When can a Pro-Life Catholic do it?
My cat is old and she's been sick for several weeks. She's been having elimination problems. I take her back to the doctor tomorrow. He will examine her again to see if she just has an infection, or something worse. The cat has a good appetite, remains affectionate, but doesn't use the cat box. I've always cleaned the cat box twice daily, now, thinking it is too hard for her to go downstairs, I brought the cat box upstairs. It is not working.
I may have to euthanize the cat... but she seems so alert and responsive... yeah, but it may be time.
It occurred to me that we moderns have an inordinate attachment to our animals, our pets. Contemporary pet owners literally regard their animals as family. Single people and childless couples especially regard their pets as children. Just watch the pet shows and the pet ads if you disagree with me. I can't tell you how many times I've heard people say things like, "I like animals way more than people..." Hence our reluctance to let them go or put them to sleep. Although we convince ourselves it is more loving to euthanize them than to let them suffer.
I think this is why euthanasia for people is becoming more acceptable in secular culture and amongst the poorly catechized. We convince ourselves that our family members, like our pets, should never have to suffer... and many of us see no value in suffering...
The problem is we do not understand ourselves. We do not understand that we have an immortal soul - animals do not. We want them to have one - but it's pretty much determined they do not. We do. Therefore, we can euthanize a pet, but we can't euthanize our loved ones - mortal man, created in the image and likeness of God, has an immortal soul.