Since my rather handsome one-eyed cat Gadget often tries to make the argument that I do not feed him enough, I decided to do some research. As it turns out, the portions I was providing him were spot on, but along the way, I discovered some interesting and disturbing stuff that I thought I’d share.
Cats are often overfed, and like people, get overweight and suffer health problems as a result. So don’t let your cat fool you with those sad “feed me” eyes that evolution has seen fit to equip them with over time. It’s a total trick! If you’re giving them approximately 6 oz., and they’re around 8 lbs. or so, you’re providing them what they need. All that being said, don’t just take my word for it, please consult your vet regarding your specific cat, as just like people, not all cats are the same, and yours may have unique dietary needs based on its weight or medical condition.
Here’s the interesting bit I found. Cats aren’t really big into drinking water and rarely opt to do so unless really dehydrated. In their natural habitat, they get the water they need from eating the meat they catch, which of course has water in it.
If you currently give them dry food, and opt to switch them to moist, you’ll likely notice they don’t drink nearly as much water. I did. That’s entirely normal.
Now that we’ve covered the good stuff, let’s talk about the bad. This part really REALLY upset me while doing my research.
It turns out some vegan/vegetarian zealots have opted to put their cat on a vegan diet. If you’re one of those people, seriously, what the hell is wrong with you?
Cat’s are natural carnivores, not omnivores like us. You’re being a selfish and a self-righteous jerk. If you’re a biologist or veterinarian, you might be able to pull off supplementing their diet properly to get them the nutrients they need if you opted to go this route, but most do not have such knowledge.
The circle of life is that living organisms (plants and animals) all feed off other living organisms (plants and animals again) almost entirely. Almost everything you eat is either a life form, or a byproduct of a life form. It’s the NATURAL order of things. I get that animal life has a conscious mind, and can feel pain, and therefore eating animals seems heartless and unnecessary, but billions of years of evolution has made many animals, and even some plants into meat eaters.
If you choose to be less than natural in your diet; so be it. But how dare you be cruel to your animal by forcing them to comply with your unnatural diet that is rather unhealthy for them. I assure you that while they have unconditional love for you, your ideals about not killing or exploiting other animals is not shared by them one iota.
A cheetah has never caught a gazelle and thought to themselves, “you know, I feel bad for this gazelle, there’s got to be a better way.” and let it go. Like all animals, occasionally, they make social connections, which is why you see dogs and cheetahs befriend each other, or man and tiger. But when cats are hungry, their bodies are evolved to eat meat. Far more than omnivorous humans, and you’re being cruel and sadistic depriving them of it because you want to impose your unnatural views on them.
By all means, consume what brings you the most joy in life, but give your animal the same respect and provide them that which makes them healthiest and able to most enjoy life as well.
I found myself in a debate on Twitter with writer Sarah Benincasa. After the GOP debate, she had referred to all Republicans as “Shitheads.”
Your humble correspondent is a libertarian-republican. (Small L and small R). The small letters indicate I’m not beholden to either party, but just the principles of liberty and a constitution, the defining factors of being a libertarian and a republican.
Feeling somewhat insulted by someone I typically felt was fair and tolerant of other people’s opinions, I decided to respond by pointing out that some of the people on that stage had indeed shown that they were not your stereotypical Republican, and that ultimately the type of bigotry one uses to paint all people of a group with one brush, isn’t really fair. Below was my response followed by Sarah’s passionate counter-response.
This got me thinking about the issue a little deeper. I won’t point out more of the discussions that followed. They were mostly followers of Sarah attacking me or the candidates with contempt, instead of showing any interest in respectful debate. So I explained my position as respectfully as I could, and exited stage left.
But this exchange brings a couple of issues to light.
The first of which is the concept of being a one-issue person. I believe many of the pro-choice people are often pro-legalization of marijuana as well. Senator Rand Paul has worked with Democrat Corey Booker to accomplish exactly that. If that had been the one issue Sarah (if she is pro-legalization) opted to key on instead of abortion as an important issue to her, she might have painted him in a different light.
The point being that no candidate will ever agree with you 100%; It’s that simple. As a voter, the best you can do is find common ground with candidates where you’re able, support them when you do, and dissent when you don’t.
You should certainly side with the person who most commonly aligns with your beliefs, but it’s silly to assume someone is all bad and treat them as if they’re evil “shitheads.”
As much as I dislike Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton, I don’t paint either one to be evil, or call them names. I just think they’re wrong, more often than not, and challenge their positions or their integrity when they are found to be disingenuous, a trait common in politicians of all parties.
But delving into the abortion issue, I first want to point out the flaws with the basic pro-life/pro-choice argument.
The converse of pro-life is not pro-choice, it’s anti-life. And thus the converse of pro-choice is not pro-life, it’s anti-choice. The two are slightly separate issues. So I’ll first explain my position and why.
As it is typically understood, I am pro-choice. I believe there are many understandable instances where a woman would choose to abort, that I compassionately cannot condone throwing her in jail on a 1st degree murder charge for, where I absolutely would if she killed the child the same child after birth. So I’ve always argued that viability is a fair cut-off in my opinion—emphasis on opinion.
But that being said, I’m also pro-life in an untraditional sense. I would encourage anyone who is pregnant and healthy, to bring the child to term and either raise it, or put it up for adoption if so desired. But that’s an issue between her and the father, not her and the government, also in my opinion.
Yet in my debate, despite being pro-choice myself, I ended up arguing the pro-life point. I suspect mostly because I believe in fairness over ideology.
Being atheist, I don’t lend much credence to religion, so I won’t point out the religious component to all of this, it doesn’t matter. Whether you believe it’s a human life because God says so, or because science says so, you believe it’s a human life.
So then the question becomes when is it a life that deserves protection under the law?
I cannot say this with enough emphasis; that question can never be a matter of fact. It is pure opinion, and no one person’s opinion is any more valid than another’s, because with opinions, there is no scientific truth you can apply to make one argument better than the other, otherwise it would be fact. I believe in such situations, you can either respectfully agree to disagree, or you can behave intolerantly and attack your dissenter for having a differing opinion.
But the issue I take with many of my fellow pro-choice advocates, is that they call this a woman’s right issue, then argue that pro-life advocates are against women’s rights. This is where the pro-life/anti-life and pro-choice/anti-choice argument I made earlier becomes rather important.
If you are concerned about the woman’s rights, you will either be pro-choice or anti-choice. If you are viewing this argument from the embryo’s point of view, you are either pro-life or anti-life. The two are not interchangeable.
So when pro-choice people attack pro-life people for being against women’s rights, that’s a straw man argument.
The pro-life people believe it is a human life, with rights under the law. They believe that it’s not part of the woman’s body, but instead a separate body inside the woman’s body. As such, not believing it a woman’s rights issue whatsoever, or even framing it that way.
Pro-choice people however, believe that as long as the embryo resides in the mother, it is part of the mother, and therefore not a separate life, and not worthy of protection under the law, but instead, something a woman should have the right to remove, similar to a breast reduction to remove unwanted tissue to increase her quality of life.
I am not saying such people equate a fetus to a breast, so please no outraged response, understand I’m only saying they paint the procedures in a similar light, from an ethics perspective.
In either instance, again these positions as to whether it’s part of the woman’s body, or its own separate body within a body are matters of opinion, not fact, and can be argued either way. Tolerance dictates you must respect the converse opinion.
I have to point out that from a science perspective, the DNA of the embryo is unique from the mother’s, something that wouldn’t be true of any other organic substance inside the mother, she might opt to remove from her body; aside from a disease or another foreign invader of some sort anyway. So it’s hard to argue with science that the embryo is part of the mother’s body when it doesn’t share her exact DNA, but instead, a mix of her’s and the father’s.
I have a long history on this site of being all about science, so in theory, I probably should be what is traditionally thought of as pro-life and equate abortion to murder.
But I frankly know that if I had a daughter, and she had an abortion a month after fertilization versus a year after the birth, I cannot conflate the two as equally heinous. So despite all the evidence to the contrary, I remain pro-choice from a legal standpoint, and pro-life from a personal one.
As for Sarah and her followers, they are passionate about women’s rights, and that’s a good thing—I wish them well even if they think I’m a jerk.
I just wish they would embrace a little more empathy for those with differing opinions, and not conflate opinion with fact, because arguing someone is wrong, must revolve around facts, never opinions.
Donald Trump has recently announced that as president, he would use executive order to ban Muslims from entering the country temporarily.
As an atheist, I feel all religion can be dangerous if taken to extremes. But that being said, there can be no doubt that around the world, in the 21st century, the overwhelming majority of atrocities committed in the name of religion are committed by people of the Muslim faith.
Any time a tragedy happens, we as a people tend to believe we should try to analyze the problem that caused the tragedy and fix it. If the problem is too big for any one of us to fix, the non-libertarian population often feel government should fix it for them.
But let’s apply a little critical thinking to Trump’s idea of banning foreign Muslims from entering the United States.
How exactly do we go about banning all Muslims? If a Muslim applies to come to America, do the authorities ask that Muslim if they’re Muslim?
While an honest Muslim might answer truthfully, knowing it would preclude them from coming, wouldn’t a radical Muslim intending to kill Americans, or a desperate but peaceful Muslim hoping to flee a war-zone, just lie to get into the United States?
Quite similarly to the “If guns are outlawed, only criminals will have them” argument, if Muslims are banned from entering the United States, only deceitful Muslims will enter.
There is no DNA test that tells you what religion someone is—religion isn’t genetic. There is nothing science has to offer to detect one’s religion.
The 1st amendment states that, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
By the letter of the Constitution, the president could in-fact pass such an order, because it isn’t Congress passing a law, it’s the president passing an executive order.
So while some have put forth the constitutionality argument, I would have to argue it is a non sequitur.
But, the Supreme Court continues to allow Blue Laws which are clearly an establishment of religion, proving the letter of the Constitution isn’t always their ultimate guide.
So it’s quite possible that the Supreme Court would strike such an executive order down based on the “principles” of the first amendment, versus the letter of it, as they tend to err on the side of secularism these days—something I typically appreciate.
So now we understand that if Trump wrote such an order, there’s no way to know who is and isn’t a Muslim. Even if the Supreme Court didn’t strike it down as an executive order, if Congress tried to pass it as law, it would most assuredly get struck down then.
But also, it is important to consider that even if such a law did somehow evade the Supreme Court’s wrath, and scientists invented a Muslim detector that really worked; when exactly is “temporary” over?
We’ve been fighting the war on terror since 2001, and it’s not like there are any fewer radical Muslims killing people. While the radicals may be a small minority at best, if he’s passing such an order to eliminate the threat, the threat won’t be eliminated until all Muslims are dead—an idea I assume most people would not support.
Because much like it’s impossible to identify a Muslim with any certainty if they choose to hide it, it’s equally impossible to identify a radical Muslim hell-bent on killing innocent civilians they deem to be infidels deserving of death.
Hopefully, Trump and his supporters will come to their senses and realize this isn’t a workable plan, and instead look for ways to better screen all people coming into the United States. But they should also understand that with freedom comes danger, as illustrated by our gun laws—something most Trump supporters do support, and anyone else who is serious about liberty.
So if we’re OK with one danger, we should be OK with the other, lest we be hypocrites.
While I don’t claim to have the answer; if we’re seeking one, I’d at least like to know there’s a bit of logic and reason behind the ideas being proposed, because this one has very little.
“If you see something, say something,” is a much simpler notion, it’s something we can all do to help government officials find these people. Exercising our 2nd amendment rights to arm ourselves so we can take down any would-be killers in our midst if we encounter one is pretty simple too.
Both are far more likely to be effective and far more doable than Trump’s entirely unworkable notion.
Any time a mass shooting occurs, the immediate aftermath always includes those who are opposed to gun ownership as a right making their arguments, and those who support such a right launch their counter attack. Since I believe in the principles of the 2nd amendment myself, I’m forced to point out the flaws in these arguments.
So why don’t we ban alcohol, since “No one needs to drink alcohol,” (remember, most people argue “no one needs an ‘assault’ rifle”)? Oh wait, we tried that, didn’t we?
During the dreaded Volstead act years, (aka Prohibition), crime went up, not down. While alcohol was banned, it was still quite rampant. Except all the people using it were now criminals. And the people selling it became murderers lest they be locked up.
On December 5th, 1933, then president Roosevelt announced the 21st Amendment had been ratified, a repeal of the 18th Amendment that was prohibition, and the worst violation of the U.S. Constitution’s principle of liberty was finally undone.
Decades later, in June of 1971, Richard Nixon, seemingly fully ignorant of the lessons of prohibition, announced the War on Drugs, and much like prohibition, it has also led to more violence while drugs are still readily available to nearly anyone who can afford them.
So what evidence do we have to believe that banning or restricting guns will lead to a different outcome? The aforementioned drug and alcohol bans have simply created black markets that aren’t nearly as selective about who they sell to, and increase crime doing so.
Many point out that other countries don’t allow guns, and they’re doing fine, but it’s important to point out that they didn’t start out with that right, as America did. So that’s one reason why it might work there when it wouldn’t work here. They don’t already have many guns in the marketplace, and there’s also a cultural issue that resides within the majority of American’s that owning a weapon of self defense is a right, that you would have to overcome.
I will continue to argue we have a mental illness problem, as much or more so than we have a gun problem. In principle alone, I do not believe in restricting the rights of millions of good people (legal gun owners like myself who have never, nor likely will ever kill someone) because of the actions of bad a few.
Instead, I’d concede that all firearm sales be subject to background checks, even private sales, such as the ones at gun shows. Many gun-rights advocates may part with me on that point, but the fact remains that someone who would fail a background check currently, could go to such an event, and buy from a private attendee (vendors at gun shows still do background checks, just now private owners who are looking to swap).
That person—leaving with a gun, was in violation of the law if they knew they wouldn’t have passed the background check, but the seller and the show itself were fully within the law, and our current background-check system, in that moment, has failed.
But if we look deeper, most of these mass shootings are from violent psychopaths, many of whom had a history of psychiatric care prior to committing their heinous acts.
If only their respective doctors were to convene, as doctors are sometimes known to do, and collaborate on a system to order further evaluation of someone they have diagnosed with a disorder that the doctor determines makes the patient a danger to others, then submit a suggestion of a firearms restrictions to the FBI so that person would fail a background check, maybe some of these mass shooting could be prevented.
But the fact is that bad people are always going to exist so long as we don’t find some magical way to genetically modify humans to a eliminate the qualities that lead one to be a violent psychopath. That of course assumes it’s a genetic defect versus a product of the person’s environment in the first place; a subject for another post.
So the real issue is that when one of these people does go on a killing spree, there can be no mistake that there are only three things that can stop them.
A change of heart. (I don’t recall an incident where this has ever happened)
Running out of ammo (Happens, but usually after a lot of people are dead)
Or a good person with a gun takes action to stop them.
In my opinion, the best way to end gun deaths of innocent people, is to promote gun ownership to good people, so that more good people are armed and prepared to deal with the bad ones when they go off on a rampage. Terrorists and spree killers aren’t going to snuff themselves out, after all.
log·i·cal: capable of reasoning or of using reason in an orderly cogent fashion lib·er·tar·i·an: an advocate of the doctrine of free will; a person who upholds the principles of individual liberty especially of thought and action