05 October 2012

from Lawrence, Sunday PhiloMadrid meeting: Dietary ethics+ Going to see Alfonso’s play

Short Essay + Visit to the Theatre + News

Dear friends,

This Sunday we are discussing Dietary Ethics.

So whilst you are digesting your breakfast this morning think about this:

We are visiting the theatre this Saturday, 6th October, to see one of Alfonso's plays: Gaviotas
Subterraneas. We are meeting at 7.30pm outside the TeatroEspañol C/ Principe, 25 – Plaza de Santa
Ana (Barrio de la Leteras). This should give us enough time to buy the tickets although you can also
buy them from www.telentrada.com. The play starts at 20.30pm, and, unfortunately, I don't know if
Alfonso will be there. Alfonso please surprise us!!!

In the meantime:
Cementerio Británico

Redacto el presente mensaje tanto en español como en inglés con el objeto de comunicarles el
programa de visitas guiadas sábados por la mañana al Cementerio Británico.

Las visitas empiezan a las 11 horas en la entrada del Cementerio Británico, calle del Comandante
Fontanes 7, distrito de Carabanchel
*sábado, día 27 de octubre, cuando daré las explicaciones en español
*sábado, día 3 de noviembre, cuando daré las explicaciones en inglés.

Lo dejo a su elección cuál día acuda y no hay necesidad de avisar.

Si prefiere hacer la visita en una fecha no programada por la presente lista, no hay más que avisarme.

Tomen nota de nuestra página web < www.britishcemeterymadrid.com > que contiene información de la
historia del Cementerio y el mapa de su ubicación.


I am writing this in both Spanish and in English to provide the programme of Saturday morning guided
visits to the British Cemetery.

We meet at 11 o'clock at the Cemetery entrance in Calle del Comandante Fontanes 7 in Carabanchel
* the visit on Saturday 27th October will be in Spanish
* the visit on Saturday 3rd November will be in English.

The choice of date is left to you and there is no need tell me in advance of the visit whether you
are coming.
If you would like a visit on a different date, just let me know and I will arrange it.

Do take note of our website < www.britishcemeterymadrid.com > where you will find details of the
Cemetery's history and a map of its location.

David Butler


---from Carmen's jewellery TarTeTaTin ---
Carmen has sent me a link for her jewellery and info (in French), TarTeTaTin

Best Lawrence

PhiloMadrid Meeting
Meet 6:30pm
Centro Segoviano
Alburquerque, 14
28010 Madrid
Metro: Bilbao

Thursday's Open Tertulia in English
Important Notice: From December 1st, the Tertulia will take place at O'Donnells (ex-Moore's) Irish
Pub, c/ Barceló 1 (metro Tribunal)

----------From Luisa---------
Please not you will have to let her know in advance if you wish to attend, thanks:
Data of language exchange,
Location: Café Comercial
Address: Glorieta de Bilbao, 7
Website location:
Dates: on Saturday
Time: from 12:30 to 14:45
Price: 2.50 € (exchange organizing, hiring the top of the cafeteria and coffee, tea, soda, wine or
beer are included).
Luisa - email to confirm please alvarez_luisa@hotmail.com

Dietary ethics

If by dietary ethics we mean ethical issues related to the supply and consumption of food, we have,
no doubt, a very wide subject. As an applied philosophical topic we certainly have a wide and broad
topic. But these past thirty or so years the forefront issue of dietary ethics has been
vegetarianism and eating meat.

However, eating meat is just one issue in a rather very serious topic. Serious, of course, because
as a biological dynamic system we need food as energy to sustain this physical system. So from
amongst these serious topics we can have a quick look at the recent history of the topic at hand.

The perennial issue relating to dietary ethics is famine, and malnourishment as a distant cousin:
indeed even in the 21st century famine still affects a good part of the human population, including,
of course, the so called advanced or first world countries.

The next big issue is indeed the question of eating meat. And the ethical problem here encompasses
the cause of pain and suffering to animals, exploitation of living creatures like us, and some would
even argue the health issues relating to eating meat.

A more recent question is genetically modified crops, and to a lesser extent radiated food to make
it last longer. The fear about genetically modified crops is that we don't know what the long term
effects are of manipulating natural crops. But the real issue is that crops are not only genetically
manipulated to produce more crops, or to withstand adverse conditions, but that the seeds from these
crops cannot be used for next year's crop. New seeds have to be bought each year from a few
companies that dominate the industry.

Under a subheading we can also include the production of certain crops not for food, but to be
converted into fuel to drive cars in western countries. The very same cars, we can add, that caused
so much pollution that an alternative "green" fuel is need as a substitute for fissile fuels.

Although the genetically modified crops problem does introduce the question of heath, it is the
modern production of food and pre cooked foods that create the biggest ethical problems. Never mind
the e-numbers or food additives, most of the prepared foods today have a high content of sugar(s)
and or salt amongst many other things that are know to have a direct causal effect on obesity, heart
diseases, diabetes etc. And all these diseases are high killers of people in modern society.

One of the ethical implications is that many people only have access to processed foods or pre
cooked foods, including fast foods. And this limited access is probably because of low income and
lack of retail facilities who do stock healthy food. The other ethical issue is that we also happen
to like these problem ingredients in processed foods. Thus, like smoking, an industry thrives on our
physiological weakness to certain chemicals that can kill us in the long term.

The ethical issues relating to food, it seems, go far beyond the causing of pain to animals.

We can ask ourselves whether food should be controlled by businesses joint with the government, or
whether food should be overseen by technical experts, a large proportion of whom would be health
experts. But is the medical profession itself sufficiently objective to manage such a basic human
need or even a good model to follow as experts? Remember that a serious ethical issue in medical
research is the limited supply of negative data from research, which many argues skews medical
results and hence medical treatment? Indeed, is science guilt free from manipulation, intended or an
unintended consequence, to make it the guardian of our food supplies?

We can also ask whether it is possible to have a supply food chain that can meet the criteria of
supply enough food to everyone, supply food that is healthy and sustain a model of food production
that can yield economic returns on investment? Some problems here are quite obvious, logistics is
one of them. But a more fundamental ethical issue is whether it is possible to have such an
undertaking as food production for the world without being tainted by corruption. An I mention
corruption on the belief that people become corrupt because of limited access to and supply of
resources, in our case food?

Unfortunately, dietary ethics will always be a lower league player because, the ethics here does not
depend on emotion reactions, but on scientific hard fact. And dietary ethics has been so far an
emotional issue. But more seriously, scientific hard facts are things we are not generally thought
to understand, let alone be emotional about.

Best Lawrence

from Lawrence, Sunday PhiloMadrid meeting: Dietary ethics+ Going to see Alfonso's play

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