Don't tax people who don't neuter animals

August 16, 2004

Dear Editor:

In a recent letter to the editor, the writer claims that because she has decided on her own to take in stray animals and care for them, the rest of the animal-owning community should pay higher taxes - excuse me, "fees" - than she does. I guess she feels that she somehow cares more about animals than the rest of us, so she should get a tax break. If she wants to take care of stray animals, that is great, but not everyone who keeps their animals intact abandons them nor do we all allow our pets to breed at will.

She must think that every litter of kittens she finds is the result of someone's negligence. After all, nature couldn't possibly be taking its course in the wild. Feral cats breeding on their own? Impossible!

We should have to pay a higher tax because she wants everyone to surgically mutilate their animals? I guess what is hers is hers and what is ours is hers. Ever hear of a concept called property rights and ownership?


The fact of the matter is that animals are property, and we live in a society in which we get to choose what to do with our own property. Spaying and neutering changes the personality of our animals in many, many cases, and some of us animal lovers prefer a more natural personality in our pets rather than a surgically altered one. We are not criminals and should not have to pay a fine, clean out any shelter or participate in the murder of innocent animals because we choose to keep our pets whole.

The reality is that the Humane Society murders many perfectly healthy animals everyday at shelters simply because Mother Nature has built into every animal the desire to breed and we as a society decided we are better off with them dead than with them running free.

Don't get me wrong, I think the Humane Society provides a valuable service, and I agree that it is better to put some animals to sleep rather than letting them roam in packs spreading disease. However, from the point of view of the animal, this is still murder. The difference is that we are humans, and we are at the top of the food chain and get to make those choices. It does not mean that those of us who don't agree are criminals. Besides, if I was a kitten I would much rather be set loose to take my chances than be guaranteed death in an animal shelter. That is much closer to the natural order of things and the opinion of an animal lover, not a criminal that needs to be fined, taxed, forced into manual labor and obligated to commit "humane" acts of murder.

Stephen Knight


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