vegetation discusses them, so I'm piggy-backing off her post, but I got really excited when I looked through the website. I shouldn't get ahead of myself, though. A human-sized battery cage is travelling around Australia, setting up in public places, and providing information about battery eggs. They are also distributing a petition which aims to stop the use of battery cages in Australia.

I looked through the tour dates, and although Townsville isn't specifically mentioned, they are coming to the "North Queensland Coast" in July. Surely they're coming to Tville, right? They are asking for volunteers in each city to sit in the cages for a few hours to demonstrate how cramped they really are. Volunteers can also collect signatures, or even house some of the people touring while they're in town. I don't have space for anyone at my house, but I've signed up to sit in the cage. I'm really excited about this. In a nerdy way. I hope that the message hits home for a lot of people, but I'm also hoping to meet some other Australian vegans, in person.

Anyways, check out their site, and if you're in Australia, consider helping out in any way you can. And I'll update this issue if they do come to Tville, with pictures and stuff.


Amy said...

No TV? Wow!

Article was interesting - I've always wanted to read PS's stuff, just never got around to it.

So was the dahl really creamy? Cam (my b/f) normally makes it sans coconut cream. I'll have to try that one.

bazu said...

I like Peter Singer. I think there is a lot of misinformation spread that makes his ideas seem a lot more "radical" than they are. I actually like radicalism, but Singer is one of the most laid-back voiced for animal rights that I know of! Oooh, and I got to meet him in October!

Vicki's Vegan Vice said...

I saw a photo of one of those human cages on urban vegan's blog & it was shocking! I hope you get to do it, and think it's cool that you would. I'm looking forward to seeing & hearing all about that. I'm checking into that dahl recipe...

Lindy Loo said...

I super-dig Peter Singer myself. I don't necessarily always AGREE with him, but he is fantastic at picking apart the logic (or lack thereof) of folks who aren't vegetarian. And he is one of the smartest and yet articulate and easy-to-follow philosophers currently around. Anyways, lest I yammer more, I direct you HERE--I saw him when he came to Cleveland, and them's my thoughts on the man and his ideas. Definitely a cool fellow though and a wonderful veg-advocate. Totally worth checking out his books for those of you who haven't already.

Theresa said...

Amy--the dahl was pretty creamy. I've never done it with coconut cream, but it was pretty tasty. I just had to add a *lot* of salt to get it to my liking.

bazu & lindy loo--thanks for your thoughts! I'll post my thoughts on his book when I'm finished reading it, though it may be a while since I don't get much time for pleasure reading these days. But he did sound super laid back on the interview.

vicki--thanks! I'm really looking forward to it, and I will have a new camera by then so I can post good photos.

Urban Vegan said...

Some vegans hate Peter Singer and feel he has sold out because he has made some concessions and is not as radical as he used to be. But sometimes, with age, comes wisdom. I think he's done more good for animals than most people in the world. Personally, he's one of my heros.

I got to meet him last year, too. He answered some of my silly questions at a book signing:

kristy said...

I'm a Peter Singer fan too and I think he gets quoted out of context and that's generally when people hate him that and the vegan police because he does say he is not super strict when he eats out.

Anonymous said...

Hey Theresa,

I am one of the Human Battery Cage crew (currently having a break from cage-sitting, in Brisbane, still trying to get QLD booked). Townsville is on the agenda. Basically the "North QLD Tour" is anything north of the Sunshine Coast so it will take in any decent sized town/city as far north as Cairns. If you have any ideas as to exact locations suitable for the cages, it would be greatly appreciated. We pick public access areas with high pedestrian traffic like malls, town squares, markets, shopping centres, outside art galleries, etc.
Thanks heaps for your encouragement!

Heather :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog and saying hi! I love meeting new bloggers. :)

I like Peter Singer and I agree with what everyone has already said about him. I would love the opportunity to hear him speak in person one day.

Grumpy Cat said...

Hey Have you read Badiou's critique of Singer - that basically Singer just sees the world as nothing but a series of victims and thus creates a paradigm that calls for an all protective state etc? Its pretty much an extension of Badiou's critique of human rights made in "Ethics".