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Killing the Killer Kitties: A Worldview Issue


It's a well-known fact: Cats are predators. From personal observation, domesticated cats proudly display their hunting prowess by bringing their dead trophies home to their owners. They have the instinct to hunt and, dare I say, joy in hunting small game like birds and mice.

Feral cats do more hunting than domesticated cats. But whether they are feral or domesticated, cats kill millions of small animals.

This fact seems to outrage some people, so much that they want to kill the offending kitties. Others want to capture feral cats to spay/neuter them before releasing them back into the wild.

But we know from history that every time someone gets a bright idea like this, humans and other species suffer.

Let's take one horrific example: Chairman Mao Tse-Tung's pogrom against sparrows. Sparrows indiscriminately ate the grain that Mao claimed as his. However, as he and his minions killed the little birds, another problem sprang up: Without the birds to keep them in check, locusts and other types of bugs proliferated, then promptly ate the grain that was already in alarmingly short supply.

While altering the natural order of sparrows and bugs were only one of the problems that Mao's hubris and machinations caused, he generated massive starvation, and an estimated 45 to 60 million people died as a result.

Mao's story should be a warning to the rest of us, but with the proposed villainy against the dear little kitties, well, let's just say I can see a day when reading Beatrix Potter stories about Mittens, Tom Kitten, Moppets, and Mrs. Tabitha Twitchit is illegal.

If you think I jest, some radicals' have already proposed that Mother Earth would be better off if we first rid the world of species that eat other species before riding the world of ourselves.

Since many teachers and professors have been advocating radical animal rights for years, I suggest you arm yourself with knowledge about the difference between animal welfare and animal rights. Someone is bound to challenge you on that score.


Comments:

Carol Luscomb wrote:
Owners of domesticated cats can plan when and with whom they want their little fur-balls to mate. Ferals, on the other hand, mate indiscriminately and reproduce like rabbits.
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Cats = Rabbits in the reproduction world? Hmmmmmm..... What wd Beatrix Potter say? ;=)
KKK (killing the killer kitties)
The Plague spread around fairly fast becs cats were seen as evil, so wiped out. Thus one of the best protections against the increased rat population was destroyed, rats overpopulated, and so it went. With an overpopulation of animals, usually something strikes that takes the population back to a more normal level. In Camus' instance, it was nasty. (but not "in the woodshed" - what's the source?)

Can I keep swatting mosquitoes? Send them off on the Franciscan Express?

Up here in Maine, where the lupine flowers are incredibly popular, there's a problem w/ non-native plants which have no natural balancer. One of the big ones now is.....the lupine. Some staff of Acadia Ntl Pk were removing some lupine at the main entrance, and those arriving wanted to lynch the staff. Much better to wait till off season to do something like that. They ARE gorgeous, it's hard to believe they're not real citizens of the ME plant world. We'll swap: we'll take lupine and give mozzies.
Jason
Haven't you learned, yet, that there ARE no coincidences??? Of course the new politicians take office in "the year of the snake"!!! They will slither through 2 or 4 or 6 years in office, and then we'll have to throw them out and elect a whole new cast of 'slitherers'!
Also wanted to say that I am (and have been from its beginning) a member of "Alley Cat Allies", the group that believes in trap, neuter, and return for feral cats. Owners of domesticated cats can plan when and with whom they want their little fur-balls to mate. Ferals, on the other hand, mate indiscriminately and reproduce like rabbits. You have no idea how many underage pregnancies there are! (No, I'm not kidding.) Their lives are a daily fight for survival (food, shelter), and most end up being killed by automotive traffic. It's not a "Hello, Kitty" kind of life.
It seems to me that the trap-neuter-return program gives them the best life they could hope for, while allowing management of their numbers. Too MANY cats are at least as bad as too FEW cats. They are God's creatures, and were given to the world for a purpose. I believe we need to recognize that, and act appropriately.
The year of the snake? Is there any relation to the fact that this is the year newly elected politicians are starting to get used to their office?
Happy Chinese New Year, Kevin V!! It's The Year of the Snake. So the pythons have a lobby - just not in the USA.

And Gina would get a laugh from attempts by Chinese newspaper cartoonists to make snakes look cute. Imagine "Hello Kitty" with coils and a forked tongue.
Weeds, if left untended, kill other plants and trees. Ivy can also dislodge bricks and mortar.
Hey wait, as herbivores are predators on helpless plants, maybe carnivores are noble defenders of the innocent?
And those lobbying sessions are just adorable.
Also, cats are cuter.
I guess there'd be no point in making a wager on that beetle thing, eh Kim?

The notion that we'd better be careful about tinkering with the cat population seems to have the underlying premise that we are in fact supposed to have a gazillion of them. In reality, cats can reasonably be considered an invasive species. Here in the U.S., we've gone from having none to having so many that they kill billions of birds and small mammals each year. Talk about altering the natural order.

Most folks probably have no objection to the attempts to round up the pythons in the Everglades. Those large snakes are a considerably smaller problem than cats. But cats have hired better lobbyists.
While the roaches might not have any natural predators (drat, I wish it were the noble kitty cats), beetles would be the last surviving species if a nuclear bomb went off.
What about the tribbles? Are we going to exterminate them?
Bagging the Bad Bugs: A Cock-eyed Worldview Issue
.
“Unintended Consequences”

Dorcas: That isn't another cockroach, is it?
Nimrod: Where?
Dorcas: By your foot.
Nimrod: I hope not. I got no shoes and socks on.
Dorcas: Well, can you check?
Nimrod: Why can't YOU check? I'm reading the paper.
Dorcas: I hate those nasty things.
Nimrod: For shame, Dorcas. What would the Environmentalists say. You know you shouldn't “hate” any species except conservatives.
Dorcas: Quick, Nimrod! It's moving!
Nimrod: Holy Hotshot! The flaming thing ran over my foot!
Dorcas (screaming): Kill it, Nimrod!
Nimrod (swinging a rolled newspaper): Got the bugger! (showing Dorcas the proof)
Dorcas (fleeing): Oh Nimrod, get rid of it!
Nimrod: I'd like to get rid of the whole world of them.
Dorcas: I'm all for that.
Nimrod: Hmm. Wonder what would happen if someone did.
Dorcas: If someone did what?
Nimrod: Got rid of all the cockroaches.
Dorcas: What do you mean?
Nimrod: I mean I wonder what would happen to, you know, the ecosystem if suddenly all the cockroaches died.
Dorcas: I'd love to find out.
Nimrod: Uh, not necessarily.
Dorcas: 'Not necessarily'?
Nimrod: No. For all we know there might be some catastrophic unintended consequences.
Dorcas: What possible unintended consequences could there be from getting rid of all the cockroaches?
Nimrod: I don't know, but there could. You know, if for example, the only food of some species was cockroaches –
Dorcas: Ewww, Nimrod.
Nimrod: It's true: one creature's emetic is another creature's aperitive.
Dorcas: Whatever that means.
Nimrod: Look, I just googled 'cockroaches and ecosystem'. Guess what I found.
Dorcas: If you found that roaches are somehow in our food chain, I don't want to know about it.
Nimrod: Nope, nothing like that. Just basically that roaches have no natural predators.
Dorcas: Which means?
Nimrod: Which means they could vanish from the face of the earth without any catastrophic unintended consequences.
Dorcas: Oh, well that's comforting.
Nimrod: Not so much.
Dorcas: Not so much? And why not?
Nimrod: Because the same could be said of some of us.
Dorcas: Nimrod! You're not insinuating what I think you are, are you?
Nimrod: Not at all, Dorcas.
Dorcas: Are you sure?
Nimrod: Of course I'm sure.
Dorcas: How do I know you're sure?
Nimrod: Because I would NEVER insinuate something like that.
Dorcas: You might not insinuate it, but you'd say it outright, is that it?
Nimrod: Of course not, Dorcas. Why I'm surprised at you.
Dorcas: Really you wouldn't?
Nimrod: Really.
Dorcas: Promise?
Nimrod: Promise.
Dorcas (hugging him): Oh, Nimrod.
Nimrod: No, Dorcas, I would never say outright, or even insinuate, such a thing.
Dorcas: Um, Nimrod?
Nimrod: Yes, Dorcas?
Dorcas: Such a thing as what?
Nimrod: That there would be no catastrophic unintended consequences if “I” were to vanish from the face of the earth.
Dorcas: Just as I thought.
Nimrod: Dorcas, put that newspaper down.
Dorcas: Why should I?
Nimrod: Because the roach torso stuck to page C-1 isn't quite dead.
Dorcas: He will be in a minute. And his death will have what YOU, Nimrod, would call 'unintended consequences'.
Nimrod: You don't mean...
Dorcas: Oh yes I do.
Nimrod: Holy Hotshot.
"I suppose these people want to exterminate lions as well? Talk about upsetting the ecosystem....!"

In the jungle, the mighty jungle, the ecosystem is upset tonight!
We had a cat move in with us in May. She waltzed in with the first warm weather, kept hanging around, wormed her way into my heart, and now she happily sleeps in the basket she found on the top of a cupboard which also happens to be out of reach of the kids.

I remember well when she pranced across the deck with her first kill. "Mom! Mom! Aspen killed her first bird!!! GET THE CAMERA!!!!" Dang, they weren't bothered at all about that poor dead birdie, or by Aspen playing with her kill. So, there's another thing I and my cat have in common with Miss Jane Austen. I bet she enjoyed eating wild game birds, too.

I suppose these people want to exterminate lions as well? Talk about upsetting the ecosystem....!
Let's just show them how they've been portrayed by Andrew Lloyd Webber, and maybe they'll kill themselves.
Except for the carnivorous plants, like the Venus Flytrap.
http://www.botany.org/Carnivorous_Plants/
And on other planets, too
Regarding the Martian exploration vehicle Curiosity, my younger brother pointed out it was obviously sent there to kill Martian cats!

More seriously, the attacks on human uniqueness and dignity are certainly coming on a broad front.
Didn't we spend most of human history fighting other predators for turf? There is a reason they don't prey on humans. The ones that prey on humans are dead.

Interestingly that reminds me of an alien race in Traveller that is on a perpetual jihad against predators.
The only species that don't eat other species are plants. And perhaps bees and other nectar-eating creatures.