Apparently Oprah did an episode yesterday that caused one of my friends to think twice about eating beef. He just said, "I've still got a freezer with half a side of beef in it, and I figure, you know, what's done is done... but I don't think I'll order it anymore when I go out." And at some point I found myself saying, "Oh, and did you hear about all those sled dogs?"
I know; it was a wretched thing to happen. Before it veered into the laughter of the damned, though, friends were critiquing the hierarchy of pity re: animal slaughter (e.g. who's crying for the factory cows?)
I wonder whether what seems to be a fundamental human lack of pity for the death of tiny things means there is a fundamental pity for large, smart things--or if the whole thing is so much PR