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Ethics and Decapods

Posted by Mick on March 19, 2010 – 5:33 pm

It’s time for another episode of Uncle Mick’s Ethical Conundrums.

Technically, this is the first episode of Uncle Mick’s Ethical Conundrums.  But I plan to do another episode in the future.  That’s the next episode, this is the other episode.  It’s an other episode, in a manner of speaking.  A grammatically incorrect, but incredibly clever, manner of speaking.

I received a comment today on one of my previous blog entries.  Pleasantly, the comment was not generated by a spam-bot.  Sadly, it was a blatant spam, a clear case of someone with a website searching a topic, finding a mention of said topic in my blog, and posting an ad for their website.  That’s an easy one:  Reject, Mark as Spam, end of story.

But wait, there’s more.

Here’s the entire story.  I made a joke about the shrimp blogger Taco Bell commercial.  This person works for an environmental awareness organization that opposes shrimp fishing and farming because, they contend, it’s bad for the environment.

It’s still Spam.  But it’s for a good cause.  Whether you agree or disagree with their position, and I’m not saying, I think that speaking out about your beliefs and raising awareness about issues is a good thing.  Compared to some Chinese guys trying to sell my readers medications to alter the size of their… little monkeys, I think it’s a noble gesture.

And therein lies the conundrum.  Should one approve, and thereby approve of, Spam when it’s used to spread propaganda instead of snake oil and porn?

In this case, I opted NOT to approve the comment because it wasn’t honest.  I think if it had been presented differently, I would not only have posted the comment, I would have given them a shout out in the blog today.

As I sit here and ponder further – because oft times, that’s how I write, I sit and ponder – as I sit here and ponder, I wonder if I’m being overly harsh.  That’s the kind of thing I ponder.  I have an inherent drive to “do the right thing”.  Always have.  I’m not a goody two shoes, I’ll break a law, I’ll skate on the edge, but when it comes right down to it, I always try to follow the golden rule.  Treat your neighbor like you want your neighbor to treat you.  Don’t piss off the people around you.  Have a little courtesy.

Don’t be a dick, be a dude.

I’m going to throw this ethical dilemma to you guys.  The comment was “I think they’re referring to our shrimp blog” and had a link to their website,  Should I give them a pass on the Spam thing?  Your personal feelings about shrimp, eating, and/or eating shrimp should have no bearing on your decision.

Be good to each other.

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3 Responds so far- Add one»

  1. 1. Said:

    Heya Mick,

    Sorry for the spam. Didn’t realize that comments in the “comments” section of a blog we’re considered spam. As the shrimp blogger, you’d think I’d know that!

    The “shrimp blogger” comments in your blog and the new Taco Bell ad come up in our news feed. Since we’re the original shrimp blog, of course they would!

    I think the ethical question should be “should we give Taco Bell a pass on selling shrimp that promote ocean destruction?”

    Or, “why aren’t we more concerned about the most destructive fishing practice ever invented?” (short of dynamite fishing).

    BTW, this isn’t an extreme view, shrimp trawlers catch up to 90% “non-shrimp species”, most of which get thrown back dead, including sea turtles. And much of our imported farmed shrimp come from places where mangrove forests are leveled to make the ponds. makes and spend no $. Doesn’t want your membership. Just asks that you consider the consequences of your shrimp eating.

    Some folks say “I don’t care.” Others say “Wow, I had no idea.”

    To each his/her own. Just putting the facts about America’s #1 seafood on the table. Because Taco Bell and Red Lobster aren’t going to do it.

    Hopefully this has been appropriately dude-like and un-dickish. If not, we’d love to hear your approach, if you were a marine biologist watching the shrimp industry roll over our planet as folks went for the all you can eat shrimp deal. All legal, of course.

    Check out the facts, such as the reports from the National Academy of Sciences and photos by National Geographic photographer Brian Skerry, and we’ll chat more. And when/if you eat shrimp, do so carefully.


    The Original Shrimp Blogger, from down under

    PS Real shrimp bloggers blog for free. Fake one’s on Taco Bell commercials get paid royalties every time the ad runs.

    PPS Thanks for the shout out!

  2. 2. tara short Said:

    Thanks for sharing the information on

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