Interview: Animalkind – What We Owe to Animals

Are you an animal lover if you dote on your cat but then happily tuck into a plate of chicken or pig? Do horses and apes have equal rights to humans? We spoke with Jean Kazez author of Animalkind: What We Owe to Animals about her exploration into the ethical tensions between animals and humans.

The Philosopher’s Eye: Why did you decide to write Animalkind?

Jean Kazez: I got the idea to write this book when I was working on my first book, The Weight of Things: Philosophy and the Good Life (Blackwell 2007).  There are a few pages in there about what it is for animals to live good lives.  I wanted to write more about that–“The Good Life for Dogs,” maybe? As I got started, the subject gradually changed. The truth is, billions of animals in the world are living very bad lives as a result of human decisions.  I wound up writing a book that’s about animal lives, but also about our decisions. Continue reading “Interview: Animalkind – What We Owe to Animals”

Interview: Who Owns You? The Corporate Gold Rush to Patent Your Genes

Surely you own your own genes, don’t you? Think again. Presently, more than one-fifth of the human genome is fully patented. Corporations and universities now own the exclusive rights to many precious parts of you. We spoke to David R. Koepsell, author of Who Owns You? The Corporate Gold Rush to Patent Your Genes about what led him to write about the realities and implications of gene patenting.

Philosopher’s Eye: Why did you decide to write Who Owns You?

David Koepsell: One of my major research topics over the years has been the philosophical aspects of intellectual property. My first book, The Ontology of Cyberspace (Open Court 2000) explored the nature of IP in computerized media. I had been doing some reading on the Human Genome Project and was astounded to learn that genes had begun to be patented during the HGP, and well afterwards. Continue reading “Interview: Who Owns You? The Corporate Gold Rush to Patent Your Genes”