William The Coroner’s Forensic Files

Friday, 16, July, 2010

Sappy Big Cat Blogging

Filed under: Cat Blogging,Politics — williamthecoroner @ 01:14

Via NPR, Governor Strickland is set to outlaw exotic pets like the big cats in Ohio.

I am a cat lover, you have probably figured that out by know. I would love, LOVE to have my own big cat. I know that desire is irresponsible. I live in a streetcar suburb. A tiger would solve a whole lot of home security issues, and create a whole lot more liability issues. And meat-bill issues. And spraying. It’s annoying enough when a 9 pound cat marks his territory. Just think about the volume and the smell that could be produced by a 450 pound tiger. We are talking gallons here, folks.

Owning an animal is like getting a family member. You have to take care of them. Feed them. Attend to their needs before yours–I can go out for dinner. If a big cat does it, someone’s going to get hurt. But the law does allow “mascots”. So Massillon, Ohio, can get a lion cub, keep it for a year, and get rid of it. That’s OK. That doesn’t sit right with me either. If the cat is not a toy, then it is not a toy in all circumstances. It is not right to say a private person cannot treat an animal like a mascot but a school or a sports team can? That is a new take on the only ones, and I like that as little as I do any other only one argument.

I am conflicted. I’m a small-l libertarian. I worry about laws, because laws are enforced by threats, power, and aggression, and I’m less and less interested in telling people “do this or else.” As the folks at Popehat pointed out in THIS post. The key graf:

We get, and deserve, the tyranny we tolerate. We get it because we teach officious government officials that regulating our life is their birthright. More frighteningly, we get it because we teach our children that the role of the government is to regulate our life — thus dashing their chances to be free people.

So first, there is the whole hypocrisy issue. Peons like myself are not trusted by the state to make the right decisions, but the anointed/selected/blessed are. Secondly, there is the intrusion issue. Though it may be irresponsible of my in my present situation, had I more money, I could buy a tiger. Why may I not spend my money as I wish? Finally, if its wrong for me to own exotic big cats, why can Obie live on the fifty-yard line for a year? Wild animals should be wild–and they need to be in places like Tiger Haven



  1. You sound like me. Except I don’t really want or need the “right” to buy a tiger. I don’t have the “right” to endanger other people by driving over the speed limit, either. I don’t have the “right” to sell cocaine to elementary school students. That’s fine with me. I don’t view the government as some entity that is trying to squash my rights. In this country, the government is we, the people. I believe in democracy and letting people elect (choose) who should represent them. The people who make decisions about whether to allow the ownership of exotic animals are, in essence, varying versions of myself. They are not my enemy. Does this mean I agree with every law that is made? No. But I am willing to think seriously about the pros and cons of laws, about the reasons for having the law, and about the risks associated with not having the law. That’s what the people who make the laws do before they make a law. And one person doesn’t get to make a law. It’s a group of people who represent the larger population of the country. No, we don’t all agree with everything that is passed into law. It would be kind of creepy if we did, wouldn’t it?

    I have come to accept the fact that there probably isn’t enough “wild” left in the world for all the wild animals to live in as they need to live. Some species are not going to survive at all if we don’t have them in captivity. But that “captivity” needs to be in the best interests of the animals and human beings as a group. It just isn’t hard for me to see that the average person should not have wild animals (especially HUGE wild animals) in his possession. Isn’t there room for common sense and reason here?

    Comment by Scotti Cohn — Friday, 16, July, 2010 @ 12:15 | Reply

    • Scott–the problem with governments and laws is that they are, by their very nature repressive. Ultimately, power comes from the barrel of a gun. If you do something these representatives of you think you should not do, they are going to send armed agents of the state (police) to compel your behaviour, and ultimately, if you do not compel, to imprison or kill you. I think you are assuming too much on the part of lawmakers. Also, just because it is legal, doesn’t mean it is right. In 1850, it was LEGAL to own people in certain parts of this country. In 1950 it was LEGAL to have separate eating establishments and restrooms for Blacks and Whites.

      There are some things that are illegal because they are inherently wrong, malum in se, and some that are illegal because of a law, malum prohibitum. You don’t care if the government meddles in areas of your life that you don’t care about, such as the right to own a tiger. Fair enough. But if you give the people that right, then they can talk about whom you may or may not marry. How you must raise your child. How many children you are allowed to have, and so on.

      I agree that the average person should not have wild animals as pets. It’s bad for the animals and dangerous for the people. Now, you don’t wish to exercise common sense and reason, you wish to exercise prior restraint and PREVENT people from using their common sense and reason.

      Comment by williamthecoroner — Friday, 16, July, 2010 @ 12:37

  2. Hypocrisy is right, but then again, we are peons so we are not qualified/blessed to be able to actually do what we want… sigh…

    Comment by Old NFO — Friday, 16, July, 2010 @ 18:48 | Reply

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