Five Best Monday Columns
Ethicist Peter Singer on the vegan search for cruelty-free meat, April Dworetz on caring for premature babies, activist Ahmed Maher on Egypt's teetering government, Jeffrey Goldberg on the recent warnings of an Al Qaeda attack, and Fay Vincent on a solution to baseball's drug problem.
Peter Singer in The Guardian on the world's first cruelty-free hamburger The production of hamburger meat in a scientific lab could put an end to the awful treatment of animals at mass-production farms, writes Singer, a philosopher and vegan most known for his influential animal rights movement. "My own view is that being a vegetarian or vegan is not an end in itself, but a means towards reducing both human and animal suffering," he writes, and so a cruelty-free burger would be okay for a moral vegan to eat. "World's most thoughtfully moral person puts the case for in vitro meat. Reduce not only cruelty but pollution too," writes professor and ethologist Richard Dawkins.
April Dworetz in The New York Times on caring for extremely premature babies Babies born very prematurely have a high risk of disability or death, and doctors should explicitly and openly talk to the parents about the difficult decision they may face of whether to resuscitate these high-risk babies. "Our culture is slowly growing more comfortable talking about end-of-life issues as they relate to the elderly: whether to allow a natural death or prolong life even if it means suffering," Dworetz writes, arguing that we should talk about babies the same way. "Ultimately, parents have the right to decide, but we physicians must help them make informed decisions," she argues. "Great article by a doc about the ethics of resuscitating preemie babies," tweets Dr. Lissa Rankin, author of the bestselling Mind Over Medicine.
Ahmed Maher in The Washington Post on Egypt's teetering government As a founder of the activist group April 6 Youth Movement, Maher led the charge against Muhamed Morsi. Now, though, he does not like the path that the military-installed government is taking. "The expanding role of the military in the political process that we are nonetheless witnessing is disconcerting." Eric Trager, fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy tweets that Maher, "who was detained for his activism under Morsi, rightly calls for restraint in dealing w/the [Muslim Brotherhood] now." Activist Sherif Mansour of the Committee to Protect Journalists tweets "Among #Egyptian liberals, a conscience."
Jeffrey Goldberg in Bloomberg View on the recent warnings of Al-Qaeda attack The U.S. government warning to American travelers about a vague, possibly-impending Al-Qaeda attack, along with the closing of foreign embassies, "doesn’t strike me as a wise idea," Goldberg argues, because it shows that America can be spooked easily. "We have already muddied any message of fearlessness by turning our embassies into bunkers. Now, we are admitting that these bunkers aren’t safe," he writes. "[Al-Qaeda] forcing US & EU to shut Embassys in [Middle East] will b seen as victory vs West in ME," notes Lenny Ben-David, a former senior Israeli diplomat and contributor to The Times of Israel. "Great Op-Ed by @JeffreyGoldberg shows the fundamentally messed up state of our anti-terror intelligence," writes Greg Emerson, deputy editor of Newsday.
Fay Vincent in The Wall Street Journal on banning baseball drug users With the latest round of baseball suspensions for performance-enhancing drug use, Vincent argues that it's time to crack down once and for all. "What's needed is an aggressive campaign—similar to the all-out war on illicit drug use and smoking—to end the use of these drugs," he writes, and proposes a draconian plan that "one drug violation and a player is gone from the game, forever." "On behalf of many baseball fans, thank you Mr. Vincent for writing this," tweets Adam Henry, a journalist formerly of NBC New York. "Sounds pretty simple and easy...But it seems not to be," writes CNBC and Forbes contributor Frank Sorrentino III.