Friday, January 19, 2007

An insectivore speaks out.

Dear all

Another chance to win a new laptop. The last competition was won by someone who promised to give the computer away to someone who voted for them. Now here's a thought on how a similar scam could work for everyone else.

1) Find someone with a very popular blog.
2) Offer to give them some cash if they host an article for you and get all their readers to vote, several times each.
3) Write something, anything as long as it sort of answers the question. Seeing as the answer can always be 'yes' or 'no' then you don't have to spend too much time thinking about it.
4) Wait
5) Collect your prize
6) Hand over the cash


Now that I've told you how to do it (other scams are available, but you'll have to pay me to reveal them), read my attempt at answering this week's question and VOTE FOR ME!

'If we could hold conversations with animals, would we all be vegetarians?'

I don't know about you, but I hold conversations with animals already. Cats are particularly good at replying, especially when hungry or in need of a place by the fire. And who hasn't seen reports of Parrots or Bonobo apes talking about their preference for Becket over Dante? Even dogs can respond to your voice in a rudimentary fashion, and did not Arthur Dent (the last human, no less) have a chat with a pig in the Restaurant at the end of the Universe about how tasty said pig's rump was when slowly roasted over an open fire?

My blogging chum, Gorilla Bananas) is well know for his ability to hold an intelligent conversation on just about any topic. Anybody familiar with this blog will already know about Timothy Hedgehog. If you don't, I suggest you watch his video. Amazing stuff huh? Timothy has become so adept at conversation that I decided to ask him the question. He made me promise, before answering, that I wouldn't eat him after he had finished answering. Here is a transcript of our conversation

Timothy: Mmmmm, so let me get this straight. You are asking me whether holding conversations with humans is a prerequisite for eating vegetabales?

McCrumble: Not quite Timothy. I want to know if talking with animals would mean all humans would become vegetarian

Timothy: It's a difficult question to answer Dr McCrumble, mainly because it is impossible to deconstruct without offering an alternative answer that you might find difficult to swallow.

McCrumble: Have a go Timothy. I need that laptop.

Timothy: Very well, Dr McCrumble. I shall speak slowly and use short words.

McCrumble: Thanks Timothy. I appreciate your patience.

Timothy: So here is how I see it. On the one hand, you think that, philosopically speaking, the human race would not eat animals if they could converse with them'

McCrumble: That is the essence of my conundrum, yes.

Timothy (scratches his ears): But you have told me on a number of occasions that humans are merely animals with bigger brains.

McCrumble: Well, not necessarily bigger, but more grey matter per unit volume of brain. Dolphins for example....

Timothy: Yes I know about them. So anyway, if humans are merely over-acheiving primates, does it not stand to reason that the question is a nonsensical and potentially inflammatory attempt at pushing the animalist agenda?

McCrumble: Animalist?

Timothy: Yes, you know, like ageist, racist, sexist etc.

McCrumble: Oh I see. Well I'm sure that isn't the point at all...

Timothy: Clearly you don't see much at all Dr McCrumble. Hedgehogs, you may not realise, make no distinction between ourselves and the rest of the animal kingdom. Not because our brains are the size of a baked bean, but because we are not suffering from arrogance. Shame on you, Dr McCrumble, for labouring on about how humans are special when, in fact, the truth is far less glamorous. Do you think you can handle the truth, Dr McCrumble?

McCrumble: I'll try to keep it together. So what is the truth, Timothy?

Timothy: Write this down so you don't forget. Ready. Right. Now, every living creature needs to feed, yes? The choice of food is determined by one's niche, yes? Animals in neighbouring niches are the most likely victims of each other, simply because they are closer to hand. Think of the lion and the zebra, the snow leopard and the mountain goat, dolphin and the mackerel, the crocodile and wilderbeast, the speed camera and the motorist. All classic predator-prey models, I think you'll find. To put it simply, in conversing with animals, you would bring them into your own niche-space. You see that Dr McCrumble? Now, as we can see from our examples, as niches overlap, so the potential for conflict grows. If you think about it this way, Dr McCrumble, then talking to the animals would not turn humans into vegetarians. It would, in fact, turn you into....

McCrumble: Yes, Timothy?

Timothy (pauses, licks his fur): Animals, Dr McCrumble.

McCrumble: But I'm talking with you Timothy...

Timothy: Quod erat demonsratum, Dr McCrumble. Now leave my cage before I bite you.

I left Timothy, head bowed, but sure that I had met my intellectual match. I have no option, really, after such an intellectual trouncing, to answer anything but 'NO'.

I thank you for reading


Vote for me on Love To Lead You don't have to leave your email address, but if you do, it will be entered into a prize draw for a new laptop.


Samantha said...

Great entry. I voted for you!

Dr Joseph McCrumble said...

Thanks Samantha. Please vote every day, get all your friends to vote every day and ask all your friend's friends to vote every day. I promise that if I win the laptop, I'll send you a signed photo of it.

St Jude said...

You've got my vote Doc. Superb!

Anonymous said...

J McC I have voted twice over the weekend and will continue to do so next week, good luck trying to win the lap top ;-)

Keith the BigUn

Anita said...

See, and all this time I thought YOU were giving away the laptop. I was getting excited there for a moment.

Maybe I'll have a competition to give away an old 386. Think I'd have lots of takers?

Kim Ayres said...

I'll be dead impressed if you win the laptop this week.

If I were Tom Reynolds - the guy currently sitting with 767 votes - I'd be thinking about all the laptops I could win over the next 15 weeks and become Mr Popular with all my friends and family.

Not that people ony like me because I bribe them you understand.

Which reminds me, after setting up the direct debit with you, shouldn't you be commenting on my blog?

Dr Joseph McCrumble said...

Jude - Thanks!

Keith - Thanks!

Anita - You could give it a go, but my answer would have to be no

Kim - no way are either of us going to win, ever. I might just give up if this keeps happening.

Kim Ayres said...

I can't imagine entering again.

Blunt Cogs could do with another strip or 2, Doc. Are you up for it?

hazel love said...

Can't believe someone now has more than 900 votes. Can't see who it is or what the story is, but that is just a bonkers number, and knowing you as I do, J McC, I really do feel that these votes should have been yours.

I'm sure I'm pressing the right button....