Better And Better

If you don't draw yours, I won't draw mine. A police officer, working in the small town that he lives in, focusing on family and shooting and coffee, and occasionally putting some people in jail.

Friday, December 19, 2008

How do the rules go, again?

Seriously-- I don't have a dog in this hunt.

But when I read this story about cops and SPCA agents (!?!) raiding a house where a woman was selling "goth"* kittens with piercings, I began to wonder: why did we decide that she broke the rules?

Indignities aside, we can breed all manifestations of bizarre animals, without hassle. When they're born, we crop their ears, dock their tails, cut off their nuts, and give them tubals. We put in chip implants, rings through noses of bulls, and we cut out the claws of our cats. Let's not even begin to get into the ridiculous haircuts we give these animals.

I've walked past the mall ear-piercing kiosks more than once to see mothers comforting screaming little girls as they coax them into a chair to have their ears pierced. Human children. Babies.

Tell me why we give a damn if this woman wants to fluff up her kittehs to make 'em more sellable on the open market? I just want to know the rules, here. Because it seems like we could find more important things to focus on.

*Intentionally left lower-case, as it seems that the original meaning of the word has long since flown.

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At Friday, December 19, 2008 2:36:00 PM, Blogger The Lily said...

Well, the EU and UK have made tail docking illegal without a medical reason, there have already been precedents set where people

And! they are also working on making ear cropping illegal. So I guess that is something. But

Fluffing up a dog to make it sell better doesn't mean it's any healthier, standard-correct or right in the head than one that isn't. But if one were to go laissez-faire... I'd say "A fool and his money are soon parted."

At Friday, December 19, 2008 3:49:00 PM, Blogger Crucis said...

I've long lost any respect I had for the ASPCA. They've turned into a batch of supercilious, Holier-than-Thou snobs with nothing better to do with their time than to impose their views on other---legality be damed. I've placed them in the same category with Red Cross.

I'm a Ham Radio Operator but the RC insisted on a full background check on me including credit check before I could help them. Oh, I couldn't bring my pistol into disaster areas either ignoring that my CCW was recognized by that state. They didn't want my help ignoring my years of prior service unless I met their new rules. Many Hams refused to meet their demands.

They still want my money, however.

At Friday, December 19, 2008 5:43:00 PM, Blogger Strings said...

I'm going to agree with your last "better thing to focus on".

Every day, another child dies who should have been taken away from a parent that was "unsafe". There's a family in Appleton WI, who the social services folks declare are "lost causes". and yet they still have custody of their children.

With stuff like that going on, we're wasting money on someone who's using piercings to make kittens more "marketable"? Ye gawds!

At Friday, December 19, 2008 7:18:00 PM, Blogger phlegmfatale said...

Actually, there is ancient precedent of piercing cats - hieroglyphics in the Egyptian pyramids feature cats with earrings, and there is also ancient statuary of cats with earrings. I don't know how they kept the kitties cooperative, but there you have it.

Remember the delectable spoof bonsai kittens? Funny stuff.

At Friday, December 19, 2008 9:26:00 PM, Blogger Geoff said...

It could be argued that the "alterations" you've mentioned would fall under "useful." A ring in the nose of a bull affords a level of control over what can be a dangerous large animal, for example. Docked ears and tail have been seen as affording advantages to watchdogs.
As for the infamous poodle cut, oddly enough it came about for retrieving in cold water. The thick fur covers the major organs and joints while reducing the overall drag on the woolly dog. (Personally, I think anyone who doesn't use their poodle as a hunting dog should leave it unshorn, but it's only hair.)

Leaving chunks of metal embedded in the dermis of pets with all the risks inherent in piercings strictly for decorative purposes crosses the line where the consequences to that animal are not countervailed by discrete benefit.

I'm not all that fond of parents who would subject their kids to getting holes punched through their bodies before the child can understand what is going on.

At Friday, December 19, 2008 9:49:00 PM, Blogger Sabra said...

You're right. Much as I dislike the idea of piercing a cat's ears or whatever, it's no worse than the other things we do to animals in the name of cosmetics. Persians are bred specifically to have smushed-in faces, making it difficult to breathe, for instance. In fact most breeding is done for cosmetic purposes, even though the inbreeding can seriously weaken an animal. The hip dysplasia so common in Rottweilers is another example.

There are more important issues even if we keep it into the animal kingdom. Treating pets as disposable is one. Starving them. Puppy mills. You can branch out to the way animals in factory farms are treated.

And this says nothing of the point you've made, which is vitally important. Bexar County has sky-high rates of child abuse, but our local government is piddling itself over stuff like a bikini car wash. It's...Well, I've really got no words.

(And for what it's worth, none of my girls' ears are pierced. After holding the eldest for her two-month shots, I decided there was no way I could cause her pain for my own vanity.)

At Saturday, December 20, 2008 10:41:00 AM, Blogger Xavier said...

Damned right Matt!

I agree wholeheartedly.

At Saturday, December 20, 2008 1:05:00 PM, Anonymous LabRat said...

Well, the problem with piercing a cat (or dog's) ears is that the animal will almost certainly rip the offending foreign body out.

But, I agree with your main point- we have better things to do and in the grand scheme of things this is pretty picayune stuff. I have a much bigger moral objection to the deliberate breeding of English Bulldogs and Pekingese as they are now than I do to this.

As for piercing kids... I don't get it. I've got my share of holes I wasn't born with, but I CHOSE to put all of them there and dealt with the aftercare myself. I can even begin to imagine trying to keep a toddler's piercings properly clean and healing.


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