龙腾网首页 -> 国外新鲜事 -> 正文 Tips:使用 ← → 键即可快速浏览其他文章
2019-02-09 yzy86 5078 0 0  

As the Christmas season gets underwaythoughts turn to buying gifts for the entire family. For some, companionanimals are on the gift list, particularly cats and dogs who share our homesand hearts.


Whether they’ve been naughty or nicematters not, as the more than US$1 billion pet toy industry has everything fromthe whimsical to practical to keep Fluffy and Spot occupied and caretakersentertained. Many of the go-to items for cats contain catnip.


This herb, which goes by the botanical nameof Nepeta cataria, induces changes in cat behavior. In my view, it’s worthconsidering whether giving a mood-altering substance to a pet is ethical.


Catnip is sold in small packets and toys aswell as in highly concentrated forms such as oils and sprays. The concentratedforms are different from its availability in nature. If a cat were to encountercatnip in the wild, it would be in the form of leafy greens growing on plants,not concentrated.


Not all cats are affected by the drug, butfor some it can have a five- to 15-minute marijuana- kind of effect.


About 30 percent do not respond at all –which means 70 percent do – and it doesn’t have an impact on kittens until theyare about 6 months old, the time they attain sexual maturity.


When under the influence, some cats rollaround, salivate, and at times, fight with other cats. It is not clear if thereare any medicinal benefits. Cat owners often laugh at this behavior of theirfeline friends as being “high.”


Babes and beasts


As an animal media studies scholar, I arguelaughing at a cat who has been given a drug even if they seem happy shouldraise questions about human power and animal autonomy.


Several philosophers have made an argumentfor giving the same moral consideration to animals as we would give to humans.Philosopher Jan Narveson, for example, asked in context of eating meat, whetheranimals suffer and if that was sufficient reason not to eat them.


One animal ethics theory denies moralstanding to other animals, stating they lack characteristics that only humansare thought to possess, such as rationality, autonomy and consciousness. Butanother theory of moral equality argues that there are parallels in mentalcapabilities between humans and other animals and that moral considerationshould not be limited to only our own species.


Philosopher Peter Singer, calls for “equalconsideration of interests.” Singer argues that we should not use our speciesas a measure of the worth or abilities of others, or their worthiness ofethical consideration. Other philosophers too have argued that simply becausedogs or other animals don’t have the same vocal structure as humans doesn’tmean they should be treated with less compassion.


Furthermore, humans share many traits –empathy, ability to communicate, eating habits, sociability – with otherspecies. For example, the capacity to love one’s young, the need to have food,water and to spend time with others of one’s own species are not exclusivelyhuman traits. According to philosopher Julia Tanner, “It would be arbitrary todeny animals with similar capacities a similar level of moral consideration.”


So, if is unethical to drug a child and tolaugh at how he or she responds, should we unthinkingly do the same with ourcats?


Consider animal ethics


The discussion on whether giving catnip isethical has been an ongoing one on social media and other websites.


On Reddit, for example, one personcommented, “think of it as your cat going out for a few beers after work.” Tothat, another reader from an Alcoholics Anonymous family responded, askedwhether it was ethical to give someone a drug in an otherwise substance-freehome.


I asked the nonprofit People for theEthical Treatment of Animals where they stand on this issue. Media OfficerSophia Charchuk responded:


“PETA is all for treating cat companions to reasonable amounts ofhigh-quality catnip – and for keeping them indoors, where they’ll be safe fromcars, contagious diseases, predators, and cruel humans and able to enjoy toys(including those filled with catnip) for years to come.”


However, my point here is not only aboutwhether cats feel pleasure or pain. It’s about taking responsibility for ouractions towards our pets and giving them the same moral consideration as we doto humans.


We rarely notice how advertising,television programs, movies and photographs often present a one-dimensionalview of animals using them to say something about us, but very little about them.Wolves, for example, are widely shown in advertising and film as intent solelyon harming us, rather than the complex, multidimensional pack animals that theyare.


This has an impact on how we view animals.I agree with scholars who have pointed out that we need to view animals assubjects of their own lives rather than objects in ours. I believe we need toreconsider the ethics of “catnipping” them.



1、I have never forcedmy cat to roll in ecstacy on some quality nip. Animals enjoy gettting a littlehigh sometimes, it seems. reference drunk birds, elephants etc.


2、  When discussing the ethical treatment ofanimals, catnip falls to the bottom of the list between letting the dog drinkfrom the toilet and changing the litter in the hamster cage more frequently.


3、Is it ethical notto? As a feline behavior consultant, so many homes that I visit have so littleenrichment for their indoor cats that the cat is acting out as a result ofstress from boredom. Is it ethical not to provide catnip, toys, cat grass,vertical space, scratching posts, cat trees? Also, silver vine is another odorenrichment that cats love. I do not think catnip is comparable to marijuana oralcohol. It lasts for minutes and cats really enjoy it. It has not been shownto be harmful, only beneficial as it can help reduce hairballs if ingested.And, of course, it provides necessary enrichment for indoor cats.

4、The real question is….is an unethical for your cat to give you a gin and tonic ?


5、A classic example ofoverthink. Sorry, but this is a non-issue.


6、Mental masturbationis very enjoyable, potentially as much so as catnip.