Sunday, May 11, 2003

Jesús Gil at Ibidem links to this BBC story on the European trade in cat and dog fur. I have to agree with Jesús that if we raise cows and sheep and rabbits to kill for food or fur or whatever reason, then there's no reason we can't do that with cats and dogs either. Enough cats and dogs are put to death every year in so-called animal shelters anyway, for no really good reason, that it's hard to be angry at people who kill animals in order to put part of the animals' bodies to use.

That said, I'd certainly like to find out who is selling cat skins here in Barcelona. I'll denounce them to Jordi Portabella, the loudmouthed Republican Left leader and City Councilman. He's the guy who got the Barcelona pound to adopt a no-kill policy, to his credit.

What I'd really like to see is a policy to sterilize most domestic cats and all strays possible; that way, soon, cats would become less common, rather expensive, and highly cherished, rather in the same way that cruelty to horses (there was a very serious movement in Victorian England against such cruelty, which was seen every day in the streets; Black Beauty is the classic anti-cruelty-to-horses novel) has ended now that horses are rare, expensive, and cherished. And, to be very crude about it, the same thing is true of the treatment of human children. Now that there's one to the family, a lot more care of them is taken than in those not-so-long-ago days when there were nine, of whom seven made it out of infancy.

I'd like to see the same thing done for dogs as well, and I'd be in favor of a couple of breedicides, sterilizing all dogs of several problematic breeds--dobermans, rottweilers, pit bulls, maybe a couple of others. Those breeds would die out in this very generation, and human lives would be saved. No, I am not implying that this sort of dog eugenics should be applied to people, so please don't call me a Nazi.

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