Saturday, June 30, 2012

Unconsenting Kitty Blood Donors: Quote in Article

As I was waiting to go to North Carolina for my summer vacation, I checked my e-mail in the Porter Airlines waiting area and got a request for a comment on this slavery practice. I think that staff reporter with the Toronto Star, Sarah-Taissir Bencharif, gets across how disturbing the practice is. The article appeared on June 25, 2012.

My views were more or less accurately represented as follows:

Though these donations can save the lives of other cats, not everyone agrees the ends justify the means. Animal ethicist David Sztybel likens programs like this to nonhuman slavery.
“I respect the good intentions of these medical professionals, and they are saving lives. I appreciate that some effort may be made to socialize the slave-cats, play with them, and so on. But I do not agree with slavery, and oppose human slavery even though many benefits were squeezed from the practice,” he writes in an email.

The author probably intended to write that I liken the practice to human slavery, not "nonhuman slavery" as she writes. I do not liken this to nonhuman slavery in any event. It is a straigtforward and literal example of enslaving nonhumans.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Encouraging Hit Stats

Greetings. I am pleased to announce that hits on the new web site vastly exceed all expectations. My web master advised me yesterday that in the 55 days since the launch which was April 21, 2012, there have been 45,924 hits. That averages out to 835 hits on the website per day. That works out to 304,755 hits per year. Approaching a third of a million. That would be about three and a half million hits in a decade, or a million hits every 3 years or so. I hope to drive up numbers by contributing ever more qualitative works. Some of the visitors are so-called "web spiders", as they are called, but he said those will help to enhance site ranking.

We must keep in perspective what a hit is. According to a website called "Open Tracker": "Each file sent to a browser by a web server is an individual hit." A page with many pictures will count each image as a hit. So we are not talking about numbers of visitors here. But we are also talking about a lot of web activity. There are not many photos on my site, with the exception of the Holocaust Comparison Project. A single visitor may generate many hits, but that is a good thing because it suggests that someone might be learning from the site or otherwise finding it to be useful. However you cut it, it is a great many times that the web site's files are being accessed.

And the Francionists, we saw in their response to my AR Zone appearance, essentially said I am not a significant entity in animal rights debates. Yes, self-delusion, I speculate, seems to be one of their key specialties. I will try to show this more clearly, in qualitative ways, in forthcoming work that I am fairly excited about.

To me, these stats indicate a strong interest in what I have to offer in scholarly work, since I am an academic, after all. But also, I think it must suggest that I am contributing to discourse for general audiences, which has obviously been a steady goal of mine, as the long-standing "General Audience" section of my website silently attests. Indeed, the General Audience menu comes up on Google as outranking the academic writings.

I can assure you, I am still just getting started.

Thank you everyone for your support, and I only hope that my work is a support for your own positive endeavours in this deeply troubled world.