go birds wrote:
It's not about need though...it's about the fact it's inhumane to declaw them, IMO at least.
I'll make sure to tell my cat that we're sorry for treating her so inhumanely the next time she's laying on our laps, purring, and nuzzling up against us. If it is inhumane, the cats we've had don't seem to realize it or lack for anything. And many of the arguments against declawing, imo, don't hold up perfectly under scrutiny.
Survival -- If an exclusively indoor cat gets out and is not found, declawed or not, it's odds of survival are simply not high. They're not proficient hunters, they're typically very timid and scared in the wild, and their primary adversaries are things that their claws are at best a weak defense against -- getting caught in fences, cars, coyotes/foxes, larger dogs. Do they have better odds of surviving with claws? Probably, but it's not a good situation regardless.
Other Nations ban it -- The implication is that the majority of people in other nations see it as a vile act, have taken measures against it, and so we're inhumane or barbaric for allowing it. To me, that doesn't really hold up well. Governmental policy is not always a reflection of what the people actually believe about issues of humane/inhumane behavior. A majority of people in America are pro-life, yet abortions are legal. A majority of people in America are pro-gay marriage, yet those are illegal in most places. Seems like the same can be said for Euthanasia, though a quick google search gave me conflicting stats. So, should declawing be seen as universally inhumane just because other governments ban it? Well, what were the circumstances of that decision in that country? What type of government do they have? What do people in those countries actually feel about that issue? Those are questions that have to be answered in order for that defense to stand up.
Anyway, I'm not even suggesting that we should go out and declaw every cat we come across as if it's the only right and decent thing to do. Obviously, that's absurd. But, I don't think it's an issue that can be labeled as unequivocally inhumane either. I think it's better to not declaw your cat. I think it's worth considering whether you really need or really want a cat if you're just going to have it declawed. Likewise, you should consider whether you really need or want a dog if you can't provide an environment where it can get exercise, etc. We often treat pets as there to serve our needs and whims without thinking through the kind of life that animal should be able to live.
But, we throw the word "inhumane" (i.e. barbaric, cruel, vile) over this issue like it's black and white. I don't think it's really that black and white. It's a gray area that's going to vary with personal opinion, experience, and preference. Some people are going to be very emotional about it and see it as very cut and dry. Others aren't going to see it as an issue at all. And I think both sides can support their beliefs.
Q: What year is it?
A: Ty Wigginton