The special relationship between the United Kingdom and the United States is strained by the fact that a substantial section of society in America support the declawing of cats. Clearly, this only affects people who (a) are aware of the fact that some people do declaw their cats in America and (b) love or like cats and animals. That said, a very large part of society in both countries like animals and are sensitive towards the needs of animals. Therefore, the declawing of domestic cats in America is a substantial irritation and barrier to a successful relationship between British and American people.
I like America and in general I like American people. But as stated, when I think of the millions of cats that are put through the terrible process of declawing, by sensible and law-abiding American people, I become irritated and upset and ask myself why do they do this. To a European who is sensitive towards animals and animal rights it seems to me that a person who declaws their cat is unsophisticated and uncivilised. It is an uncivilised act. It is an unrefined form of behaviour. I hate to say that but I can’t avoid the conclusion.
The special relationship between the UK and the USA is probably based upon the simple fact that we are essentially the same people and we speak the same language (almost). The American people came from Europe over 400 years ago. We have the same DNA and the same background and therefore we should understand each other more easily.
But British people who are aware that cats are declawed in America don’t understand the mentality of Americans who do it. It makes me want to dislike the individual American people who request their veterinarian to declaw their cat. I have to dislike these people because it is so contrary to my fundamental way of thinking in respect of our relationship with animals and particularly the domestic cat. It seems brutally uncivilised to me and crude behaviour.
So what is civilised behaviour? What is sophisticated behaviour? I’m sure people have different points of view about that. For me, one aspect of civilised behaviour is to behave in a way which creates harmony in a community of people or a society of people and in the world at large. If there is harmony life is better and life is easier.
Living in harmony with others should, in a civilised society, include living in harmony with all creatures that inhabit the planet. This includes the domestic cat. If a person is to live in harmony with the domestic cat the person must respect the cat. People cannot live in harmony with either the human animal or the animal without respect for others. That must be a fundamental starting point.
When a cat owner has her cat declawed it is disrespectful of their cat. It is modifying, in a rather brutal way, a cat’s anatomy for the convenience of the owner. It is one-way traffic, the cat’s owner is doing exactly what he or she wishes with her cat at her convenience. I conclude, therefore, that this is uncivilised behaviour and it puts a strain as far as I’m concerned on my relationship with the American people because it goes to a fundamental cultural belief.
When you read articles or comments by people who support declawing you understand that there is no way you can present an argument to them that will change their mind. And vice versa, by the way. A pro-declaw person, no matter how hard they try, will never be able to convince an anti-declaw person that it is acceptable. We think completely differently. This strains our relationship because we both like cats, which should be a good starting point in a successful relationship.
If I am right that the act of declawing a cat is uncivilised behaviour, then how did this come about? I can only conclude that when the first Europeans landed in America they had to restart their lives afresh and in doing so they turned the clock back several hundred years and had to rebuild a fresh society. That was a knock back in terms of a developmental process towards civilised behaviour. Today, America is a very advanced society in very many areas such as technology but in some areas they are less advanced than Europeans. The evolution of the American people over the preceding 400 years has not been even. There is still an element of the wild West about the way some American people relate to wildlife. It is almost as if for a part of American society their relationship with animals is about 100 years behind their relationship with technology.
I’ll leave it there. I write this with respect for the American people. I hope the article is not disrespectful. I don’t believe it is because it is honest and I’m sure other Europeans and British people have similar feelings concerning other aspects of European and American life.
Note: I have not generalised. I refer to “some” Americans not “Americans”.