Saturday at the first weekend of the Austin City Limits Music Festival was a beautiful day. It started off warm, but cooled down to a nice, rare, fall afternoon in Austin. Lindsey and I go to ACL every year and it is a special weekend for us. We get to spend time alone (well, with 50K+ around us), see some of our favorite bands live and discover new ones.
One of the bands we listened to took the opportunity near the end of their set, as many bands do, to make their chosen political statement for the day. This band chose to praise Austin's very admirable position as a no kill city for dogs and cats. Being a dog owner and lover, I love this about my city. I think it is great that we do not kill pets that could be adopted and cared for. According to the Austin Humane Society, they save over 11,000 cats and dogs a year, with most taking only 2-3 weeks to find an adoptive home. This is a truly good thing.
But as the cheers from the crowd rose to greet the praise of the visiting band, one thought came to mind: would this band, and this crowd, praise our city if the same thing could be said for our babies?
Because one thing is certain, while it may be true for our animals it is not for our children. The latest statistics I found online show that 19% of all pregnancies in Travis County (practically synonymous with the city of Austin) ended in abortions in 2011. In the state of Texas in 2009 there were 77,630 abortions, for a percentage of 15% of all pregnancies ending in abortion.
Our priorities as a society are upside down when we cheer a no kill policy for animals, and at the same time support and expand the killing of babies in the womb. It's just backwards.
So, is Austin a no kill city? When it comes to our children, the answer is clearly no.