May 07, 2007
my selfish personal motivation disclosed
Warning: This is a personal and (for me, at least) a highly emotional post. Much as I hate it when a political topic becomes personal, there's no way for me to avoid the fact that it has, and I feel I'm under a duty to disclose why I feel so strongly about this issue, and why I don't think it is as trivial or frivolous as it might appear.
There are a lot of things over which people are should be concerned. Whether it's the war in Iraq, the election in France, the endless election in this country (and whatever issue might be more important) it may seem frivolous that I have devoted so much time to California AB 1634 (the mandatory spay neuter bill).
Considering that this is my ninth post on the subject, it may seem that I have become single-mindedly obsessed with AB 1634, but the fact is, that bill is only one tentacle of a growing, seemingly unstoppable juggernaut. To me, government-mandated pet surgery is both a symbol and a clear line that is being drawn. It's an early warning sign of something far worse -- the growing public acceptance of the idea that government can and should invade the most utterly personal areas of our lives.
Few things are more personal to me than my relationship with my dog, Coco. The idea that the government can make me a criminal for not cutting out her ovaries (something which is entirely my business and no one else's) fills me with horror.
What happened to all the people who used to scream "KEEP THE GOVERNMENT OUT OF OUR BEDROOMS?"
What about the idea that a man's home is his castle?
A dog is personal. And it's property. But it's different than ordinary property, because there is a personal bond, an emotional investment between a dog and his owner that cannot be measured in economic value. Because of this emotional component, a dog may be the most valuable property that a person can have. I can't speak for other dog owners, but if my house was on fire, my very first thought would be to save Coco! I think many dog owners would feel the same way. That is the real test of value.
So, people who care about property rights ought to care very about this special form of property which, to the people who have it, is the most valuable property of all.
The idea of the government entering into my relationship with my dog is thus more than an ordinary violation of property rights. It's highly personal.
Good intentions are said to be behind the people who want to do this. The theory is that Coco is not my property, but is now the property of others, who lay claim to her under a theory that they, not I, should have power over her. In the name of her "rights." (No really.) Yet, some of the same people and organizations who would make it a crime for me not to cut out Coco's ovaries also want to kill Coco. Why? Because they don't like her breed.
I don't know if there is any way to put this more simply, but Coco is my dog, and that's all there is to it. I am loyal to her, and in being loyal to her, I am being loyal to myself. The people who want to make me cut out her ovaries and the people who want to kill her I must oppose resolutely, lest I cease to be a free citizen.
I find it depressing to live in a country which would invade my home and kill my dog, and despite my use of satire, ridicule and sarcasm as weapons, I don't think their movement is funny at all. It is sinister. I do not think it is hyperbole to call it Orwellian, and yes, even totalitarian.
So for now, I'm drawing the line at ovary control.
And yes, I have a very personal motivation. My best friend.
Yes, "attacking" is exactly what it is. We are not talking about a debate here, or about doing the right thing. Even if I were to concede for the sake of argument that I might be well advised to "fix" Coco, from where derives the idea that the government has a right to come into my home and use force to make me do it? It's from an idea based on a theory -- and this theory has such unbridled contempt for my most personal property rights that the mindset behind it believes the government is fully justified in killing my dog, simply because they disapprove of the appearance of her genes.
It must be remembered, though, that this is not just an idea and a theory; it's a well-organized movement, now very much in the mainstream. That this "movement" is within striking distance of being able to use government force to invade my California home and mess with the dog that I love is something I would find unbelievable if I didn't see it happening before my eyes. Sure, I can continue living in Pennsylvania in what amounts to exile status, but if I return to California I become a criminal thanks to this movement.
And mark my words, this will spread.
That apparently well-meaning people could be so low puts me at a loss for words right now. But I just wanted to explain why I felt the need -- by means of a little personal disclosure -- to write this post. And this post. And this post. And this post. And this post. And this post. And this post. And this post. And this post.
posted by Eric on 05.07.07 at 08:40 AM
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