Black Sabbath bassist and cat lover Geezer Butler has joined the Humane Society of the United States to support the New York State Declaw Ban, which if passed, will make New York the first state in the United States to ban the declawing of cats.

Declawing is a practice that’s very misunderstood. Many believe declawing is be the removal of fingernails, but in fact, declawing a cat is much more extreme. Declawing a cat is comparable to amputating human fingers at the first knuckle. The procedure is extremely painful, can cause cats to feel phantom pain afterwards and cause mental distress. Declawing has been banned in Israel, Brazil and much of Europe but is still legal in the U.S.

As for his anti-declawing activism, Butler writes:

New York is one of Black Sabbath’s favorite states to perform in because New Yorkers are smart, open-minded, and compassionate. 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.” My wife and I have many rescued 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? 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.

Geezer is supporting the cause in conjunction with Black Sabbath’s upcoming New York City dates on the band’s farewell tour. Black Sabbath will finish up the first North American leg of ‘The End’ with two dates at Madison Square Garden on Feb. 25 and Feb. 27. For Black Sabbath’s full list of ‘The End’ tour dates, click here.

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