The Paw Project Review: Cats, Michael Moore-ed

“The Paw Project,” is a documentary that deals with the issue of declawing cats and the illegalization of declawing procedures in cities throughout the United States. Initially, the film specifically refers to the larger members of the feline family, especially those which are possessed illegally in the United States. Later, the film begins more specifically to argue about the inhumanity of declawing house cats.

The documentary is informative and has potential to sway the opinions of the masses. Overall there is perspective to be gained and enough to be learned from it; but sadly, the filmmakers decided to Michael Moore the thing to death, eventually resorting to asinine similes and pictures of hands with the finger tips cut-off as an appeal not to sensibility or even morality, but to fear and emotionally impulsive opinions.

The filmmaker and organizer of the anti-declawing movement, Jennifer Conrad, alleges that accredited veterinary organizations refused to comment on their belief that it is the choice not of the state, but of the individual whether or not to have the declawing procedure performed. Conrad alleges that, “The message, I felt, would be more credible if we offered both sides of the controversy.” Though one might wonder whether this search for credibility would not be to obtain the organizations’ opinions or expertise, but rather to give damning and edited testimony against them in order to further validate her personal agenda.

Indispensable staff experts featured in the film include, “Jackson Galaxy,” a “cat behaviorist,” Mikel Delgado, a “cat behavior assessor.” Aubrey Lavizzo, DVM a holistic veterinarian and many other interesting choices, pretty much only missing, “veterinary surgeon,” (You see, the ACVS is the Lex Luthor to these super folks) and “guy with fake mustache” (Everyone needs one of these).

The problem with this documentary is not what they are trying to say, nor their beliefs. The problem is that they assert it with complete recklessness and non-objective propaganda. People, as a general rule, like kittens and do not want to hurt them; this means that they do not have to assert themselves as heavily as they do in order to garner the support of people.

The people who created this documentary have the passion necessary to change the minds of people, but the amount of medical data and/or opinion included is minimal at best and the discussion of alternatives (i.e. cutting a cat’s nails) was discussed in a brief several second long clip versus the attacks on accredited veterinary medicine organizations which progressively became the primary focus of the film.

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