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Belgium is pretty cool. Ghent is an absolutely beautiful city, filled with the kind of stunning architecture that one might expect to see in European cities better known for their visual splendor. And did you know that Ghent was the second-largest city in Europe (behind Paris) for quite a while, quite a while back? Just up the road is Bruges – a medieval city that was a bustling center of commerce until its harbor silted up 400 or so years ago. As a result, it still looks much as it did then. And back then, it looked mighty good.
Let’s see… what else? The pommes frites – to which I had been looking forward with almost maniacal glee – were not all that. In my experience (admittedly limited to Ghent), one can do much better on St. Mark’s Place in NYC.
The beer, however. Oh, the beer. Oh, it’s good. It’s good beer.
The IUCN Colloquium was pretty great too. My panel was on agriculture and biodiversity. Several presentations, especially that of Carmen Gonzalez from Seattle U., were nicely synergistic with mine. In addition, I had several excellent discussions with colleagues from around the world, including Australia, Canada, and several European countries, about the threats to ethics and the environment that arise from our current relationships with nonhumans. Animal law seems to be gaining a little bit of purchase in the international environmental law arena and I intend to continue climbing that rock until it throws me off.