About 2 dozen countries have banned declawing, but the U.S. ain't 1 of them.

Don't feel bad if you've already done it. Just feel good about knowing better now.

Many loving pet owners had their cats declawed because they just didn't have the whole story.

Here's what you (and your friends) need to know.


All GIFs and images via Jason Galaxy/YouTube.

It's been estimated that up to 25% of all pet cats in the U.S. are declawed. It's also legal to declaw cats in Canada.

Part of declawing is "de-knuckling." (I'm squirming too, but there's nothing graphic here, so don't worry.)

Bones get amputated as part of the process.

Why do people do it? One reason is they don't want their stuff or themselves to get scratched up.

Cats have an instinct to maintain and exercise their claws (who doesn't like a good workout?). They also often communicate by patting their paws at you, and when they really want you to understand them, they'll draw out those point-making claws.

But if they don't have claws, cats may decide to communicate with you by biting instead.

I'd take a swipe or two instead of a bite, thank you very much.

Also, kitty litter hurts their post-surgery feet, so they start finding other less painful places to pee ... in the house.

I don't know about you, but I'd rather have a cat with claws than turn my house into a toilet.

Without claws, cats have trouble defending themselves from predators.

They have a hard time climbing trees to escape and can't protect themselves with their claws if they get caught.

These kinds of post-declawing behaviors often land declawed cats at the shelter (because maybe you don't like what they're doing, but you can't just let them go in the wild now that you've taken away their defenses). And I think we all know what can happen when there are too many animals at the shelter...

So, does laser declawing make a difference?

It apparently is less messy and can mean a speedier recovery, but that's about it. There's some research out there, but nothing seems conclusive that laser declawing is superior.


People are fighting to ban declawing in the U.S. city by city, but it's time to have it banned across the whole country. In Canada too.



If you've already declawed your cat and you didn't know any better, don't feel bad.

Let's get the word out to everyone else.

You can check out the Cat Daddy himself in the video below.

Jackson Galaxy is one cool cat.

FACT CHECK TIME! The video says at least 22 countries have banned declawing. Our fact-checkers found a range from 22 to 28 countries with official bans by the end of 2014, and — as Jackson says — more are sure to come.

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On an old episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in July 1992, Oprah put her audience through a social experiment that puts racism in a new light. Despite being nearly two decades old, it's as relevant today as ever.

She split the audience members into two groups based on their eye color. Those with brown eyes were given preferential treatment by getting to cut the line and given refreshments while they waited to be seated. Those with blue eyes were made to put on a green collar and wait in a crowd for two hours.

Staff were instructed to be extra polite to brown-eyed people and to discriminate against blue-eyed people. Her guest for that day's show was diversity expert Jane Elliott, who helped set up the experiment and played along, explaining that brown-eyed people were smarter than blue-eyed people.

Watch the video to see how this experiment plays out.

Oprah's Social Experiment on Her Audience www.youtube.com

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Young people today are facing what seems to be greater exposure to complex issues like mental health, bullying, and youth violence. As a result, teachers are required to be well-versed in far more than school curriculum to ensure students are prepared to face the world inside and outside of the classroom. Acting as more than teachers, but also mentors, counselors, and cheerleaders, they must be equipped with practical and relevant resources to help their students navigate some of the more complicated social issues – though access to such tools isn't always guaranteed.

Take Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, for example, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years, and as a teacher for seven. Entering the profession, she didn't anticipate how much influence a student's home life could affect her classroom, including "students who lived in foster homes" and "lacked parental support."

Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience, says it can be difficult to create engaging course work that's applicable to the challenges students face. "I think that sometimes, teachers don't know where to begin. Teachers are always looking for ways to make learning in their classrooms more relevant."

So what resources do teachers turn to in an increasingly fractured world? "Joining a professional learning network that supports and challenges thinking is one of the most impactful things that a teacher can do to support their own learning," Anglemyer says.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience.

A new program for teachers that offers this network along with other resources is the WE Teachers Program, an initiative developed by Walgreens in partnership with ME to WE and Mental Health America. WE Teachers provides tools and resources, at no cost to teachers, looking for guidance around the social issues related to poverty, youth violence, mental health, bullying, and diversity and inclusion. Through online modules and trainings as well as a digital community, these resources help them address the critical issues their students face.

Jessica Mauritzen, a high school Spanish teacher, credits a network of support for providing her with new opportunities to enrich the learning experience for her students. "This past year was a year of awakening for me and through support… I realized that I was able to teach in a way that built up our community, our school, and our students, and supported them to become young leaders," she says.

With the new WE Teachers program, teachers can learn to identify the tough issues affecting their students, secure the tools needed to address them in a supportive manner, and help students become more socially-conscious, compassionate, and engaged citizens.

It's a potentially life-saving experience for students, and in turn, "a great gift for teachers," says Dr. Sanderlin.

"I wish I had the WE Teachers program when I was a teacher because it provides the online training and resources teachers need to begin to grapple with these critical social issues that plague our students every day," she adds.

In addition to the WE Teachers curriculum, the program features a WE Teachers Award to honor educators who go above and beyond in their classrooms. At least 500 teachers will be recognized and each will receive a $500 Walgreens gift card, which is the average amount teachers spend out-of-pocket on supplies annually. Teachers can be nominated or apply themselves. To learn more about the awards and how to nominate an amazing teacher, or sign up for access to the teacher resources available through WE Teachers, visit walgreens.com/metowe.

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