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More Drivel From CNet: Google Hates People, Loves Deer

Here's another gem from CNet, where two anecdotes are combined to reach the conclusion that drivers for Google Street View value the lives of deer over those of humans. This is presumed to be bad.

Let's get this straight: the driver who hit the baby deer stopped because he hit the deer. Whatever happened to the deer is his fault. If nothing else, who knows, there might be legal consequences for doing that. Maybe it's an endangered deer. Maybe not. Maybe the guy just doesn't want to go home to his family and admit to his kids he killed Bambi's mother.

Earlier, another driver in another country witnessed a human being passed out from inebriation on his own lawn after failing to get all the way inside his house following a night of drunken carousing. The driver did not stop and check on him (but did take photos).

So the conclusions the CNet author would like us to reach: Google View drivers care more about deer than people.

This is utter nonsense. The driver probably did care more about the direct consequences of his own actions rather than the consequences of another's actions (in this case, the man's choice to get rip-roaring drunk and pass out on his lawn). I think it is logical to assume that had one driver hit a human being while the other had observed a drunken, passed-out deer, perhaps both would have stopped. After all, hitting someone with a car can be a serious offense, and a drunken deer is a pretty unusual thing to see. However, while hitting a deer with a car might be a cause for concern, seeing someone passed out from drinking is not nearly as unusual.

Second, there's the submerged assumption that deer are more important than people. People are certainly no less able to take care of themselves than deer. Deer don't appear to place themselves and their welfare at the whim of others by imbibing mind-altering chemicals (although they may do so while attempting to cross the road). The person might be "worth more" from the perspective of a speciesist, but at the same time, isn't he more capable of looking after his own welfare than the deer-- at least in theory?