Animal rights

Mark D. Fulwiler (
Sat, 16 Jan 1999 14:26:23 -0800

Michael S. Lorrey <> writes:

> Subject: Re: Animal rights
> "Mark D. Fulwiler" wrote:
> > I have a friend who is trying to convince me that torturing cats should
> > be legal ......snip..........
> > At any rate, I pointed out to him that I don't give a damn about what
> > Miss Rand thinks about the "rights" of sadistic cat torturers, but if he
> > had a good extralegal solution to the problem of cruelty to animals , I
> > would entertain the idea. He doesn't think people should torture cats,
> > only that it should be legally allowed.
> >
> > I have two cats, so I am a bit biased in favor of the critters.
> >
> Well, are your cats fixed? That seems to me to be (presupposing the animal
> rights argument) to be as torturous as female circumcision in humans....
> Mike Lorrey

Yes, my cats are fixed. You cannot get a cat from the Humane Society that has not been fixed. (This is done using an anesthetic, so the cat does not suffer.) Yes, I suppose an animal "rights" person could argue that you are denying cats the experience of sexual pleasure. However, the consequences of not sterilizing some cats and letting them all "do their thing" would be millions more strays running around leading miserable lives, getting diseases, starving to death and being squashed by cars. Just taking a purely utilitarian approach towards animal welfare (forget "rights") argues strongly in favor of sterilization. Also, I doubt very much whether sterilized cats really are in terrible psychic agony over their condition, unlike humans.

I really have not come across a good argument for twisting cats necks and throwing them against a wall. The question is whether this ought to be legally prohibited or not.

Mark D. Fulwiler