Steve Best on Spaying/Neutering

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Award-winning writer, noted speaker, public intellectual, and seasoned activist, Steven Best engages the issues of the day such as animal rights, ecological crisis, biotechnology, liberation politics, terrorism, mass media, globalization, and capitalist domination. Best has published 10 books, over 100 articles and reviews, spoken in over a dozen countries, interviewed with media throughout the world, appeared in numerous documentaries, and was voted by VegNews as one of the nations "25 Most Fascinating Vegetarians." He has come under fire for his uncompromising advocacy of "total liberation" (humans, animals, and the earth) and has been banned from the UK for the power of his thoughts. From the US to Norway, from Sweden to France, from Germany to South Africa, Best shows what philosophy means in a world in crisis.

Q: Steve, since we both have cats, can you tell me, what is your position regarding spaying/neutering? Do you s/n your cats? Do you have any moral/athical issues regarding that? It is a burning topic with some animal rights activists so I wanted to hear your opinion.

A: Here in El Paso, they kill over 20,000 unwanted cats and dogs a year because people do not s/n, and of course it is a massive worldwide holocaust and problem.Basically, the problem exists, and a non-interference policy is inhumane. We must help and rescue and s/n as many already born, and work in the future to ensure less people have less animals due to breeders and those who neglect their cats and dogs.We help those in need now, and work to ensure many aspects of "pet ownership" end in the future, as it does lead to abuses, but other forms provide love and care neither animal nor human would get elsewhere.

Obviously there is a distinction between buying animals from a breeder and saving them from the streets or death row; and anyone who adopts animals without spaying and neutering them is irresponsible. Perhaps in the future, because of breeders and irresponsible "pet owners," it would be a better world if cats and dogs were not domesticated but lived "wild." But that time is not now, the real moral problem is saving and giving loving homes to as many as possible that would otherwise die on the streets or in a "shelter," and only someone who has no love for animals can dismiss the amazing and loving bond cats and dogs (and other animals) can have with loving humans; it is beautiful, not deplorable, and my cats are the greatest joy in my life and I know I am in their life.

Taking a sick child to a doctor, who does not want to go, or "forcing" them to go to school, or to eat healthy vegetables when they want candy, is equally a "violation" of their will, rights, and wild nature... it is not always presumptous to pretend or to actually know what is best for animals, and s/n and adoption for countlesss millions of animals who would die and never have a home or name otherwise is not oppression or speciesism. Some people however, insist in purist dogmatic ideals completely at odds with tragic realities.

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