CaitlinRose made another great comment to Danish dolphin slaughter part 2, and she concluded it with a variation on a well known one liner: "To update an age-old saying: there are many ways to skin a cat, but none of them are good for the cat."

I am not sure who invented the saying, "there is more than one way to skin a cat", but according to there is a history to it, "Mark Twain used your version in A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court in 1889: “she was wise, subtle, and knew more than one way to skin a cat”, that is, more than one way to get what she wanted. An earlier appearance is in ’Way down East; or, Portraitures of Yankee Life by Seba Smith of about 1854: “This is a money digging world of ours; and, as it is said, ‘there are more ways than one to skin a cat,’ so are there more ways than one of digging for money”. From the way he writes, the author clearly knew this to be a well-known existing proverbial saying. In fact, it is first recorded in John Ray’s collection of English proverbs as far back as 1678.

For something more horrific, and something I didn't know until I googled it, it is a fact that medical students actually dissect and skin cats as part of their anatomy training at several medical schools. Read on for the unbelievable reality:

"At the University of Cincinnati Clermont College, the cat is used as the animal to teach anatomy in our Anatomy and Physiology courses. There are several reasons why this choice of dissection animal has been made. First, the cat's anatomy is similar enough to human anatomy that the majority of anatomical relationships can illustrated using this animal. Second, the cat is large enough for its features to be clearly distinguishable to the student. Fetal pigs, which some institutions use, are small for this purpose. Third, the physical act of dissection is an extremely effective learning tool in contrast with "virtual dissections" available in computer programs. Fourth, cats are plentiful and inexpensive enough so that each team of two students has the personal hands-on experience of the dissection. The question of the ethics of using cats for this purpose can and should be raised."

On the website that the above quote was taken from they actually give detailed instructions on how to literally skin a cat. So, much to my surprise, there really are people who skin cats, and are actually posting instructions on the Internet about how to do it, thus giving this saying a gruesome reality.

Caitlin's point was as follows:

"It's obvious to us, when people from another culture hack adorable, endangered dolphins to death, that their actions are barbaric and unjustifiable. But it's not so obvious when it involves the animals we are used to eating. Are cows less beautiful? Less gentle? Less innocent? No matter how you try to evade the reality, slaughtering an animal means violently ending a life in its prime. Whether it's in a factory or on a farm, pain is pain.

"To update an age-old saying: there are many ways to skin a cat, but none of them are good for the cat."

So Caitlin makes a great point, that no matter how we kill an animal, either in the wild using "traditional" or "cultural" methods, or in a modern slaughterhouse, the animal dies, the way it is killed is pretty much irrelevant especially to the animal, so all we are dealing with is human sensibilities in society's mixed up value system that in effect places no value on animal life in general. Society rather strangely values some animals (e.g. pets, wild animals, endangered species) more highly than others (cows, pigs, sheep), and values some methods of killing them over other ones, but none of these "values" about which animals are more worthy than others of living have any basis in anything real, such as respect for all life.

Love Life! Love animals, don't eat them.

Thanks for reading.

Mark Fergusson