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25 July 2007


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John Vermes

The article makes many good points. It may even in some unusual context be a framework for bringing together the silent majority of open-minded people on both sides.

That said, those of us who take pets into our own homes cannot allow ourselves to sit idly by while energetic activists pull whatever strings they can to take away precisely that lifestyle. In this bill, they are cynically exploiting the problem of shelter pets by manipulating its public presentation for their own ends.

Influential and extremely well-funded forces behind this movement explicitly maintain that the 10,000 year old hierarchical relationship between people and animals is unethical and should be eliminated. In fact, they advocate the (to them utopian) end-goal of eradicating all forms of animal domestication, including pet ownership.

While such people can certainly be said to love animals in the abstract, at the endpoint of their quest – unstated in most of their public discourse – they revoke a freedom that has persisted since the misty origins of human civilization: the freedom to take animals into our keep. In less esoteric terms, they plan to take away the option to engage in complex, emotionally fraught, and ultimately life-affirming relationships that enrich and sustain so many of us.

The string-pullers behind these new-breed spay/neuter laws are not animal lovers in the usual sense. They are their sworn enemies.


I think that paints a very large group as being defined by a few people at its fringe--something done by both sides and quite the opposite of seeking common ground, even if only re: short term, specific goals. The dog in a shelter today doesn't really care what unrealistic goals people might have about the future of domesticated animals as we know them.

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