The barbarity of religion

It is sad that so many people in the world grant religions a cloak of respectability which they just do not deserve. Whatever good they may provide through charity work or support systems is no doubt completely overshadowed by the harm they do in impeding education, preventing equal rights, stifling free expression and acts of cruelty to both humans and other animals.

The supposed good religions do through charity is vastly overestimated and in any case counteracted by their tax-exempt status in many parts of the world. The Council for Secular Humanism has a report containing an analysis of the charity of religions in the United States. Continue reading

More on pets: part 2

Following on from “Take care of your pets” and “More on pets: part 1“.

Looking at the evidence for sterilisation we can’t really claim that it is more harmful to sterilise a cat than not. However the situation for dogs should give us pause when we consider how things may change as more information comes to light. So does this then mean that we should just sterilise freely? Not quite, there are other things that need to be taken into account, such as whether we should be considering such a path at all.

Sterilisation, whether good or not, is still a major procedure and one that has real impacts. A question that we should then ask ourselves is whether it is something that we have the right to do. Are we able to impose decisions that are for the best in situations where an individual won’t make that decision themselves? Continue reading

More on pets: part 1

Previously I posted my letter about cat sterilisation, specifically saying that it wasn’t a decision to be taken lightly. Of course that sounds radical as nearly everyone would say you should have your cat sterilised, indeed that was the very message of the piece to which I was replying and a message endorsed by the respected SPCA. So I’m taking this opportunity, with considerably more space, to further expand on the reasons for writing what I did.

I’ll admit there was a slight problem in my reply, that being that I was not familiar with the literature on cat sterilisation. However cats are not the only animals that are sterilised and I was basing my letter on Laura J. Sanborn’s article, The Long Term Health Effects of Spay/Neuter in Dogs, which I had previously encountered. The article which I read came up with these, shocking to me at the time conclusions. Continue reading

Take care of your pets

This is a letter I got published in the Claremont/Rondebosch People’s Post on 1 November 2011. It’s just a short comment (350 word limit) on an article on the SPCA and having cats sterilised. With no hyperlinks and limited space to try get a number of points across it is perhaps not a great piece so I may just write a follow up to further flesh out the points and provide better reasons.

—–

It is a shame that there are suffering kittens around but I can’t help finding it a very uncomfortable proposition to sterilise all cats. Sterilisation is not risk-free, despite what brochures may lead you to believe, and there are consequences from both the surgery and the subsequent hormonal changes. This means that sterilisation may not be in the cat’s best interest, particularly for pet cats. Continue reading