Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Newsrooms are, in my experience, home to some of the strangest conversations on the planet. Case in point: this gem from the Associated Press which spurred a half-hour, on-and-0ff debate about what constitutes animal cruelty and where to draw that line.

Do we prosecute frat boys for eating dozens of live goldfish? What if I just like my steak very rare (yes, for the record I do want it to moo) and shouldn't we just prosecute this rat-munching lameo simply for being stupid enough to post a video of his 'achievement?'

Utah rat eater has animal cruelty charge dismissed
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A Utah man who is no longer facing charges for eating a live baby rat says the act was grotesque, but shouldn’t be considered as animal cruelty.
Prosecutors charged Andy Ray Harris with animal cruelty in April, after authorities viewed a posted Facebook video of him eating what appeared to be the baby rat. The 31-year-old Tooele man says he ate the rat on a dare.
Prosecutors argued the baby rat deserved protections because it wasn’t wild and it was killed in a way that is not an accepted fashion.
Harris says it was not animal cruelty because the rat was going to be eaten by a snake. He also says rats don’t have legal protections because they are pests.

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