Monday, 28 April 2008

It Ain't Getting Any Better

I didn't feel like writing much today, since I've been studying for my ethics final all day, but I thought I'd post an essay I wrote for the class earlier this semester. It got a good grade, and it's pretty short. Without further ado, then, here it is.


It Ain't Getting Any Better:
A Look at Moral Progress
in Light of
Normative Cultural Relativism


The abolishment of slavery has been, and is, generally considered one of the greater achievements of Western society. The vast majority of North Americans take great offense if slavery – particularly slavery due to race – is presented as a good thing. The common opinion is that slavery was bad, is bad, and always will be bad. Many people will also take offense if one culture is presented as being better than another. At first these views appear quite similar – after all, if one race is not better than another, then why would one culture be better than another?


Closer examination shows that these two ideas are perhaps not so related, or even compatible, as they first appear to be. The idea that no culture is better, morally speaking, than any other – or any worse – is the fundamental belief of Normative Cultural Relativism (NCR)1. Basically, what follows from this tenet is that whatever one's culture says to be morally right, is morally right, and whatever one's culture says to be morally wrong, is morally wrong. When trying to ascertain the moral value of an action, one should simply look to what his or her culture says about the matter. Alternately, no person from one culture may criticize the ethical beliefs of another culture2.


It is easy to see that in different cultures, identical things may be given different moral labels. For example, in North America, polygamy is generally frowned upon. In some other cultures, such as certain African countries, polygamy is considered perfectly permissible. NCR looks at this observation and takes it one step further. Not only do different cultures attach varying moral labels to the same action, but under NCR, each culture is equally correct. It would be unethical for a person living in North America to simultaneously have more than one spouse, while having three or four spouses would not be morally wrong if the person belonged to one of those particular African countries.


What has this to do with slavery? Well, the abolishment of slavery was brought about as the result of a reform movement. Reform is simply a word meaning “major change”. Ethical reform, then, means a break with tradition and a society's moral judgment. Following this line of reasoning, if whatever one's culture says goes, then any cultural reform relating to ethics is necessarily bad, and cultural reformers are necessarily immoral. This includes reform like the abolishment of slavery in North America, and reformers like Martin Luther King, Jr.3 Three hundred years ago, slavery was considered normal, natural, and the nicest way to run a cotton or tobacco plantation. People who owned slaves were not judged to be immoral just because they owned slaves. Most residents of the southern American states saw absolutely nothing wrong with such a practice, and most of the slaves more or less accepted their lot in life. By most accounts then, a person who adheres to NCR cannot say that the abolishment of slavery was moral progress, but must admit that it was actually unethical, because it went against what the culture said was the case.


In fact, it appears that any idea of moral progress must be abandoned as far as NCR is concerned. If a culture is already perfectly moral, then it cannot get any better. Does NCR have the resources to allow for any such notion like “moral progress”?


One NCRist argument that perhaps could be used to justify the abolishment of slavery goes something like this:

The northern American states were much more densely populated than the southern ones were, and most of the inhabitants of the Southern states were either plantation owners or slaves. Typically, the slaves largely outnumbered the plantation owners. Presumably, the slaves themselves did not consider their enslavement to be ethically acceptable, as per those who lived in the north without slaves. Therefore, the cultural ethical norm was that slavery was bad, and it was actually the slave owners who were the immoral ones. The abolishment of slavery merely reinforced the norm that was already there – no true reformation happened.


The debate could go back and forth, but the point is not whether this is a sound argument or not, but whether or not it can justify labeling the abolishment of slavery a great moral achievement. No, this argument cannot, because nothing, ethically speaking, was achieved. An argument of this nature does nothing to defend moral progress within NCR, but dodges the issue.


But there is an argument that could be used to try to reconcile NCR and moral progress. Although it tries to allow for both to coexist, moral progress still takes a backseat and can only be claimed in very particular, certain cases4. The line of reasoning be as follows:

Prior to the Civil War, the United States was not living up to its own standards of morality, in much the same way that people may become frustrated with themselves for not living up to the standard they set for themselves. Americans believed all along that slavery was reprehensible, but owned slaves despite their contrary judgment. Abolishing slavery was a step closer to realizing America's own true ethical norm. This argument maintains both moral progress and NCR.


Is it possible for a culture to not live up to its own standards? While it sounds possible at first, perhaps this is a trick of wording. Does “standard” here mean “norm” or “goal”? Is it possible for a culture to not live up to its own norms? By definition, no. Is it possible for a culture to not live up to the goals it sets? Surely, yes, a culture can fail in that regard. If the dominant ideology of a culture is “we must achieve world domination”, those plans are likely to meet with failure. According to NCR, however, a culture cannot even set moral goals. Who sets the goals for a culture? Is it not the people within the culture itself? Unless those who constitute the culture decide simultaneously to set a moral goal for themselves, those who say that their culture is falling short of expectations are incorrect at best, reformers at worst.


The fallback to this rebuttal would probably be that a culture began a certain way, then digressed away from what it was originally. When the culture started, ethics and morality were viewed a certain way, but over the years the views morphed from those ideas into something new. These new ideas do not reflect the original intent of the culture, and thus it would be morally progressive to reestablish those earlier values.


The idea that cultures change over time may be true enough, but that fails to help NCR. It may have been wrong for a culture to make the shift away from the original values, but it would be equally wrong to change the culture back again. According to NCR, it may have been wrong to abolish slavery, but it would be equally wrong, now, to reestablish a norm that no longer exists. Reform is reform, regardless of whether the new values are only just recently realized, or old and rediscovered. A culture is not defined by its roots, although these are, admittedly, often important components. Genealogy is defined by roots. Culture is defined by the ideologies, traditions, and lifestyles of the people within. With this in mind, it seems more sensible to consider the original and the morphed versions of any society as two separate cultures than it does to consider them both the same thing5.


There is one more way that an NCRist could argue in order to maintain moral progress. One could claim that the “standard” a culture is failing to reach was not the creation of any breakaway group of reformers, but an ideal that is held simultaneously to a contrary ideal. For example – that all people are born free, and should be treated as such was a fundamental American notion during the time of the Civil War. Slavery was also a basic and accepted practice. Although the culture condoned both, the two ideas were, and are, entirely opposed to each other. How would NCR deal with a situation like this? It may be argued that when, for the sake of unity, a lesser notion must be eradicated from a culture to conform more fully to a greater one, however the lesser and greater may be determined, that this sort of reform is moral progress. It would be moral progress not because slavery was ever wrong, but because a culture that says both “all people are equal” and “some people are slaves” is not really doing its job – that is, giving its members a way to decide what is right and what is wrong. The abolishment of slavery could be considered moral progress because it is a progressive thing to move from having mixed notions to a fixed one. If this were the case, there would have been an equal amount of moral progress had the the Declaration of Independence been altered to say that all people are born free – minus the slaves.


This is a little harder to combat, because NCR does not explicitly state what happens when a culture simultaneously holds two opposing views. Again, one could respond that because view A stands in opposition to view B, the two cannot be a part of the same culture, but evidence that there are actually two cultures at large. A light bulb cannot be both on and off at the same time, and the chair either exists or it does not. If a computer tries to follow instructions that is telling it two opposing things, the whole system crashes. Yes, a person can claim to hold contrary opinions at the same time, but when push comes to shove, one opinion will turn out to be the stronger and motivate the consequential action. As stated earlier, since a culture is defined by the ideologies, traditions, and lifestyles of the people within it, it seems somewhat silly to claim that two contradictory lifestyles, with accompanying traditions and ideologies, are really just one culture.


The concept of moral progress does not reconcile to NCR, because any notion of progress entails change, and any change within a culture that involves ethics is morally forbidden by NCR. According to NCR, the abolishment of slavery was not moral progress. It may have even been a bad thing – at least, at the time.


Where does that leave NCR? Some people would claim that the loss of moral progress would render NCR an inadequate ethical theory. Normative ethical theories, however, are not required, by definition, to contain room for cultural moral progress. The only thing they must contain is a paradigm for making ethical decisions6. When defining an ethical theory, a culture's own ability to improve morally is an utterly moot point, though many would say that people's intuitions are nothing near irrelevant. Most people have learned that intuitions, though sometimes handy, are not always to be trusted above everything else. It is not a strong logical argument to say that NCR cannot be right because it seems to be intuitively wrong. That argument would only carry weight if it were understood that intuition can never be wrong. This is obviously false. But while intuition cannot prove NCR false, it can certainly do a good job at persuading many people. Intuitions, though not always correct, generally exist for a reason, and so it would not be absurd to doubt NCR's claim that no cultures are ethically superior to any others. On the other hand, it would not be altogether absurd to toss the idea of cultural moral progress, either.


What would be absurd is belief in both moral progress and NCR together. The two ideas are irreconcilable. One of them must be abandoned. The abolishment of slavery, though considered one of the greatest achievements of western civilization, is nothing that could be termed moral progress if NCR turns out to be true.


Works Cited

Janzen, Greg. Class lecture. Philosophy 351. St. Mary's University College, Calgary, AB. Winter semester 2008.


Rachels, James. “The Challenge of Cultural Relativism.” In Ethics: History, Theory, and Contemporary Issues, eds. Steven M. Cahn and Peter Markie, 651-658. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.


1Janzen, 10 Jan. 2008.

2Rachels, 654.

3Janzen, 10 Jan. 2008.

4Rachels, 655.

5Ibid, 655.

6Janzen, 8 Jan. 2008.



We tend to idealize tolerance, then wonder why we find ourselves infested with losers and nut cases.” Patrick Nielsen

Friday, 25 April 2008

Schizo Episode

I was helping out with Inn from the Cold (a program that provides homeless people with a supper and a place to spend the night) at my church today. Normally it's nothing too exciting - I mostly just wash dishes. Today was a break from the ordinary, however.

Since I only got there to wash the dishes, I missed the first part of the episode, but I still witnessed the police and EMS.

One lady, a schizophrenic, either hadn't taken her meds, or the meds weren't working. When she first arrived, she threw a fit because someone else had put some things on the particular cot she wanted to sleep on. She loudly demanded that a MALE volunteer come sort out the problem for her, and she was very adamant that it be a male, and male NOW. Wouldn't this have to be the one day that there was no male volunteer there? While my mom and the other volunteers were trying to get a hold of the one missing male volunteer (he was supposed to be there...), the lady continued shouting and disrupting things, but eventually gave up when she saw no male was forthcoming, choosing instead a particular woman to sort it out for her NOW.

But her fit wasn't over. Then she proceeded to take a glass water pitcher and pour it out onto the carpet. And then she poured some more. Luckily it was just water. But when one of the women went to take the pitcher from her, she threw it onto the floor.

At this point, my mom called the Inn from the Cold head office, and they told her that she should call an ambulance for the lady. While my mom had the dispatcher on the line, the schizophrenic lady marched past her and locked herself in the washroom. It got worse from there. The lady was making a ruckus in the washroom and yelling at my mom so loudly, mostly about how she was going to hold my mom personally responsible if she ended up in a psych ward, that my mom had difficulty hearing the dispatcher over the phone. When the dispatcher asked if there was a potential for violence my mom related the pitcher situation, so it ended up being both police and EMS that were sent to pick the lady up.

That's when I got there. I guess it was a slow night or something, because four police officers were there (eventually two more arrived, but they didn't come inside), and three EMS paramedics. One would think it wouldn't take that many people to deal with one poor schizophrenic lady, but it was somewhat exciting to have so many uniformed people down in the church basement.

After my mom phoned EMS, the lady stalked off and curled into a ball on her cot, so things calmed down until the police and EMS actually went to talk to her. Then she got REAL noisy, holding everyone, especially my mom, the ***** who called EMS, personally responsible for her ending up in a hospital, which she would be going to against her will. She was not playing games, she had dealt with the ****ing EMS and police officers for thirty years, and she was NOT going to this particular hospital, only that particular hospital, and she was not going to be booted out of the hospital the next morning (she was done playing games). She was going to sleep now. And did she mention she was going against her will, and she held everyone personally responsible? And that she had dealt with these effing people in this effing city for thirty effing years?

And I want to be a counselor who deals with these kinds of people one day.

Eventually the other guests, who were eating supper in the same room, began complaining because children were present, and could the police get her out already, because her language was both horrifically filthy and tremendously loud. Eventually the police asked the other guests "Do you want her out?" to which everyone replied "Yes, now!".

When the police told her they'd had enough and it's time to go, she stood up and started very slowly putting on her coat, stating (still very loudly) that they would all wait for her. And they would all wait for her. And they would have to WAIT for her. She had dealt with these beep beep beeps before, and THIS, she yelled, is what you call verbally assaulting a police officer! The officers eventually had to pull and shove her to get her out of the church. By then some of the guests and my mom had lost their appetites.

The official police report was labeled "Removal of an unwanted guest." It's too bad really, that a church had to turn someone away, especially someone who was clearly in need. But I was struck by the behaviour of the other guests. Perhaps I've just thought stereotypically, but I've generally expected street people to be rougher around the edges than most other people. Yet they were quite sensitive to her language, and very kind. You could hear that they were more concerned for the lady than they were angry with her. I feel really badly for her, too. Apparently the other guests who had happened to stay with her had noticed that her condition was worsening recently.

My psych prof says a lot of homeless people are schizophrenic. In Alberta, instead of locking schizophrenics away, we try to get them back on their feet and living on their own. Problem is, they often don't stay on their meds, but nobody notices in time, so everything goes downhill for them from there.

Call me sheltered, but that was my first real exposure to what I'll be dealing with if I follow through and become a therapist. My heart goes out to people like that. It's so sad, really. They badly need help!

*Sigh*

Moving on, exams are almost done - my grade point average is dropping a bit this semester. I have to figure out job-wise what to do with myself all summer and get next year's school all sorted out. Let's see, what else? Upgrade my license, get some overdue blood work done, and it wouldn't hurt to visit the optometrist again. I'm having trouble reading street signs.

Gah!

On the upside, I got to snack on some leftover ham from the supper. It was really good.

Don't let your worries get the best of you. Remember, Moses started out as a basket case.” Anonymous

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

This Made Me Chuckle

Who says studying is totally boring? I quote my psychology textbook:

A linguistics professor was lecturing his class one day. "In English," he said, "a double negative forms a positive. In some languages, though, such as Russian, a double negative is still a negative. However, there is no language wherein a double positive can form a negative." A voice from the back of the room piped up, "Yeah, right."

Monday, 21 April 2008

The Art of Motivation

About a week ago, my mom announced that we had guests arriving in two days time, and that one of them would be using my bedroom for the duration of her stay. I like to think that I'm somewhat generous, and didn't complain once about being booted from my beloved abode, but I do understand that it was entirely a manipulative plot on the part of my mother.

You see, if a guest were to be staying my room, I would have to clean it. Quickly. So I did.

It was a horrible experience. I tell you, it's a good thing I don't have asthma, because I would have died. The vacuum almost choked when I took it behind my drawers.

But now it's glorious. I can see the floor, and I am no longer in danger of crushing something important when I swing my legs out of bed each morning. All my important papers are no longer a second carpet, but neatly thrown into a cardboard box. My socks, though still mismatched, are now stuffed into a plastic bin. The DUST - it's GONE! And my closet has been reorganized: dirty clothes in the laundry bag, clean clothes on the shelves.

Now I just have to rescue my pet fish from its own filth and give my stuffed lamb, Charmin, a bath. Wow. My room feels so much bigger!

Speaking of messes:
"If stupidity got us into this mess, then why can't it get us out?" Will Rogers

Friday, 18 April 2008

Language Considerations

I've made an observation, which I am quite proud of because I am usually notoriously unobservant. Although, the object of the observation itself isn't something of which to be particularly proud.

I don't swear. But I have noticed that people who, as far as I can tell, don't generally swear (and would probably tell kids not to) feel quite fine about swearing when it's in writing. In particular, on Facebook and like places.

Perhaps it's just because I know a lot of these people from church. Everyone knows you aren't supposed to swear in church. Maybe I am wrong to assume that the young men and ladies with me who are teaching Sunday School to the youngsters aren't the type to swear about trivial matters. It just seems odd to me.

Now, before I come off as too judgemental, I don't really understand the concept of bad language myself. Bad grammar, yes, but bad language? What is it that makes a word inherently bad? Actually, can anything become inherently bad, because surely these words weren't considered totally inappropriate when they first appeared.

Shouldn't it be the context, or the intent of the word that renders it "bad"? Or if you're quite conservative, perhaps even the topic? Why does one word get labeled unacceptable while others like it aren't? I don't see why someone can say "shoot", but not "shit", unless it's the meaning that counts. But if it's meaning that counts, why may we still say "crap"?

I cringe when I hear people throwing the f word around, because I dislike the meaning. And since damn is an actual curse, rather than just coarse, I would really prefer that expression to disappear, except in context when something actually is or deserves to be cursed. But I don't see why some language, in and of itself, is considered bad.

But it is considered bad, and so I find it odd that so many "Christians", while denouncing it publicly in church, use it without a second thought elsewhere. Maybe they're like me, and just don't really consider the language to be bad. They just restrain themselves in church to avoid shocking any children or parents. Sadly, however, I doubt it.

Speaking of bad language in context:

"Confronted with a cancer or a slum the Pantheist can say, 'If you could only see it from the divine point of view, you would realize that this also is God.' The Christian replies, 'Don't talk damned nonsense.'" C. S. Lewis

Thursday, 10 April 2008

Ramblings for the Day

So, I thought I would try a little "Stream of Consciousness" post today.

*Ahem*

If we integrate secant x squared, then the answer is tangent x plus a constant. The dy/dx of sine x is cosine x, but if we integrate sine x, the answer is negative cosine x plus C. I need to review the second fundamental theorum. Maybe Dad will help me study before the third quiz on Monday. Definitely have to go over partial fractions and that dumb integration by parts technique. And trig! Okay, the dy\dx of the inverse sine of x is one over the square root of one minus x squared. Is one over the absolute value of x times the square root of x squared minus one the differential of arcsec x or arccsc x? Wait, wait, wait. I don't even remember what an inverse trigonometric function means! Ahhh! If sine pi/6 is equal to 1/2, then what's the arcsin? Is it arcsin 1/2 = pi/6, or is does x remain the same and so become arcsin pi/6 = something else? Oohhh, dear. Calculus does not like me this semester. No wait! This isn't calculus! I'm having trouble with trigonometry... grrrr... Dumb math. Can't wait to get home and study. Bah! My cheeseburger from the cafeteria was good today. The fire alarm was mildly exciting. I wonder if the guy that actually asked us to get up and out of the building was a guard or otherwise employed at St. Mary's, or just a concerned student that everyone obeyed. I'm not sure. Although, in my defense, I was about to leave of my own volition, having decided that too many people die because they ignore fire alarms and that the alarm was really loud and gratiating. Yay fire truck and decked out firemen! I took a couple pictures. No, there wasn't actually a fire. But I do currently need to go to the bathroom. With the amount of time it will take me to title, post, and proofread this for dumb mistakes and free-flying commas, I'll probably have just enough time to hit the female facilities, scuttle into class, ask my classmate for her autograph, mooch some paper off her, and date and label it before class starts.

Ok, then! I do plan to write something on ethics later... just not right now.

Brianna: I guess I shouldn't drink the windshield fluid, should I?
Dad: Well, it would certainly quench your thirst. You would never be thirsty again.

Friday, 4 April 2008

66 Riveting Calving Stories

Yeah! Happy belated birthday to me! I am getting old - fast. Waaayy too fast.

With my new-found maturity, I thought I would discuss ethics on my blog today. In particular, the ethics of one very important and influential Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

However, while I realize it is high time for me to update this thing, I just handed in my final essay of the semester, and don't feel like writing another one in my free time. Therefore, instead of discussing ethics, I shall present you with a little something I came up with a year or two ago.

My mom began reading James Herriot's All Creatures Great and Small to my siblings and me over the lunch hour. It's a book about a veterinarian and his various experiences with different patients. It's actually a rather entertaining, and occasionally even heartwarming, read. The first chapter Mom read described a cow giving birth. After she finished the chapter, she commented that there were 66 more chapters in the book. My sister then exclaimed "Sixty-six calving stories?!" I thought the idea had some merit, and so whipped up an introduction and a table of contents for such a book, if it were to exist. I don't know if you'll find it very funny, but it amused my strange sense of humour.

P.S. I don't actually like cows. But I do love beef.

Prologue:


4/17/95


Calving. Ah, the joys of bringing new life into our world. I, a renowned veterinarian of cattle, can think of no way I would prefer to spend my afternoon. Whether under a clear, starry sky, or in a warm, cozy barn, the work is exhilarating, and always rewarding. What they say is very true: pick work you love, and you'll never have to work another day of your life.

On the request of M. Bernhard Mugby,I have collected several of my favorite calving experiences and compiled them into one book of short stories. Currently, volume two is in progress. This book is made to introduce you to the wonderful world of calving. Hopefully you shall gain insight into the requirements and also the joys of this oft overlooked profession. Sometimes it can be a thankless profession, but one look into the eyes of the newly born calf, and all animosity evaporates.

You can catch sight of me in the hit Hollywood blockbuster, Makings of the Steakhouse, during the birth scene. Even though I am rarely emotional, I found myself holding back tears during that beautiful clip. Much applause to the editors of the film – I had no idea that the true spirit of calving could be so closely reproduced with a 2D media such as film.

Well, I urge you to sit back with a cup of tea, put your feet up and start reading. Enjoy! You shan't ever forget these 66 Riveting Calving Stories.

Yours truly,
Gordon Noble, author



Table of Contents:

#1: A Joyous Occasion:
My first cow..............................................1

#2: Exile:
The time the mayor's cow died............................6

#3: First Taste of Adventure:
The time my arm got stuck................................11

#4: Bitsy Bessie:
The cow that took nine hours.............................16

#5: Crazy Maisey:
The mad cow..............................................25

#6: Always Worthwhile:
The cow that kissed me...................................28

#7: A Minor Setback:
The fat cow that fell on me..............................32

#8: “Moo”ve it:
The cow that refused to step away from the wall..........36

#9: A Cow's Choreography:
The cow that couldn't stand still........................41

#10: A Job Well Done:
A perfect delivery.......................................50

#11: A Small Insult:
The cow that wouldn't let me help........................55

#12: Strange Coincidence:
The owners that wouldn't let me help.....................59

#13: Angel of Light:
The time I met my fiancée................................63

#14: Stampede!:
The cow that upset the whole herd........................70

#15: Ambulances Arrive:
The time two skittish girls were watching................74

#16: Test of the Will:
The cow with indigestion.................................79

#17: Shish:
When I was skewered......................................84

#18: Kabob:
When I was skewered again at the same farm...............92

#19: A Winner:
The second perfect delivery.............................100

#20: “Cow”ward:
When the cow's owner fainted............................107

#21: Quality Beef:
The cow from Canada.....................................112

#22: Problematic:
The time I almost let the mobster's cow die.............118

#23: A “Cow”tatonic State:
When the cow dragged me into the frozen river...........123

#24: Hollywood Breakthrough:
The time they filmed the delivery.......................129

#25: A Four-Stomached Ache:
The cow that ate my equipment ..........................138

#26: Seeing Double:
The two headed calf.....................................144

#27: Beautiful Baritone:
The cow that mooed the entire time......................150

#28: No Leprechauns Needed:
The golden cow..........................................153

#29: “Cow”trageous:
The calf that bit me....................................157

#30: A Little Extra Mess:
The cow that was allergic to me.........................162

#31: Crunch:
The cow with weak knees.................................171

#32: Workaholic:
The time I did three cows at once.......................177

#33: Unfortunate Dissection:
My only embryotomy......................................180

#34: Extra! Extra!:
The calf that came out backwards........................189

#35: Head for the Hills:
When the cow's owner thought I was a bandit.............195

#36: Puzzle to Solve:
The cow that didn't like red or being blindfolded.......200

#37: Winona:
The horse that thought it was a cow.....................208

#38: Welcome Jack... and Jill:
The cow that had twins..................................215

#39: Alien Visitation?:
When I panicked and pushed the calf back in.............221

#40: Little Scrawny:
The cow that was out of season..........................226

#41: Petunia:
The cow that thought it was a horse.....................232

#42: Scaredy Cow:
The cow that kept frightening itself....................240

#43: The Disgruntled Mother Cow:
When the entire town was watching.......................243

#44: An Introduction to Human Doctoring:
The cow with the protective half-brother bull...........249

#45: “Cow”-tow:
The cow from Mongolia...................................256

#46: A Slight Misunderstanding:
The time there was no cow and I was kidnapped...........259

#47: Run of the Cow:
The cow from Spain......................................266

#48: Another Minor Setback:
The time my arm got stuck (again).......................274

#49: Meanie:
The cow that sat on my arm..............................279

#50: The Bride Price Rises:
The time my fiancée's father's cow died.................283

#51: Taste for Cattle Feed:
The cow that kicked me into a manger....................295

#52: Temporary “Moo”ther:
The calf that thought I was his mother..................302

#53: There was No Calf:
The cow with gas........................................307

#54: A Very Bad Idea:
The delivery on a moving train..........................314

#55: Fire!:
The cow that kicked the lantern over....................320

#56: Hefty Heifer:
The cow from Germany....................................326

#57: Sing-a-long:
The cow that liked opera................................330

#58: The Impetuous Pet:
The cow that ran away...................................337

#59: The Importance of a Safe Environment:
The time I fell through the floorboards.................345

#60: Oops:
When the cow up and died................................353

#61: Head for the Hills:
When the owner slipped in the mess......................360

#62: Missing “Moo”la:
The time they didn't pay me.............................365

#63: A Sad End to an Engagement:
The time my fiancée was watching........................371

#64: “Cow”abunga:
The third perfect delivery..............................379

#65: One for the Books:
The first successful cow cesarean section...............385

#66: My Only Failure:
The cow that was really a bull..........................394


***

"Who was the first guy that look at a cow and said, 'I think that I'll drink whatever comes out of those things when I squeeze them?'" Bill Watterson