Paging Professor Volokh, Ronald Bailey, and other libertarian bloggers: On what principled grounds can one distinguish between a ban on foie gras and a ban on dogfighting? If one accepts limits on the libertarian principle for animal cruelty, does that not imply that a democratic society can rationally choose to bar production of foie gras? I’m happy to have dogfighting outlawed. I’d prefer not to outlaw foie gras. Do I have any argument for the distinction besides my personal preference? Is it just the intelligence difference between dogs and geese? If so, why do we allow bacon? (Or does Deuteronomy have that last question right?)
Update: I’m late to the discussion apparently. Jim Henley, Julian Sanchez (who takes the hard-line view), and Megan McArdle (and Part 2); McArdle points to vegetarian libertarian Robert Nozick’s take.
Update from Alex Tabarrok: “After attending dogfights it’s rumored that on some nights Michael Vick would continue his bloody activities by dining on cow’s flesh. No word yet on whether prosecutors will be seeking additional prison time.”