NYT"s Kristof Wonders if Animals Might Be Our Moral Superiors

The New York Times' Nicholas Kristof thinks animals might be morally superior to humans. To be fair, they may very well be morally superior to Kristof.

Oh, and by the way he's still cool with eating the morally superior animals. What? Nothing tastes better than chicken with some moral superiority sauce.

The New York Times:
The nobility of geese was most on display at execution time. My job as an 11-year-old when we beheaded the geese was to capture a bird and take it to the chopping block as my dad wielded the ax.

So I would rush at the terrified flock and randomly grab an unlucky goose. The bird in my arms would honk in terror and try to escape, and the other geese would cower in the corner of the barn.

Then one goose would emerge from the flock and walk tremulously toward me, terrified but unwilling to abandon its mate. It would waddle after me toward the chopping block, trying to honk comfort to its mate.

Even as a child, I was awed. This was raw courage and fidelity — and maybe conjugal love, although it sounds hokey to say so — that made me wonder if these animals were actually our moral superiors.

Maybe my farmboy recollections reflect anthropomorphism or soggy sentimentality. But, in the last decade or so, scientists have conducted experiments that tend to confirm the notion that poultry are smarter and more sophisticated than we give them credit for.
I love when pro-abortion rights people defend animals. It smells like moral idiocy.



  1. Geese (the whole duck-goose-swan family, really) are very prone to using forced matings as a reproductive strategy. They do often mate for life, but the males still roam around and try to force matings on other females (I don't know of any other monogamous species where that happens).

    So...not really moral exemplars, geese, if we're going to pretend they have the free will that would make their actions "moral" or "immoral". It's like with the whole idea of legal personhood for chimpanzees and dolphins—do we start prosecution for them being a bunch of thrill-killing serial rapists?

  2. In Somalia they are treating the mentally ill by locking them in a room overnight with a hyena. They believe hyenas can discern evil spirits causing the psychosis. Maybe Kristof should try that treatment and see how morally superior animals are and if it works.

  3. And I wonder whether animals might not be intellectually superior to the reporters at the NY Times.

  4. I liked the article. I feel sorry for the goose too.

  5. I work for divorce lawyers and clients - many "katholic" - who have never met a vow they couldn't wiggle out of, so I am always happy to hurry home to my loving, loyal, intelligent dachshund.


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