Skip to comments.Why Cat Owners Should All be Penalized
Posted on 06/26/2012 12:11:10 PM PDT by fteuph
Hi. I'm Art Caplan, speaking to you from the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania. Today I want to talk about a very serious healthcare problem: irresponsible behavior on the part of a lot of Americans that isn't getting much attention, and that means you if you own a cat.
Many types of health costs are associated with cat ownership. We have allergies and asthma, people who wind up going to the hospital because they have allergic reactions either to the cat or the medicine they take, and there are all types of skin problems. The list goes on and on.
It is pretty clear that these miserable mousers are a huge healthcare problem. I started thinking about this when I saw a recent poll that was published in Forbes magazine that said that most Americans believe that there ought to be a tax on people who are overweight. They make a lifestyle choice and wind up causing more healthcare costs for everybody else due to the diseases and ailments linked to obesity, so Americans think they should pay more. By the way, their employers are starting to think that as well, that they should start to levy penalties and fines on people who are overweight at the workplace.
All of which takes me back to the issue of cats. If we are going to put a penalty on lifestyle choices, then shouldn't we penalize all lifestyle choices? If cats are really causing healthcare problems in the way that I think they do, then I think we need to be fair and tax cat owners.
If you look at the situation, there are probably 60 million or more Americans who own a cat. A lot of you out there choose to own more than one. Many of you have a cat and you actually keep children in the house near this cat, so these are all horrible, terrible, inappropriate, and immoral decisions.
Why? Well, we don't know exactly how much cat ownership costs, but it probably runs into billions of dollars every year in terms of allergy medicines that people take, hospitalizations that I mentioned earlier, and treating skin diseases. You are also exposing others who don't want to own a cat to cats because you can never get the cat dander and the cat allergen out of the rug, the furniture, and the carpet. Even if you move the cat, so to speak, the presence of the cat is left behind. This is a very burdensome thing, not just for people who live with cats but the rest of us who try to visit you or who want to move into a place where you have been.
Therefore, it is pretty clear -- probably beyond any ethical dispute -- that cat ownership is an irresponsible choice. Let me add that none of this applies to dogs. I own a dog. I think they are wonderful. In fact, there probably should be a tax break for dog owners. But for cats, looking at the kinds of costs that are involved and the irresponsibility that cat owners exercise in choosing to have them, I think we need to start thinking more seriously about ways to extend penalties if we are going to make personal responsibility a part of healthcare.
Cat owners, think hard about what I said. And those of you who are in favor of personal responsibility as a way to cut down healthcare costs, you know who I am talking about.
This is Art Caplan at the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania. I wish all of you a happy summer.
"Daisy ....... Daisy .........give ............. me ..your .....answer ................... do. I'm ................. half ...............crazy ........."
Dang cats! The neighbors have a stray they took in about 3 or 4 years ago and the POS growls half the night waking us up. I don’t even know why they have it.
You know why cats do all that yowling when they are in heat?
Kittehs have the added benefit of discretely using a specific box filled with disposable litter to do their business and it is easily scooped out into the waste baskets daily. No browned or yellowed lawn, no nasty, smelly excrement to pick up by carefully wrapped hand and no unsightly holes dug in the yard. Kittehs also have the added bonus of being self-cleaning! The only time I have had to bathe my cats was when one fell into the salt water off our boat when we lived aboard. Other than those four times, she remains fresh and white, clean and bright.
Kittehs eat far less than dogs, take up less space, need no daily walking outside in the elements and usually outlive them. Indoor-only kittehs have less vet bills to worry about and can usually entertain themselves with frequent naps and spurts of human interaction. I used to have mild cat allergies, but my body acclimated to them and their fur and dander no longer effect me. Even if they did, their love, affection and presence more than make up for any discomfort I might have and which there are adequate medicines to combat. Those who have severe reactions, should avoid ALL animals as well as the outside world.
So, Art, live and let live! Cats probably keep people sane.
FU Art Caplan...
THANK YOU! I'm surprised at how few people understand that. ;o)
Cats and their owners are gay.
(apparently some etards didn’t get the satire in the article. Gay and stupid)
Sad thing is, there are people out there who really do think this way about a lot of things. Jonathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal” lives on.
Not only all that, they’ll also attack and run off assailants or intruders who break into your house, thereby saving you and your family’s lives.
The kitten I recently acquired [I'm pleading temporary insanity and emotional duress] is tantamount to watching the village idiot auditioning to be a trapeze artist.
Hubby's grown fond of it so I reckon it's staying.
[I'm blaming toxoplasmosis for his extremely uncharacteristic affection]
The kittehs have found their god.
“I’m afraid I can’t do that, Dave.”
I was wondering how long that would take you.
You had better get the situation under control, quick; next the cat will work to get *you* under its thumb.
Quick! Wrap tin foil around your head and put a doberman puppy on top (buy one, or build a shrink-ray and use it on Odhinn); it’s the only way to ensure protection of your pro-canid sensibilities.
I'm immune to cat connivings.
After it tried to play ‘bad @ss’ with Gypsy, the PPM, I'm thinking it would be a seriously bad idea to introduce it to The Boy.
[he doesn't possess gentle Gyp’s obsessive desire to “mother” things]
Hubby thinks it's cute that the cat has learned to climb the Boa's tree.
I'm thinking not so much.
Sooner or later, Brom will be on his tree and the cat would be wise to *not* climb it, then.
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