I suppose it is obvious. But when passion and anger combine, people who detest the process of declawing domestic cats can sometimes slip into a tendency to criticise Americans generally. This is very unfair and it does not further the campaign to stop declawing cats in America.
A comment by an American, Jessica D, prompted me to write this short post and her comment reminded me that there are many millions of people in America who detest declawing as much as I do and others who campaign against it. There may be 100,000,000 people in America who dislike declawing. There are about 100,000 veterinarians who do it. They lead. They can stop it.
In some ways, you could argue that it is unfair to criticise any American cat owner for declawing their cat because if a person is born into a culture that has embraced a certain activity as normal notwithstanding that that activity is in fact abnormal, is very easy for a person to slip into that culture even though they might be a well-rounded person of good character.
All of us are able to be misled or be bad. We are all, at the end of the day, vulnerable humans carrying the usual human failings and foibles. Remember the well-known phrase, “But for the grace of God, go I”. It means that just by chance we can end up in a better situation than somebody else or by chance we can be raised in a better way than somebody else.
A lot of people, anywhere in the world, tend to follow the pack, the masses – what is handed down to them by their parents and by the prevailing culture at the time. A lot of people are rather unthinking. Most people tend to be cautious and rather conservative and sometimes lack independent thought. These are all normal human traits. They are traits that lend people to following what other people do without question and if your veterinarian says that people declaw their cats under certain situations and that the operation is short, safe and without complications, you can see what the outcome will be. It is difficult to blame the person under these circumstances even if that person instructs their veterinarian to amputate the top of 10 toes of their beloved family cat.
For some almost inexplicable reason the activity of declawing a domestic cat took hold in America, when it should not have. I see it as a national aberration. I don’t think it is inherent in Americans to declaw their cats. It is just part of the culture which is bound up with other cultural aspects of American life.
I sincerely hope that all the articles on this website (this link goes to some), which are critical of cat declawing are precise enough not to generalise by criticising “Americans”. I agree that we do not have the right to criticise Americans generally but we do have the right to criticise the operation itself and the professionals who carry it out even if it all happens a long way away from us. In any event, there are very many Americans who dislike declawing as much as many Europeans do. Those Americans, living in America, criticise their fellow citizens for declawing their cats.
I think it is fair to say that animal welfare is a planet-wide issue and therefore people living in one country should not be barred from observing and commenting on aspects of animal welfare that concern them in another country. Sometimes anti-declawers in Europe are criticised by Americans for interfering in their affairs. I feel that this is incorrect provided their concern is expressed in a fair way.