I’m not a Scrooge, really, I’m not. So I can’t blame it on the upcoming holiday season. Maybe it’s just because I’m getting old(er). Or maybe I just need more chocolate. But for whatever the reason, I seem to be getting less tolerant of some of the news that crosses my desk.
For example, there is a move (coming from, where else, California) to make it illegal to declaw your cat. It’s already illegal in San Francisco, and Los Angeles, Santa Monica and Beverly Hills city councils are also considering adopting similar ban.
Proponents say declawing a cat is a form of animal cruelty and causes “pain, anguish and permanent disability” to cats.
Poppycock. There are no scientific data to support claims that declawing has long-term negative effects on a cat’s health and well-being.
I have an indoor cat. Her front paws are declawed. That was to save her from pain, anguish and likely permanent disability inflicted if I caught her snagging my shower curtain or living room curtains one more time. (I’m kidding, people!) More likely, if I didn’t declaw her, I would have had to put her outside and she would’ve gotten hit by a car on the state route in front of our house, the fate of Cat No. 1. Since I wouldn’t have had the heart to go through that again with two (then) young kids, I would have probably taken the cat to a shelter. And if she didn’t get adopted, she would have been euthanized.
Long story short: Declawing saved my cat’s life.
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From a Nov. 2 opinion piece in the Chicago Tribune comes this gem: “4-H: Cruel to animals and kids.”
The author says her stepdaughter has been traumatized by the realization that her project cow was either destined to be slaughtered for food or “treated as breeding machines.”
“Unfortunately, 4-H provides a mere snapshot of how we systematically desensitize ourselves to the origins of the chops, steaks and wings that we put in our mouths.”
My eyes quickly jumped to the bottom of the article and, yep, as I suspected, the author was affiliated with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
Puh-lease! First, 4-H is not just about animals. You can take rocketry, robotics, genealogy, bread-making, flower gardening and forestry projects. Second, 4-H provides a snapshot, yes, but of the real world, where hard work, patience and trials go into a major project like a steer. Third, 4-H builds self-esteem and self-confidence, public speaking skills, leadership, citizenship and tolerance.
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Finally, the Kentucky Grinch. Gov. Steve Beshear created an uproar when his office dubbed the lighted, decorated pine tree on the Capitol lawn a “holiday tree” instead of saying Christmas tree.
His spokesman said the tree celebrates a variety of winter holidays, not just Christmas.
We appreciate the recognition and celebration of other holidays at this time of year, and I know you could argue that the tree tradition has pagan roots, but, cripes, a Christmas tree is a Christmas tree. That’s what it’s called. We don’t put up a tree for Hanukkah or Kwanzaa or the winter solstice, we put up a tree for Christmas.
End of discussion.
And I promise I won’t be so perturbed next week.
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