By Paul Graham, Las
We are here to live on our own or be a companion to humans. We are not a commodity to be tested, bred, bought, sold, eaten, or killed for our fur. We are more loving, smarter and more clever than many humans on this planet. All we want is a chance to live peacefully amongst humans and one another. We simply want a chance to live.
If I were a cat, there would be a chance that I would find myself in a home sharing it with humans and perhaps other cats or animals. I would be well taken care and allowed to roam the house freely and do as I wanted. While the dogs would have “masters,” I would simply have “staff.” I would have my own toys and treats, which would hopefully include some catnip. I would be as affectionate as I desired to be and would enjoy being petted…it would be a guarantee to get my purring motor going. I would enjoy playing, napping, eating, and being curious. If I lived in a house like this, there would be a good chance that I might be spayed or neutered to prevent me from reproducing. I would be okay with that.
If I were a cat, I could also be part of the 70 million feral or stray cats in this country alone. That figure might be even higher. A feral cat is a domestic cat that has returned to the wild. A stray cat is cat that is lost or has been abandoned. Many of us will be captured and taken to a shelter where some might be adopted while others will face death. At least three-to-four million of us are put down each year in shelters in this country alone. There are not enough shelters or people coming forth to adopt us. Over five million of us each year are struck by vehicles and killed. Left to our own devices we will continue to multiply. One feral/stray female cat can start a birthing chain that would result in 370,000 kittens in as little as seven years alone. There wouldn’t even be enough homes to take us in even if they could. The best thing you can do for us is to keep us from birthing. The greater problem is not the ending of our lives, it is that there are far too many beginnings.
If I were a cat, I could be one of over 20,000 involved in medical experiments in laboratories in schools and hospitals each year. Horrible things are done to us…our brains are cut open and things put inside. We are poked and prodded and cut open. Our eyes and other organs are removed and tested. We are injected with chemicals to see how we react. We sit alone in cages waiting for the next terrible thing to be done to us. When they are done with us they throw us out with the garbage. Tens of thousands of us are sold to schools each year so that students can cut us open and dissect our dead and preserved bodies. They also use us for intubation testing shoving tubes down our sensitive throats. We are not human but they do it anyway. Their tests on us don’t prove anything most of the time and yet they still do it because they get money for it and they have to keep busy. There is nothing good about that.
If I were a cat, I might be part of the unlucky four million or so cats that are eaten in Asia each year. While there is so many other things that could be eaten in this world, some people still choose to eat us. We are rounded up and shoved into baskets to be weighed and sold. Often times we are forced into boiling water to remove our skins…still alive. Are bodies are then hung in the marketplaces for people to buy and take home or to their restaurants. Sometimes they take our fur and use it to adorn clothing or shoes. Our lives being reduced to that of a commodity for others to benefit from. We could also find ourselves being bred on farms or mills where we are bred to sell to pet stores and other places. The conditions that we live in are usually very bad and many of us get very sick and die. When the females can’t breed anymore they too are just killed and discarded.
If I were a cat, I could hope to be found in a home where the people would love and take care of me. They would do the responsible thing and see that I could not be a part of producing other cats. The more people that do this the less problem we will eventually have. This needs to happen now or pretty soon it will be something that no one will be able to control. We are here to live on our own or be a companion to humans. We are not a commodity to be tested, bred, bought, sold, eaten, or killed for our fur. We are more loving, smarter and more clever than many humans on this planet. All we want is a chance to live peacefully amongst humans and one another. We simply want a chance to live.
Paul Graham was born and raised in Northern California and has lived in Las Vegas since 2004. He is a top wedding officiate, a green Realtor and writer. He has a daily vegan food blog, Eating Vegan in Vegas which is 365 days and 365 vegan meals in Las Vegas.
Paul’s e-book, Eating Vegan in Vegas: If It Can Happen Here, It Can Happen Anywhere is now available at www.sullivanstpress.com.
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