Okay... First read this article.
So did Holly Crawford do anything wrong?
The defense's argument is an interesting one. We allow parents to pierce their children's ears and such, why not allow us to pierce our pets? Why have a higher standard for the animal and a lower standard for the human?
I think there are two things wrong with this line of reasoning. First, the piercings of a human's ears won't necessarily affect coordination and mobility, but they may affect them on a kitten (espescially on the tail). But I don't think this is a heavy consideration. Assumedly the kitten could learn to adapt to the piercings.... Afterall they have to learn to adapt to their four legs too (kittens are sooooo wobbly!).
The second problem, and I think the more pressing flaw is that there is a higher standard for animals and a lower standard for humans line of thought. There should be higher standards for the treatment of animals in some cases I think, precisely because we don't know what they are experiencing. Erring on the side of caution is reasonable. For children, we can simply ask them how they feel about being pierced (assuming they are old enough to be communicative). We raise standards of treatment for less abled people, it stands to reason that we raise the standards to a similar height for animals. Not because they're more important, but because they need the protection from exploitation. We treat adults and children differently for the same reasons.
But these are just the flaws in the defense's argument. Presumedly they can be wrong, and Crawford still hasn't done anything wrong.
Ultimately the piercings are for aesthetic purposes. The difference between the child and a pet, is that the child can appreciate the piercings. They can make the the choice to remove the piercings in the future if they do not like them. Pets can't do that, or worse, they will try to do that and tear out the piercing. So the wrongness here isn't the harm thats been done to the cats (I'm not sure if the harm of the actual piercing is negligible, but I'm willing to concede the point). But rather that it endagers them to future harm. A piercing gets caught on a fence or on a pillow, and the cat will expeirence a great deal of unnecessary pain, so that we could amuse ourselves with having a pierced cat. The tradeoffs of benefits here doesn't hold up.