Sunday, February 11, 2007

Ban pets from eating places

I AM concerned that some pet lovers take their pets along to eating places.

These people love their pets but are not concerned about their fellow diners.

Can the authorities comment on whether it is all right for people to carry their pets and occupy seats in eating places?

Recently, I saw a sign at a Toa Payoh hawker centre stating prominently: 'No smoking, no touting and no dogs'.

Why not extend this ban to all eating places?

I hope dogs lovers are aware that many people would be inconvenienced by their pets.

Ng Soon Hwee

Dog in a manger Human in a seat

Dear Mr Ng

You want to ban us from all eating places? As it is, already there are so few places that we are welcome at because most eating establishments value your almighty dollar more than they care for our happiness at keeping our owners company.

We don't see that you have any real grounds for requesting to ban us, other than somehow you are "inconvenienced" by our taking up a seat. Let's consider that claim for a moment: how likely are you to want to share a table with our owner, even if we were not in the picture? Given you appear slightly xenophobic by your request, you'd probably want a table all to yourself, so you'd leave the seat we'd be occupying vacant anyway.

If you are worried about our hygiene, please remember that we are house pets, kept clean and groomed by our owners. We travel in carriers among you humans, so we sit in our carriers without any direct contact with the chairs you seem to be indignantly protecting. Furthermore, we are at least as clean, and perhaps only as noisy as your children; though through proper training, often better behaved in public.

In any case, cutting off contact with beings other than yourselves has become extremely unhealthy for our planet. You have become selfish and insensitive to the flora and fauna of the earth in the way you toxify our environment and encroach on our habitats to expand your so-called "civilization", and now you won't even let us -- a tiny proportion of what has survived your onslaught -- have a seat at your eating place in this concrete nightmare that you've built around us?

So before you open your mouth, think and get a little perspective. Who has "inconvenienced" whom? It's fine if you all want to kill yourselves with all the environmental havoc you've caused, but it isn't our choice to do likewise. But for the sake of your own health, it's good to be reminded that you humans don't -- and can't -- exist alone on earth. Even if it's just a brief encounter with us at an eating place.

Q-tip and Mimi

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