“The Paw Project”

6 03 2015

_774484_origLee Niel and her group presented the movie from California’s “Paw Project” in the ABW weekly meeting today (to kick off a deeper discussion they’ll continue next week).

As Lee and co. fully admitted, the movie itself is a giant mass of emotive language and anecdotal evidence: the actual arguments made by both sides are pretty weak. However, as a European who’d never even heard of ‘de-clawing cats’ til I’d moved here, I’m sympathetic to the campaigners and hope they get their way. It’s so obvious that if cats scratch the furniture, you just need to find them something they want to scratch more. (It’s like designing the perfect furnished cage for laying hens — here, you have to find out what stimuli make a hen treat something as a good nesting place, and likewise for cats, we need to find what makes them perceive something as the best thing to scratch. Cutting off their toes instead seems lazy as well as inhumane).

I also love the campaigners’ poster: appeals to emotion can be powerful rhetorical devices, and this one rocks.