"Reason is always a kind of brute force; those who appeal to the head rather than the heart, however pallid and polite, are necessarily men of violence. We speak of 'touching' a man's heart, but we can do nothing to his head but hit it." --G.K. Chesterton

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

City should stay out of pet-cemetery business

Photo of pet cemetery from cbc.ca.

A report on the issue of pet cemeteries came to council eight days ago, but was deferred for consideration until last night to allow councillor Mae Reid, council's most ardent animal lover, to take part in the discussion, because she was sick eight days ago.

The staff report basically surveyed the landscape surrounding the issue and made no recommendations. Apparently, the report was sparked by a request from a councillor last year, but even the apparent requester--Ms. Reid suggested that it might have been her--seemed to have a difficult time recollecting the exact reason for the request.

Anyway, there was some discussion by Ms. Reid and others about such things as memorial walls or columbaria for deceased pets in or around existing or new city cemeteries, but I helped bring the discussion to an end by informing my colleagues that many cultures and religions would find such a set-up to be very offensive. Lou Sekora also evinced little sympathy for any such project, and suggested that one rather major obstacle would be the definition of "pet." He wondered whether a civic facility be open to a snake, for example.

If such objections hadn't had the desired effect of ending discussion on the subject (a subject that, I am aware, can be very emotional), I would have debated against taking any action on the grounds that this properly should be a private matter, left to private individuals and/or companies to work out. In short, I believe the city has no rightful place in providing this sort of service.

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