To Shout Or Not To Shout That Is The Question

To Shout Or Not To Shout That Is The Question

by Michael
(London, UK)

I would just like to write a short note about the anti-declawing protest march in St. Louis on 17th July 2011. You can read about it on these pages: Anti-Declawing demonstration St. Louis, USA, 2011, timetable and methods and the Facebook page on this subject.

We are going to have educational handouts available to give to the public and specially prepared ones for any veterinarian who cares to take one.

We are going to have song as well. Ruth is going to sing. This adds a nice new dimension to proceedings.

I would expect each participating person to bring along their own banner and if they want to express themselves further a costume! I would love to see a few funky Felix costumes..!

The current meeting place is the day before under the St. Louis Arch in the evening. The exact time is to be agreed.

I would like anyone who has other ideas on any of the above matters to please leave a comment.

Lastly, I would like to discuss the slightly knotty matter of whether we chant or not.

In my original posting I suggested chanting as one aspect of the demonstration. Chanting is a classic British demo technique!

Note: I am not saying that we chant or shout. I am thinking aloud and putting out ideas and chanting is one possibility. If people hate the idea please say so. I have no intention of dictating what happens. This is a joint venture and all have an equal say.

By chanting I mean that, in unison, our brave band of protesters shout out a short phrase. This is triggered by someone. For example a person with a megaphone shouts:

PROMPT: “What do we want?”

RESPONSE BY GROUP: “To stop declawing”


PROMPT: “American Vets”

RESPONSE: “Shame on you!”


PROMPT: “Protect claws or couch?”

RESPONSE: “Claws, claws, claws”


PROMPT: “Who breaks their oath?”

RESPONSE: “Vets, vets, vets”


These are just a few examples that I have made up on the spur of the moment. These examples do have an “edge” to them but judging by the comments of people visiting the declaw pages this is appropriate as people are very upset indeed and rightly so about declawing.

The advantage of chanting is that it is designed to be noisy. This attracts people to us who can’t see us. It also generates a sense of unity in the group and energizes the group. But as Kathleen and Susan would rightly say, it has to be conducted in an orderly way. Update: I think Kathleen dislikes chanting – please comment!

That said, I am respectful of all views and would, therefore, appreciate comments on this as well. If it is agreed (& only if) that we do it, I would also welcome ideas for chanting. They have to be short and punchy to make them memorable and to give them force. Please remember that this is a demonstration. I don’t think that it can be too polite.

One last point. Participants should bring video and still cameras. I intend making a classy video of this (I have a YouTube partnership channel) and would ask that they forward their material to me by mail using a cheap USB Flash Drive. 4 GB flash drives cost less than $10. 4 GB should be large enough.

I am bringing my own equipment but I can’t be everywhere so other video material would be useful.


Michael Avatar

Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

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To Shout Or Not To Shout That Is The Question

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Feb 15, 2011 Ruth’s chant is good
by: Ruth (Monty’s Mom)

I like Ruth’s chant. We could come up with others like it. I think all chanting together is better than a leader shouting and we answering back. It sounds less angry that way, but still accomplishes everything you want to accomplish with chanting.

Thanks for the reminder about free speech, Michael. Sometimes I feel we don’t really have it anymore. At the very least it is under attack. I attended a rally to protest high taxation and the newspapers called us an angry mob. It wasn’t like that at all. People were friendly, it was an orderly event and everyone picked up after themselves. It was a very classy event. Recently an attack by a mentally ill gunman was blamed on people like myself who speak out against high taxes and runaway spending. The charge was that our political discourse pushed him over the edge, so we need to stop. There is talk of bringing back the “fairness doctrine” and basically killing conservative talk radio.

If you say what people don’t like you are called mean spirited or crazy, no matter how calmly or rationally you make those arguments. The idea is put forth that sure, we have freedom of speech, but not this particular speech. I don’t think our protest will be immune. We will be called all kinds of names and accused of being emotional instead of rational.

We need more people like you in the world, Michael, who can listen to all sides, including those you don’t agree with and value other viewpoints, or at least the right of others to hold and express those views. You are very diplomatic with all of us who visit and contribute to PoC and those of us who are working with you on this protest.

My thought is that if you are secure in your views, it’s easy to be polite to those who hold opposing views. When hearing other views creates cognitive dissonance, that’s when the opposing viewpoint has to be silenced. Hearing the truth about declawing is going to cause a lot of cognitive dissonance among the vets. Things could get interesting.

Feb 15, 2011 Ruth
by: Michael

Thanks Ruth for the chant. Nice one. I like it. We’ll use it if there is an agreement that we chant!

Feb 15, 2011 Chanting
by: Ruth

Chanting properly can not be called shouting and I think chanting is good because the message reaches peoples brains by being repetative.
I think singing Ruth’s songs and chanting in between songs will send a powerful message across and attract a lot of attention.
Listen to some Taize music and singing on YouTube to get the idea, it’s so beautiful and repetitive it sticks in your brain. You’ll find yourself singing the words later even if you think you can’t remember them.
I can picture the public and even the vets with a refrain like this stuck in their minds for days/weeks after:

Paws need claws, declaw no more
Paws need claws, declaw no more
Paws need claws, declaw no more

A subtle brainwashing !!!

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Feb 15, 2011 To anonymous
by: Ruth

I know this is the wrong place but anonymous will hopefully come back to this page and I just want to educate him/her here incase he/she doesn’t see the other pages.

Point 1,YES declawing IS many times lightly done. A supposedly last resort operation is routinely done to little kittens as young as 11 weeks. Their toe ends are amputated JUST INCASE they scratch.
I’d call that extremely lightly done anonymous.

Point 2, yes some cats WOULD be better off dead than suffering from the mental and/or physical problems declawing can cause. Please read up on declawing problems anonymous and how many cats are suffering. Also look on and see how many declawed kittens and cats are in Shelters, relinquished by the same ignorant people who had that done to them.
Remember too as you look, that the numbers don’t include the declawed cats killed on admission to kill Shelters or caged for life in no kill Shelters because they are unadoptable.

Point 3, you say the declawed cats you’ve seen ‘seem’ perfectly fine to you.
You obviously don’t know that cats adjust to living a disabled life because they have no choice, nor do you ‘seem’ to know that cats hide their pain because to show it makes them feel vulnerable.

Why do you think declawing is banned as animal abuse in many countries ?
The answer is of course because it IS animal abuse, it is pre-meditated abuse at that.

PLEASE read the many articles here on PoC, look at the pictures too, then tell us if you still think declawing is EVER justifiable.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Feb 15, 2011 Response to last comment
by: Michael

Thanks for the comment but this page is about the demonstration and how to do it! There are many other pages where you can discuss the topic that you have raised which by the way is a false argument.

Feb 14, 2011 in opposition
by: Anonymous

While I agree with you that declawing should not be lightly done, what is your basis for thinking that is is lightly done? Do you really think cats are better dead than declawed? For some, that is the choice.

I have known some declawed cats, and while I would not myself declaw a cat, I understand why these cats owners took that action. The cats seemed perfectly fine to me.

Feb 14, 2011 Non-threatening
by: Michael

Thanks Ruth for your comment. I believe that chanting is non-threatening. It is quite loud because a large number are doing it but it is an example of freedom of speech, protected under the first amendment.

An exception to the first amendment is “speech that incites imminent lawless action” (Wikipedia). But the chanting that I mention cannot be described as that in my opinion, particularly if the chanting is drafted sensibly.

That said I am in the hands of the protesters and their views and will comply with their views.

Michael Avatar

Feb 14, 2011 non-threatening demonstration
by: Ruth (Monty’s Mom)

I think we have to be careful with the chanting, that indeed it stays chanting and isn’t shouting. I hope there is a difference. I think there can be if we are clever in what and how we chant. If we appear intimidating or threatening we can run afoul of the law. If we appear angry we can turn people off. I still think we’re better off singing than chanting. I’m working on some simple protest songs. We have to be careful about just writing new words for existing tunes, but I’m trying to create very accessible tunes. Some familiar tunes which should be public domain aren’t and if we record and transmit those via YouTube we would be breaking copyright law. I’m all for singing, so long as it is original or public domain, but I’m a little hesitant about chanting unless it is very clever and doesn’t degenerate into angry shouting.

Feb 14, 2011 Sing and chant
by: Ruth

I love Ruth (Monty’s mom)’s idea to sing !!! She composes and sings too, I’m sure she could compose an anti declaw refrain !
If I was able to come I’d certainly sing along with her.
Chanting is good too, it attacts attention, lots in cat costumes would be good with no finger ends.
I can hardly wait to see you all on YouTube.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

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