25 May 2007

No More Chimps! But Lots of Babies! Plus, Kids Walking to School!

It only took me minutes to find a few things to bring up today. Such wackiness. Let's begin, shall we?


A Win and a Loss

The National Institute of Health has discontinued using chimps for medical research. Now, this doesn't mean that that they are releasing the ones that they already have, but it does mean that they aren't going to either breed or purchase more. The NIH has said this is because of the cost of upkeeping the animals (over half a million dollars per chimp per lifetime, which can surpass 50 years in captivity), but I'm sure that it has a lot to do with animal welfare organizations busting their chops for decades about it.

I feel that this is one of those grey areas where it's hard to take a side. On the one hand, experimenting on chimps is akin to experimenting on the mentally retarded, as far as I'm concerned. I'd read an argument likening it to that, seeing as how chimps are about as intelligent, and have been shown to show the same anxieties and fears.

On the other hand, it will make advances in science more difficult, because we are losing that which are closest to us genetically, which is of course why it is so wrong. It gives me a headache thinking about it, but I'm glad they're putting it to a stop. There's still about 500 chimps in captivity, and I'm wondering what is going to happen to them.


Menstruation and Fox News

So, there's a new birth control pill on the market that eliminates menstruation, Lybrel. Let's be clear before I get into this any further: I'm a man. Therefore my opinon about women's choices involving their bodies is only my own, and I'd never hold it over anyone's head (or uterus ). It's your bodies.


On the one hand, I support birth control. I'm not going to get really into that discussion here, but that's where I stand. But this is a pill that stops menstruation. Now, I'm only speculating here, but does it seem wise to tamper with a natural cycle in the human body, as uncomfortable and inconvenient as it is? I've heard arguments that a woman's period is dangerous and unnecessary, but again, I tend to think that our bodies know what's best for us. But like I said, only my opinion, don't get mad at me, you do whatever it is that you feel is right. It just makes me think of antibiotics, though. With judicious use, they are a great boon. But overuse has led to new, more powerful strains of what they were supposed to prevent. What will happen if women interrupt a million year old cycle?

More to the point, though, is this crazy ass clip from Your World with Neal Cavuto (not my world, Neal, maybe yours) on Fox News. It's an argument between Mary Alice Carr of NARAL and Leslee Unruh, president of the National Abstinence Clearinghouse. Well, it's more like Carr is explaining in measured terms the use and benefits of birth control (including reducing the number of abortions out there), while Unruh keeps yelling, "I want more babies!" Watch how Carr is trying to keep her good grace and composure while Unruh acts like an imbicile and Cavuto smirks.


Another Reason to Move to England

And now something to make you smile after all of that ethical garbage. In England they are having a Walk to School Week. In the town of Brighton and Hove someone had what I think is a great idea. They blocked the road to traffic, put up fake grass, plants and flowers, and had crazy characters dot the path to school, making it exciting for the kids to walk to school.


Courtesy of Treehugger.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So much awesome, SO MUCH.

I have to admit I feel some trepidation towards hormonal contraception because the idea of messing with hormones is scary, but ultimately I think the option needs to be out there for individual choice.

Oh, what am I saying, choice shmoice. What I really mean is: "I want more babies! Fertility is a gift! I want more babies, more babies!"