Cat Abuse A Theory

Our natural tendency to be respectful towards the domestic cat has been compromised by the fact that the cat is domesticated. It is an interesting theory.

A research scientist, Serpell (published in 1999), examined animal abuse from the perspective of the history of our relationship with animals. At the time when there were no domestic animals of any sort more than 10,000 years ago all humans were hunter-gatherers. People either hunted for food or gathered it where it grew. Then along came domestication of the cat on the back of farming and the domestication of animals for food.

Before the domestication of animals people respected the animal as independent creatures. The hunters met them and killed them on the animal's own territory and on the animal's terms. I think you will find that at one time Native Americans had this sort respect for the animals that they hunted.

Domestication of the cat resulted in the human having control of the cat. The modern domestic cat's life is dictated to by his human companion or "owner". The owner controls the environment under which the cat lives. The cat responds to that.

The human/cat household is a "human-centered world". The equality between human and animal is thrown away. The human has domination over the cat.

If then you combine human domination with a lack of education or poor experiences, which conditions the potential abuser to believe that abuse is acceptable, you can end up with cat abuse.

The underlying problem that creates the conditions under which cat abuse takes place is the fact that the cat is domesticated. That is the theory.

It is interesting to note that abuse of the wildcats, particularly the tiger emanates from fear of the animal turned into its commercialization. The commercialization of fear. This is my opinion.

Sport hunting of wild cats no longer has any connection with the ancient need to hunt for food or survive. It is a further abuse of the cat driven by the need for entertainment. It could be argued that sport hunting also stems from a lack of respect for animals cultivated by their domestication.

Comments

  1. Abuse is ALWAYS about control, and it's usually a pattern that endurse through time and through families. It's an interesting study, but it kind of states the obvious: Someone who is inclined toward abuse will abuse an entity over which he/she has control or which is dependent on him/her. Doesn't matter if it's a cat, a dog, a child, a horse, an elderly parent. An abuser will abuse when the opportunity presents itself.

    It's a sick cycle.

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  2. Yes, thanks for the comment. Having thought about what you say, I agree with you. I learnt something.

    ReplyDelete

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