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.
Viking Kitties are not going to be happy about this one......
Jokers like Caplan must be sterilized and then lobotomized!
Cat owners are by definition martyrs and should be venerated.
Arthur Caplan (sliced & diced) would be a dish best served cold to my feral pussy posse.
Hey Art! We just levied a $1000 fine on stupidity. Now pay up!!
And those of us who own birds stand behind this wholeheartedly!
In my cat’s eyes, this is like Mr. Caplan doing the “Bronx Salute” to them. Not good.
Well, Arthur... or is it DOCTOR Arthur... as long as it's all about what we “think” *might* be true...
if you're one-quarter the douchebag I *think* you are, then I *think* you should be hog-tied and thrown into the tiger cage at the national zoo.
How about that, you arrogant presumptuous meddlesome liberal SOB?
Cats look so cute when viewed through the scope of a Remington 700 SPS chambered in .308
My nearly 1,000 chickens salute you!
Cats, like their owners, should follow Jesse Jackson’s sage advice... “Stay out da Bushes!”
The good Doc does some real fine satire.
What a Maroon.
Somebody forgot the /s tag....
So do people who would try to shoot my cats through the Illuminated Tactical Scope of a CZ-550 Safari Magnum chambered in .375 H&H Magnum. Makes a real mess!
On second reading:
I think Dr. Kaplan’s piece is pure sarcasm aimed at the “bioethics” nanny-staters.
Good sarcasm, too.
I apologize to the good Doctor, and take back my medieval punishment suggestion too!
Somehow I get the feeling that if rodents started to over run the country that Arthur L. Caplan, PhD would be one of the firsts to whine about it.....
How your cat is making you crazy.
I cannot think of a single reason why I would want to make it convenient for him or his ilk to try and visit me or to move into my house, so I really don't see the problem.
This is SARCASM....right? Wonder, though, whether some ever wonder about the homo's passing the AIDS virus around....and THEIR lack of personal responsibility?
This is obvious satire and a jab at the proposed obesity tax.
OK,I tried not to say it, but I can’t help it: “DR. KAPLAN HATES PUSSY!!!!!!”
Homosexuals are by far the sickest and costliest group to our health system.
Eradicate the kitties!
Bring back the Plague!
Oh, no doubt. Together with the rodent folks, you should have a powerful lobbying group.
The only cats we ever shoot are the ones that come on the property and take a run at the chickens or fight with our barn cats. Stray dogs get even less tolerance because they LOVE to chase the cattle. The problem is it seems like a lot of people abandon their pets in the country thinking that someone will take them in or else maybe that nature is some Utopia for domestic critters. It isn’t. I’m sure for every cat we’ve ever shot that there’s a dozen or more the coyotes, foxes, cougars, and now wolves get to first.
Lol! Even when satire is clearly l labeled as “SATIRE”, too many of our fellow Freepers show that they have NO sense of humor. B-HO has just sapped it all. :)
That is my take on it. (I have 12 cats)
I agree regarding the satire.
First give away...Everybody knows people don’t “own” cats. :)
Rats have been taking over our section of north america for years..
My cat takes one look at these Rats and walks away.. He knows his limitations..
Mouse? no problem.
Rabbit? No problem.
Bird? slight problem.
Standard US (democ)Rat, problem.
He knows he just can’t take one down. But there are days it looks like he wants to try.
That’s how I took it too. He’s not actually arguing for it but trying to point out the slippery slope...
You don’t by chance read Stephan Hunter?
Very full of himself, our little weak-minded Mr. Caplan. And not funny at all.
Replace cats with "homo sexuals" and watch 'em howel...I mean meow!
Never heard of him until now. I just read some stuff on the net about him and will add some of his books to my hubby’s birthday presents. Thank you!
This is satire. He’s making the point that, if you’re going to penalize life-style choices (smoking obesity), then you have to penalize ALL of them.
He believes the opposite.
We usually take them in, spay/neuter and feed them. We have no problems when it comes to cats and the free range poultry. The chickens and ducks are able to defend themselves against felines.
You realize, of course, the connection will be lost on most cat owners, don’t you?
You don’t live on a farm/ranch. Neither did I until a few years ago and once you do you tend to become much more pragmatic.
Obviously Caplan is mocking the futility of basing insurance rates on personal choices. People make hundreds of choices daily that may affect their health. It is absurd to dictate legal behavior in individuals, & impossible to verify. If this is the price of health insurance, I'll pass. (Is it any wonder that the nanny Rats want to force us to buy health insurance?)
The dog thing gives it away. Dogs are “wonderful”? Yeah, I agree, but that's not a health argument. Dogs are just as bad as cats for allergies & diseases. Caplan knows 60M people will go ballistic over losing their cats.
He also knows it is cats today - alcohol, red meat, anything processed, dairy products, sugar, ... tomorrow. Before the nannies are through, only tofu & grass sprouts will be on our menus, & we will jog to the store to buy it. Again, just to have affordable insurance! A free market in health insurance would laugh this nonsense out of business?
See my post #18. I’m slow, but eventually I catch on. :-)
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