Saturday 12 April 2008

Animal Rights Activists and Cat Breeders

Animal Rights Activists and Cat Breeders in the USA are fighting it seems. The Animal Rights Activists are on the offensive and the cat breeders on the defensive (or some of them are). Why should this state of affairs exist?

Both have valid points of view. The Animal Rights Activists, the cat breeders call them "ARistas", are fighting the battle for animals generally worldwide. Someone has to as animals do not have voices. They are passive creatures in respect of what happens to them at the hands of mankind. And even cat breeders cannot deny that animals have suffered immeasurably due to the actions of humankind the world over. Any decent person cannot be anything but thankful to Aristas provided they respect other peoples views and don't overstep the line of reasonableness. The trouble is that a lot of ARistas think that the only way to change things is by pushing very hard and I can see that.

Cat breeders see the gradual erosion of their businesses through encroaching legislation forced through they think by the campaigning of the ARistas. They think that the statistics about the slaughter of feral and abandoned cats (70% apparently are killed in rescue centers) are slewed in favour of their cause. Cat breeders say that they breed purebred cats and these amount to 3-5% of the cat population so how can they be having an impact on the overpopulation of domestic cats and their mass slaughter?

I don't think breeders are responsible for the problem of feral cats and overpopulation. But I do think that cat breeders should stop moaning to each other about the situation, reinforcing their own beliefs which are naturally borne out of self interest. They should take action and do something about it themselves.

This is best done by first realizing that the two polarized situations are incompatible. On the one hand the cat fancy (and here I include administrators of rescue centers) are killing about 30 million cat yearly in the States as I understand it (to reduce the population) and on the other the cat breeding machine (also cat lovers and fanciers) is producing more cats. Although these two situations are not normally directly linked (i.e. the cats bred by cat breeders are not then killed at rescue centres), they do not square up and they present an obstacle to cat breeders.

The cat associations should take the lead. The breeders should follow and they should set up their own trap neuter and release program to show the country that they understand the perceptions and are doing something about it. This would be good PR for the breeders and dilute the actions of the ARistas. It would also remove some of the desire to create more laws. Creating laws and enforcing them takes time and money so if it can be avoided so much the better.

If the legislators can free up time making laws about something else they will, provided the people solve their own problems and that includes the problems facing cat breeders. Animal Rights Activists and Cat Breeders don't necessarily have to take up polarized positions as they both purport to have the same objectives, the welfare of animals. If some cat breeders don't have the welfare of cats in their charge as a priority that is the problem of the cat associations and breeders. They need to eradicate these cat breeders as they hurt the profession. Those in the cat fancy don't pull together enough nor do they see the big picture clearly enough.

Animal Rights Activists and Cat Breeders to Home Page

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