Socialism vs. capitalism and the question of neutering stray cats

Few days ago I saw few hungry cats while touring Jaffa. Some people in my group had compassion for them, bought food and fed the cats. It was mentioned that street cats should be neutered, so that they’ll not have kittens who are going to lead a life of hunger and misery.

I would like to consider the issue from another point of view.

Suppose YOU are offered the choice of:

  • Being taken care of, being well fed – but you must accept being sterilized. Then you would not have progeny. There would be no future for you.
  • Being left to fend for yourself, to succeed or fail on your merits, and then you’ll be spared sterilization. Then you would have a chance for a future.

Which of those alternatives would you choose?

No matter which alternative will you choose, several people would make the opposite choice.

The problem is that before we neuter cats, we are unable to ask them what is their preference, so we do not ask them. We patronize over them and assume that we know that it is better for them to have cozy present but no chance for a future.

Or else, we allow them to have litters of kittens, most of whom would die of hunger and diseases – just for the chance that some of them will be successful in the unfriendly world, into which they are born.

This reminds me of the ideological conflict between socialism and capitalism, which existed until the 1980’s, when people hit upon the present way of combining the safety net style of socialism with exploratory capitalism.

Previously, it was believed that it is possible to have only either regime which takes care of its people but offers them no future, no reason to have a gleam in their eyes – or regime, in which people do not take care of each other, in which people indulge in cutthroat competition, in which there are several losers and few winners – but people can hope for glorious future.

The human solution does not work for cats, because humans have access to fertility control technology and can reversibly control their fertility. In the case of cats, we make the decision for them. And usually we make the decision according to our squeamishness of letting kittens die if they lose in the competition over the cruel world’s resources, so we neuter the cats.

Author: Omer Zak

I am deaf since birth. I played with big computers which eat punched cards and spew out printouts since age 12. Ever since they became available, I work and play with desktop size computers which eat keyboard keypresses and spew out display pixels. Among other things, I developed software which helped the deaf in Israel use the telephone network, by means of home computers equipped with modems. Several years later, I developed Hebrew localizations for some cellular phones, which helped the deaf in Israel utilize the cellular phone networks. I am interested in entrepreneurship, Science Fiction and making the world more accessible to people with disabilities.

3 thoughts on “Socialism vs. capitalism and the question of neutering stray cats”

    1. Can you show me where in The Great Book does it say that someone is idiot if he discusses two opposite points of view about an issue?

  1. You know my thoughts on this already but here goes – Spaying or neutering is one of the greatest gifts you can
    provide your pet and your family. These routine medical
    procedures not only help control pet overpopulation, but
    they may also prevent medical and behavioural problems
    from developing, allowing your cat to lead a longer,
    healthier and happier life. Spaying or neutering your cat prevents unwanted births and reduces the infl uence of sex
    hormones on your pet’s behavior. Millions of unwanted animals end up in shelters or on the streets each year. Only a lucky few are adopted; the rest are either euthanised or die from trauma, exposure, starvation or disease. By spaying or neutering your cat, you do your part to prevent this tragedy.

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