Don't try to apply logic to politically correct arguments

Friday, May 4, 2018

This won’t be a piece about the pro-choice, anti-choice, pro-abortion, anti-abortion issue, although perhaps it should be.

Instead, it’s about different types of mammals, and humankind’s relationship with them.

Like many issues, it seems straightforward enough.

The U.S. House of Representatives Agriculture Committee voted to amend the next Farm Bill that would make it a federal crime to slaughter dogs or cats for human consumption or sell the meat from them.

Under the federal Animal Welfare Act, violators would face up to a year of prison time or a $2,500 fine.

The amendment addresses “an issue of utmost concern for pet owners,” according to Jocelyn Nickerson, Nebraska state director for the Humane Society of the United States.

“Adopting this policy signals that the United States will not tolerate the disturbing practice in our country,” said Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Calif.) who introduced the amendment and argued that was a necessary symbolic show of support for other nations that have banned the practice.

But it isn’t long until the logic breaks down.

“As disgusting as it is ... said Karrezza O’Sullivan via Facebook ... “why really is [pet eating] not allowed, given you can kill pigs, goats, sheep, cows, deer, bear, wolves, ducks, chickens, beavers, raccoons, squirrels, possums etc.?”

The more radical animal rights groups quickly exploited the argument and will use it to advance legislation harmful to Nebraska’s livestock industry, given the chance.

The argument could be made that a ban on eating cats and dogs is actually a racist move, aimed at immigrants from cultures where the practice is more common. The same argument is leveled against marijuana laws which some say were created to target Hispanic and African-American minorities in the middle of the 20th century.

The Nebraska Grocery Industry Association points out that as disgusting as supporting the right to eat a cat or dog is, other less black-and-white, culturally defined decisions have to be considered:

* Is it humane or inhumane to eat horsemeat, which is still common fare in Europe?

* Is it acceptable or unacceptable to eat veal, considering it is made from the meat of very young calves (which affects consumers’ willingness to accept it, according to research)?

* Is it OK or not OK to eat the testicles of bulls and pigs, removed from them while they’re still alive (which are still a delicacy in many western parts of this country, including Nebraska)?

No, we don’t advocate eating domestic pets, but it’s an issue that should be settled in the courts by the rule of law rather than by knee-jerk, emotional reactions.

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