Goth kitten case: ‘common sense,’ not specificity, governs cruelty law

Kathleen Stachowski  Other Nations

Black lipstick, white makeup, goth kitten. You missed the opportunity to get your dark groove on with a “pure black, tail-less, pierced, gothic kitten” accessory. Thank heavens.

Pennsylvania’s state Superior Court upheld the conviction of a groomer “…in last year’s infamous gothic-kitten case, ruling that ‘common sense’ – not specificity – governs Pennsylvania’s animal cruelty law.” Really? That was her defense? “But the law doesn’t SAY I can’t punch holes into kittens!!!”

One such kitten (“Snarly Monster”), whose ears and neck were pierced with large-gauge posts and whose tail went missing for a fashion statement, was being hawked on the internet for $400 minimum, according to an original article dating from December of 2008.

“Certainly, putting a rubber band around the tail of a kitten to cut off the circulation of blood to cause the tail to fall off or the action of a putting a large needle, used to inject cattle, into the ear or neck of a 3-pound kitten would qualify as atrocious,” (judge) Ford Elliot wrote. “The court is very mindful that animals are living creatures that feel pain and experience suffering.”

Woo hoo! This is extremely good news, because now, when we bring up the heinous cruelty of battery cages, gestation crates, ammonia burns, foie gras production, slaughter houses, trapping, vivisection, and all the other ways in which institutional, industrial cruelty manifests itself, we know that the court will be on our side, right? Because it recognizes that “animals are living creatures that (sic) feel pain and experience suffering,” right?


5 Responses

  1. Ha, good one Kathleen. Riiiiiight…. Oops, we forgot that the Animal agriculture/research, etc etc industries are MUCH better than common sense or judges, or heck, even animals themselves at determining what’s cruel and what isn’t. After all, they’ve clearly got the animals’ best interests at heart…

    I’m not even going to get started talkin about the kitten though and the wretched idea that he/she is an “accessory” (grrrrowwwl). I don’t want to be uncharitable (oh really?) but *maybe* the judge’s decision had more to do with his/her revulsion at the whole goth fasion thing (just speculating here), and the (to him/her) unneccessary nature of *that* suffering, as opposed to suffering for the “necessary” things in life like foie gras, burgers, bacon and a new shade of mascara or brand of floor cleaner. Like I said, I dont’ want to be uncharitable. Let’s give the Judge the benefit of the doubt, and quote him at length when attacking other, more condoned forms of exploitation….

  2. that was “than judges”…

  3. While this is an awful thing when done improperly, I have seen the ear piercings done cleanly, quickly, and with loose (the equivalent of ‘tear away collars’, i suppose) attachments. If the groomer or breeder knows what they are doing and the animals overall health and comfort are kept the priority, I think the whole thing is rather cool.

    A bunch of people were upset when that guy in russia tattooed his sphinx. Except he paid out the ass to have him put under to MAKE SURE he didn’t feel pain.

    Shame on the bad breeders and groomers who do harm the animals. They are ruining something that really could have been neat (at least for those animals that like to be pet).

  4. You’re kidding, right, Theo?

    Then again, if rings in bulls’ noses and numbered tags in steers’ ears and brands on horses’ hides serve humans’ purposes, then maybe every owner of every animal should be permitted to mutilate their “property” for any reason.

  5. soooo…is the kitten safe now?

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