Wednesday, April 2, 2014

What I know - we all need to think for ourselves




So it turns out that I was recently kicked out of an online group for cats with out so much as a 'don't let the door hit you on the way out'.  *shrug*

Why you might ask? I would to if I could. I can only guess it was my comment to a post about not removing the sex organs in cats. You see this is a group of holistic cat owners. I have ranted about them (and other online cat groups) before. Actually this was one of my most popularly viewed posts until fairly recently. This group has a wealth of knowledge on alternative treatments, using herbs and food to cure. They believe that proper nutrition will keep a whole host of issues at bay (including fleas if you can believe that) and are constantly stating that we should not extrapolate that what works for one species (humans, dogs, etc) would work in cats.

But then they would all too often start making assumptions for cats on what works or is in other species if it supported their theories or beliefs.

Their newest thing is that neutering cats is detrimental to their long term health. That by removing the hormones they go into menopause and all that this entails. I watched them explore those thoughts and the claims got wilder and wilder sometimes even equating what cats go through with their removal of their sex organs to what humans do when theirs are removed.

I still did not speak up. I have done a lot of reading on pediatric neutering because I have seven cats that were all neutered when they were 3 pounds or less. I have had two cats that blocked with urinary crystals. I've had a couple of overweight kitties over the years. So I read everything I could find, and I've looked several times over the years
I have watched hundreds of cats be neutered over the years. The younger they were done the faster they recovered. Many of the smallest ones came home and acted like nothing had happened, they weren't even groggy.. while older cats seem painful and are often groggy for the rest of the day.

So when this online group started saying that cats suffer from menopause, I simply rolled my eyes. I have seen so many cats that are intact that appear to be suffering because of it. Females in heat look like they are very uncomfortable, some almost as if in pain. Males need to dominate and battle others for territory and mating rights, to the point where they will damage themselves to do it. Still I said nothing. Exploring an issue sometimes can lead to new information.. new thoughts and ideas.. I'm all for that..

But when another member of the group started feeling bad for having neutered her companion, I could not stand in the proverbial corner and keep my mouth shut any more. I know this group has a small tolerance for thoughts that are contrary to their own and can come off as nearly rude when someone new comes in asking questions and is trusting of their vet or feeding dry food. A while back I said something about the tone and how they aren't being helpful when people get defensive and the tone changed for the most part (but not always) so my reply was as open as I could make it "hey, this is what I know, this is what I've learned, this is my experience, but I'm totally open to being wrong, if you know the studies to support your position, I'd love to read them"

Well when I went back to the group to look for a different piece of information I found I was no longer a member of the group.. like I said, with out even so much as an email explaining why I was kicked out. Was it just a glitch? Did someone hit a wrong button? possibly. I asked to rejoin the group, but I'm not going to be heart broken if I'm not 'allowed' in. I've never much liked being a part of a group where you aren't allowed to question the established believes of the people who are running it.. (sadly all too often I find this to be the case for veterinarians as well. If you have a vet that is open to your questions, bring them a plate of cookies next time you go in)

so.. one long rambling post to get to this. Do not trust me. Do not trust anything you read on the internet. Do your own reading. If what I tell you makes some sense, and you want to believe me, go look for other sources that support that thought. Do your due diligence and look for sources that support opposing thoughts. Read both.. see which one makes sense to you. Don't stop reading. If you believe something is true, it doesn't hurt to keep reading new sources to see what the new evidence for something is, because it is always changing. Like we all KNOW saturated fat is bad for us humans right?

Many of us don't want to do this, and I totally understand. I do my best to make it easy to understand why I think as I do by sharing links to pages or books that have taught me what I know to help you understand why I think as I do. To me that is the only way to make a compelling argument that holds water. If you run into someone who tells you that a cat suffers from menopause when they are neutered (or any other wild claim) ask them for some proof for that.. and if they give it to you, please share it with me because I would love to read it.

22 comments:

  1. People like that are part of the overpopulation problem in my opinion. If they convince a bunch of people that taking responsibility and spaying/neutering their pet will have psychological or physical consequences that bunch of people wont get it done. Thousands more kittens born *bangs head against wall*

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  2. Some people don't want to know the facts. I would trust you in a second because you're so well read and experienced.

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  3. Oh, for pete's sake. Why is it that sometimes getting smarter and smarter suddenly wraps a person back around to totally stupid? That's all we need is some all natural reason to let our pets breed. The way they're going, they'll be a very small group, so that is some consolation.

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  4. I love holistic when it is appropriate but sounds like they have taken it way too far. Sorry you got kicked out but doesn't sound like they wanted any opposing views. You better off educated than part of the group.

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  5. Amen! And beautifully written. In fact, this is why I read you -- whether I agree with your conclusions or not (sometimes I do, sometimes I don't). I appreciate so much that what you write is thoughtful, well-researched and still non-judgmental. The Internet includes so much good, like you!, but also so much crazy. Just want you to know how much I appreciate you!

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    1. Thank you so much. You are totally free to disagree with me and I do like hearing opposing views so feel free to tell me what you are thinking when you do disagree... It is how we all learn.

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  6. Ok this is a very general question: where has tolerance gone? Why is it that our society as a whole has become MORE combatant if you hold a differing opinion about ANYTHING? OK that was two questions. Rhetorical questions.It just seems to me we use to be able to ''discuss'' topics without being called names or being banned. I don't get it. So much for opened ended dialogue. Thank you for the topics you write on. I can tell you research and think about what you have found. I appreciate it, truly.

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  7. Abby brings up a good point. It seems that - as we have been allowed the freedom to select what we choose to read, what channels align with our beliefs the most that we only choose to watch - the world has become more polarized. And far less tolerant.

    As James Carville (host of CNN's Crossfire) once said: people like the ones in this facebook group read what they read and watch what they watch for the same reason a drunk uses a lightpost - for support and not illumination.

    And with Facebook choosing similar-minded pages for us at every turn, it's not getting any better (thanks FB).

    Your point is well said: trust but verify!

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  8. The whole world is filled with misinformation. Like how EVERYONE should eat whole grains, including cats! I think it's important to look at both sides. In fact, every time I go to purchase something, I read the negative reviews first, not the positive, because I want to know why people don't like the thing I'm about to do. I also know that I watched my grandma's dog die of cancer because she wasn't spayed. And have seen lots of cats with FIV because they weren't neutered.... and lots of kittens die because there are too many. It's a shame that with all the good information they have in that group you wrote about, they aren't willing to listen to other sides of the story.

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    1. LOL.. you too?? I really appreciate the negative reviews because I learn so much more for them. glowing reviews can easily be bought and paid for.

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  9. agreed - we love reading your posts - you back it up with what you have found and are open to opinions. :) that is what learning should be about. it continues to amaze us that people sit behind their computer and feel so shielded that they can be rude and close minded (oh wait - they do that without the computer too - haha). as to the lady who felt bad for neutering her cat, we would love to have her see the results of some big males fighting over territory or a girl - wow

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  10. Way to often these forums become "In Groups", with no one accepted who isn't already part of the group. Our own personal opinion is you are probably better off without them, especially if they are using diet for things like treating fleas and kittie birth control.

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  11. So often, humans want to be right all the time - and they get so grouchy when it's proven that's impossible. I've never understood that. Isn't life supposed to be a learning experience?

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  12. In today's world, a lot of people are living in echo chambers, enjoying the confirmation bias of opinions that agree with theirs and automatically rejecting those that don't as "wrong" because they are different. Thinking for yourself, listening to new ideas, and being willing to discuss them used to the be the sign of being a grownup, and we hope that someday it sill be again.

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  13. I totally agree - doing your own research is very important. I'm sorry to hear that you had such a bad experience with that group. I've known groups of people like that ("you think what we tell you to think or else"). I'm holistic in my approach, but I don't totally discount traditional veterinary care either. I have heard that there is some evidence of adrenal issues in DOGS due to spay/neuter - but that is not to say that there aren't other birth control methods that should be used. The same research does not apply to cats. Nonetheless, each owner should do their own research on the possibilities/risks/benefits of the procedures that they have done on their pets.

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  14. Yes, all opinions are welcome as long as you agree with the group! Look on the bright side, at least you know what you are missing!

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  15. Reminds me of a quote I once heard in jest about the Myers Briggs test results for someone who is a J: "Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, as wrong as it may be..."

    I'm actually in a couple of FB groups right now where I'm just sitting back, watching the show, anticipating my departure.

    For what it's worth, I really enjoy reading what you have to say about nutrition and health. I have a huge amount of respect for the research you do and the thought and care you put into it. I've learned a great deal here and on FB from you. : )

    GG

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  16. Menopause? Seriously?

    I recall the vet saying, don't let the kitten run or jump. Really? None of my six cats every had an issue after spaying or neutering and they were all about 6 months.

    I'm going through menopause myself...none of the cats ever showed a similar symptom.

    Thanks for the information you provide to your readers!

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  17. Crazy people. Be glad you don't have to associate with them. Time to make new normal friends. Too many people in the rescue biz are passive/aggressive nutters. The new fad now is arguing about how TNR is bad and, "euthanasia," (shoot ferals and drown the kittens) is a better idea. Nutters.

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  18. there is no accounting for stupidity Connie,all my pets in the past be they cats or Rabbits were or are neutered except for Boots our Springer Spaniel but that was because we were thinking about putting him to stud as he came from a long line of champion gundogs,but in the end we didn't put him to stud.Anyway none of my cats or rabbits every showed any such symptoms,I'm with you on this Connie,xx Rachel

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  19. You should be glad to be out of that group! I have found you to be very thoughtful and scrupulous in your research, and generous in sharing your experience. Keep it up.

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  20. Ugh… so sorry to hear this! It is so true that when people are overly opinionated and judgmental of others who don't necessarily believe the same as they do or of those who are simply asking questions because they don't know, it does more harm than good. As you said, it sounds like it might not be such a bad thing to not be a part of that group anymore. Sorry you experienced this!

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