When Owners Ask to Put Down Perfectly Healthy Pets

Why I Can't Stomach the Practice

To my way of thinking, such problems are no excuse for whipping out the Euthasol willy-nilly, which is why many veterinarians make a big distinction between the term euthanasia — a word that stems from the Greek for “beautiful death” — and killing, a word that confers no artificial niceties and means exactly what you think it does.

Unfortunately, the veterinary industry has condescended to devote diluted language to these transparently immoral calls for death. “Convenience euthanasia,” the profession’s preferred terminology, may not be pretty, but it’s a far cry from the more appropriate “selfish kill” I’m inclined to apply.

Such straightforward verbiage is preferable to sensibilities like mine, which decry those who'd dispose of their animals and — to make matters worse — uniformly seek absolution in the process. As in: “I know you’d feel the same way if you could walk in my shoes!” and “You have no idea how much we’ve suffered before arriving at this difficult decision.”

Yeah, well, no more than I would if I actually had to carry out the sentence. So what makes them think that they can lay it on me? To do so is not just an abuse of their dominion over animals, but it's also a complete abdication of their responsibilities as pet owners, a maddening display of disrespect for the role of a sworn defender of animal life — meaning me.

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