Shooting Cats is Not the Answer...Published December 10, 2007
"Cats are to be loved...not shot at."
When people have discussions about cats vs. dogs and/or birds, I try not to get embroiled ‘cause it’s a losing battle. Everyone has his/her own passionate beliefs, and my two cents will rarely change them.
Still, I couldn’t let what happened in Galveston, Texas, and the subsequent December 2, 2007 article by the New York Times, pass into cyberspace without commenting…for whatever it’s worth.
"Shooting cats doesn't solve anything."
In case you hadn’t heard, here’s a brief synopsis: Bird lover, Jim Stevenson, of the Galveston Ornithological Society, observed a feral cat stalking some piping plovers, animals listed on the endangered species list. Allegedly, he tried to capture the cat so it wouldn’t harm these creatures. However, he couldn’t have tried too hard, because the very next morning, Stevenson got his .22 rifle, came back, and with full knowledge of what he was doing, he “put the animal in his sights,” says the Times article, “and pulled the trigger.” A tollbooth man, who had been feeding the cat Stevenson killed, filed an animal cruelty suit against Stevenson, and fur and feathers began to fly.
Here’s what the Times said was Stevenson’s rationale: “The American taxpayers spend million of dollars to protect birds like piping plovers, and yet here are these cats killing the birds and nobody’s doing anything to stop it.”
"I'm in a shelter now. But I could have been the cat Stevenson shot."
Ah, hello? Is the murder of cats with a .22 rifle the way to protect these birds?????? Couldn’t Stevenson have worked with a local feral cat group to come up with a better solution???
And if Stevenson were trying so hard to protect Nature and the natural flow of life, shouldn’t he have thought a bit more about what he was doing? It’s instinctual for cats to hunt birds…whether the birds are endangered or not. And no amount of shooting them is going to change that.
The Times article finally goes on to admit that “the primary cause of (bird loss) is habitat destruction,” not cats. Double duh. So what about the captain of the Exxon Valdez, the tanker that spilled 11 million gallons of oil, killing a gazillion birds, some of which might have been endangered? Would Stevenson be justified if he used a gun in that instance as well?
"Love more; shoot less."
What’s more, if you subscribe to the Stevenson mentality….kill the cat to save the bird…..is that not even more horrendous as the cat is doing what comes naturally….the man is killing because he is playing God. And who is to say one life is worth more than the other?
Not surprising, the court case ended in a hung jury. Like I said these kinds of things are always impossible to settle. Nevertheless, trying to reinvent Nature with a gun really isn’t, in my humble opinion, the way to go.
P.S.: Oh, btw, the person who wrote the New York Times article has a book coming out….and suffice it to say, it *ain’t* about cats.
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