Meat vs. PETA: science vs. pseudo-science

Posted: Monday, June 30, 2008

Earlier this week there was an article in the opinion section of the Empire that presented an argument for Americans to eat less meat. It was an interesting article, but the writer made a number of unsupported claims and didn't present the view of the other side of the coin.

Whether it was an opinion piece or not, presenting various claims as fact without some sort of reference lessens the validity of the claims presented. This is the very foundation of pseudo-science of which is regularly presented in most media today.

It was helpful to find at the end of the piece that the author was with PETA, which provided some great free advertising for their cause.

Another good example of pseudo-science in the media is the article on deformed beaks observed in some crows in and around the Juneau area, which presents the supposition that said deformation may be tied in some way to adverse human activity, rather than simply to some natural evolution of the local crow population.

Granted, a headline tying strange-looking crows to some unknown chemical exposure is catchier than "Juneau - home of weird-looking crows." The point is that it would be nice to see some presentation of supported fact in an article, rather than solely the ramblings of pseudo-scientists.

Kenneth C. Ames

Temporary Juneau resident

Principal, SA Development Group

Baltimore, Md.



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