Black Sabbath bassist and self-proclaimed "crazy cat person" Geezer Butler wants people to stop declawing their cats. The musician has issued a statement via the Humane Society of the United States to urge the passing of a bill introduced by the New York State Senate that would make the state the first to ban the practice.
"New York is one of Black Sabbath's favorite states to perform in because New Yorkers are smart, open-minded, and compassionate," the bassist wrote. "I am particularly delighted to be coming back to the Empire State after learning from my friends at the Humane Society of the United States that there is a bill before lawmakers that, if passed, would ban the practice of declawing cats.
"Many know me as one of the founding members of Black Sabbath, but fewer likely know that I am what you might call a 'crazy cat person,'" he continued. "My wife and I have rescued many cats and we have never dreamed of putting them through an elective, convenience surgery such as declawing.
"Can you imagine having your fingers chopped off at the last bone?" he concluded. "That is what the equivalent is for cats who are declawed. It is dreadfully inhumane! A surge of veterinarians throughout New York support legislation to put declawing in the trash bin of history. I urge lawmakers to remain steadfast in those characteristics I admire most about New Yorkers and support the bill to ban the declawing of cats."
Veterinarians opposing the bill claim they earn between $100 and $500 for each procedure, according to New York Post. Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal told the paper in November that she hoped to educate lawmakers on the practice. If passed, the bill would join recently enacted animal-friendly laws including allowing dogs in outdoor cafes and a ban on tattooing and piercing pets.
Butler and his Black Sabbath bandmates will be playing New York City later this week as part of their final tour, dubbed "The End." The bassist told Rolling Stone that he had mixed emotions about putting an end to the pioneering metal group, which he helped form in 1968. "It'll be bittersweet," he said, looking ahead to the group's as-yet-unannounced final gig. "I'm glad we're finishing on a high note, but sad that it's the end of what I've known for most of my life."