In perfect world, there would be no unwanted animals. People would all be responsible and take good care of their pets.
In a perfect world, no humans would suffer either. there would be no orphans, no one living in poverty. no wives abused by their husbands, or children by their parents. There would be no War, no murder, no rape.
But we do not live in a perfect world. Humans are not perfect. We can strive for betterness, but perfection is an unattainable state.
As Ojars said, the cat has no idea what happens to it when it gets spayed. it knows that it goes to a strange place that smells of chemicals and blood, its is pricked with something sharp, falls alseep, and when it wakes up it is in terrible pain, which lasts for quite some time. I imagine that many animals are quite horrified by what has happened. But they don't dwell on it... they get on with their lives as best as they can, and within time the memery fades. Spaying and Neutering is done for human convienece. We advocate it because it helps keep down animal populations, which is good. no one can feed and care for all the animals that are born into this world.
Life is hard, for people and for animals. Many of our pets have better lives than millions of people in this world. Do people who live in less than ideal conditions lead abusive lives? I know a woman who fed a family of 6 on less than $100 a week.All their clothing came from goodwill or the salvation army. Her van was repossesed one day as she was picking up her children from school. ( she made them follow her home so she could get the kids home before she let them take it. the kids had no idea). But they were still a happy family. her children have grown into happy, healthy, well adjusted teenagers, the eldest has his own house now. They came from conditions that no one would call "ideal", but they have thrived.
overpopulation problems come when animals breed in greater numbers than can be supported. In nature, there are predators and other factors which take care of this. The infant mortality rate of most bears is 50%. That means one in two bear cubs never makes it to adulthood. But most environments cannot sustain more than a few bears, so it works out. If something happened and all cubs began to live to adulthood, within a few generations the bears would have completely decimated their habitat, and all would starve. Nature takes care of it itself, albeit in harsh ways. There is no overpopulation of cats in the rural areas where i live. yes, many are unneutered and breed prolifically, as their hormoines and instincts tell them too. But there are also plenty of coyotes, and most of these cats don't live past a few years. This is natural, as horrible as we may find it. this is how the environment sustains itself, and how it functions.
human interference results in lower infant mortaility rates. because of our interference, we must be respnsible to ensure these animals are cared for properly and lead long happy lives. Spaying and neutering our pets ensures that we do not overpopulate the pet pupolation to levels that we cannot sustain.
I will say again, the barn cat is NOT a pet. She serves a purpose, as rodent control, and is both necessary and happy in this role. Most farmers don't have pets, they have useful animals...cats to keep mice populations down, watchdogs, etc. Her owners have been very responsible in her care... making sure she always has food for when she can't catch mice, finding homes for her children, neutering their other cat. I know it is harsh, but the reality is that she could be killed at any time, by a car or a coyote or another animal. The nearest intact male cat lives over a mile away, when she is in heat she goes to seek him out.
I think we need to stop judging people so much for what they do or do not do to their pets and focus on the actaul welfare of the animal. If I told you that i have a horse who lives outdoors all year , even when the temperature drops to -45 and there is a blizzard, would you say that is cruel? many people would. he wears no blankets, although he does have a shelter to stop the wind. I'm sure you're thinking that he should be put into a box stall on days when it is that cold, or at least given a blanket. But he rips blankets off, and is terrified of box stalls. So when it is that cold, we put extra starw in the shelter for insulation, give them extra food to compensate for energy lost trying to keep warm, and he does fine. He is happy and excited about the extra food, and stays warm cuddled in the shelter with his mare.
Just because someone does something differnt, doesn't mean they are doing it wrong.
As long as animals are recieving good care and living happy, healthy lives, is that not what really matters?
I think we need to get off our self-riteous moral moral high-horses and focus on helping people give the best care to their animals, not judging them when they don 't measure up to your standards.