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For the animals,
Armaiti May, DVM
For the animals,
Armaiti May, DVM
Posted by ahimsa32fa at 07/18/13 17:48:34It was in 1974 that I became fully aware of the number of dogs and cats being "euthanized" at animal shelters. Literature from various organizations urging the spaying and neutering of animals worked on my conscience. I certainly didn't want my boy Jacob fathering any more litters - one was too many - but castration was was simply too cruel for me to consider. So I made what I will always consider to be a logical, humane and compassionate decision, and found a vet that would perform a vasectomy for Jacob.
Most vets disagreed with my idea, saying that castration wasn't s bad, and that a vasectomy wouldn't prevent Jacob from "chasing". Their logic escaped me. If castration isn't so bad, why don't they use it on themselves? And I thought "neutering" was done for the prevention of unwanted litters; a vasectomy certainly accomplishes this.
No, neutering serves a less noble purpose than simple birth control. The "de-sexing of both male and female dogs has been said to make them a better "pet" - and more docile. And it will certainly eliminate the possibility of testicular or ovarian cancer, sort of in the same way that cutting off someone's head will prevent migraines forever.
Yes, just as "troublesome" humans (Jews, blacks, gypsies) were sometimes "de-sexed" and de-humanized by Nazi vivisectors seventy years ago, humans now de-sex and "de-caninize" dogs and "de-feinize" cats to gain control over their reproduction, but also to make their complete domination easier, all in the name of the better "pet". Many farm animals too, are de-sexed to make them more "manageable" before their trip to the slaughterhouse.
Sexual identity is a part of an animal's very being...to "neuter" them - to make them neutral beings,rather than fully male or female - is a thoughtless insult to their nature, and ultimate form of suppression and domination.
Of course, it's a shame that we can't allow all domesticated animals to breed as they please, but we have created the problem of overpopulation, by breeding dogs as a commercial enterprise, selling them as commodities, via kennel clubs and puppy mills, while we simultaneously kill them by the millions at animal shelters. Must we make THEM pay the price for our lack of foresight by denying them even their sexuality?
The thoughtful vet who did Jacob's surgery said that vasectomy and tubal ligation was just as easy as removing the sexual organs of all but the tiniest of animals. He also told me that many "neutered" animals become lazy, overweight, depressed, and often do not lose their aggressive behavior. And I can't help but wonder what a de-sexed cat or dog thinks when they see others enjoying sexual activity.
I fully understand that the spay and neuter programs promoted by animal shelters and animal welfare organizations are undertaken with the best intentions - to reduce the number of animals that will eventually be "euthanized". But I wish these folks would dig just a little deeper into their well of compassion, consider the few pleasures that domestic animals are granted, and begin to promote more humane methods of birth control.
And my boy and teacher Jacob got to enjoy sex for all of his fourteen years.
-from my second book, "Natural Reflection: Thoughts on Nature, Animals & Non-Violence"