Showing posts with label speciesism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label speciesism. Show all posts

Tuesday 26 December 2023

The reasons why the majority of cat owners don't stop their cats killing native species

The Daily Mail talks about waging a war on killer cats. The deadly domestic cat. Humans need to wage a war against them to stop them preying on precious wildlife. There is already a news media war against the domestic cat especially in Australia where the citizens of that fine country are gradually being indoctrinated into believing that the domestic cat is the embodiment of the devil; something like the belief of Europeans in the Middle Ages. The era of witchcraft.

The reasons why cat owners don't stop their cats killing wildlife
Cat predation on crested lark curtailed by Walldorf's administrators. Image assessed as being in the public domain. The cat is starting to be seen in the same way as they were in the Middle Ages.

I don't think it is wise to talk about "waging a war" against the domestic cat because it is likely to encourage animal abuse. But certainly, the predation by domestic cats, a so-called invasive species, on native species is highly problematic and is beginning to upset a lot of people.

Natural process


But it doesn't upset, enough, the cat owning public across the planet (except Australia!). I think the truth of the matter is that most cat owners - and this certainly applies in the UK - are aware that their indoor/outdoor domestic cat occasionally kills wildlife but they don't mind enough about it. They see it as nature taking its course.

It seems that cat owners see the domestic cat as just another wild animal which should be allowed to prey on small mammals and marsupials because it's nature in action. What right have people got to prevent domestic cats expressing their natural desires and motivations? I think that is the reasoning behind a lot of people allowing their cat to go outside unsupervised and kill animals.

Pet owners simply don't care enough about small native species being killed by their cat companions. That's the raw truth of it I believe.

Speciesism


Perhaps this is an example of speciesism. This is when people favour one animal species over another. And it is probably normal and natural for a cat owner who adores their loved domestic cat to favour their pet above small rodents, the typical prey animal of the domestic cat. And birds. Birds are favoured above rodents by nearly everybody and cats kill birds and rodents. They don't mind about rodents being killed but the birds are another matter. This is another example of speciesism.


Don't care enough about nature. More concerned about the home


To be brutally frank, I don't think people are sensitive enough to the predation of animals by domestic cats. They just don't see it as a problem in terms of ecology and conservation. Cat owners see domestic cat predation as a problem for them because the cat can bring the animal back into the home and cause a bloody mess. 

Or the mouse runs under some furniture and you can't get it out and the animal starves to death and starts to rot making a smell in the home. Once again the problem with domestic cat predation for most pet owners is not the killing of prey animals but the disruption to the way of life of the human caregiver that predation causes.

Until the wider public have been indoctrinated into believing that it is their duty to protect wildlife and the planet in general, I don't think we going to see a big change in attitude by cat owners in the UK and other countries.

Perhaps another reason why many people are distanced from nature and therefore don't want to really get involved in protecting nature is because they've become emotionally distanced from the natural world. People often live in the urban environment and are not really connected with nature and wildlife. Global warming is an example of how humankind has become distanced from nature and addicted to products and a way of life which harms the planet. Think big diesel SUVs (still sold) and sport hunting (still prevalent).

A lot of people enjoy wildlife and one can't generalise because there are many people who really are sensitive towards wildlife and nature and the natural world. I'm afraid not enough people are genuinely concerned about the predation of native species by the domestic cat which is an invasive species. Although, we have to question the phrase "invasive species".

Invasive species?


How long has the domestic cat got to live in a country to become native to that country? There are no hard and fast rules on that.


We can't pass the buck


Whatever happens next, people need to remember that it is humankind who domesticated the North African wildcat and created 500 million domestic, stray and feral cats on the planet. It is the work of humans. The cat is an innocent victim of human behaviour. Anything we do needs to be humane and decent. The problem is ours. We can't pass the buck onto the domestic cat.
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P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

Wednesday 7 December 2022

Infographic on speciesism and how it can lead to animal abuse

Here is an article built around an infographic on speciesism and how it can lead to animal abuse. It is greatly unfair to indulge in speciesism. I firmly that we should treat all animals equally and on a par with humans. A lofty and perhaps unattainable goal.


Here are some quick thoughts on speciesism and how it can lead to animal abuse. They are instant thoughts, no more. A stream of consciousness. Please add yours in a comment. It is common sense that if a person regards one species of animal as of lower value than another it is likely that they will treat that animal less well. And if, in addition, they believe that animals are lesser creatures to humans it increases the chances of animal maltreatment. This is speciesism in action.

Cat and dog meat

When I think of speciesism I sometimes think of cat and dog meat. It is a pet topic of mine. Perhaps I shouldn't think of it. But the cause or the underlying reason for cat and dog meat is speciesism. The celebrated contemporary artist Ai Weiwei, a Chinese citizen now living in Portugal, says that the Chinese' relationship with animals is one of functionality. Animals need to be functional and serve the human.

Bible

It is based upon an old-fashioned idea I would suggest in the modern era that humans have dominion over animals, and they are there to serve us. The concept of "dominion" comes from the Bible. The Bible did untold harm in my opinion. Christianity has a very bad relationship with animal abuse. Think of the persecution of domestic and stray cats during the Middle Ages under the orders of a papal bull.

So, in the modern era cat and dog meat is a form of speciesism. A very brutal and horrific form. It isn't the actual eating of cats and dogs that is perhaps the worrying aspect of this tradition going back perhaps thousands of years. It is the fact that they have to be killed brutally in order for the meat to taste good and be medicinal. That's the superstition and cat and dog meat which is based upon superstition. Cat meat is eaten in many other countries including USA.

Superstition

Superstition is part of speciesism. They are in the same rotten group of human thoughts and behaviours. And as I say in the Infographic, there are millions of examples of speciesism.

Australia

The domestic cat is loved by the majority of people but there is a significant number who hate the domestic cat and more so the stray and feral cat. In Australia they hate feral cats because it preys upon their wildlife. It is an invasive species. It is vermin in Australia. They need to be killed as fast as possible. This is speciesism. The human is superior to cats, and dogs are also superior to cats.

The feral cat is at the bottom in terms of a hierarchy of animal species. Small, native mammal species in Australia preyed upon sometimes by the feral cat are considered to be far more important and valued more highly than cats in general in Australia in my view.

This too is an example of speciesism, and it results in an enormous amount of abuse and cruelty of cats on that continent.

China

In China dogs were beaten to death before the Olympic Games in Beijing. They, too, were considered to be pests. During Covid, I recall in one instance a group of men in white hazmat suits walking into a flat and beat a pet beloved dog to death in order to try and control the spread of Covid. This was 'just a dog' not a human and therefore it could be beaten to death without any conscience. It was ghastly and another horrific instance of speciesism in China.

I don't want to harp on about China, but you will see a lot of this animal abuse based upon speciesism in that large Asian country.

Tiger

Sometimes important animals can be reduced to lowly animals in the eyes of humans. Take for example the tiger. An iconic species. An endangered species. One that needs protection on this planet. Many people in India try and protect the Bengal tiger.

Unfortunately, it is poached for its body parts by traders who take the body back to China where those body parts are converted into medicinal products such as tiger bone wine for the Traditional Chinese Medicine market which is enormous. TCM as it is called is perhaps the biggest threat to the extinction of the Bengal tiger on this planet. Even more so than habitat loss. This is a dire example of speciesism.

An iconic species has been reduced to livestock to be cut up and eaten for superstitious reasons. And livestock are abused all over the world because they are just that "livestock". They are there to serve people. To provide food to people. They are not sentient to farmers although they are sentient creatures.

They feel pain and anguish, highs and lows but to farmers there are just livestock and to be killed and eaten. Another example of speciesism leading to animal abuse.

Abattoirs

It is Paul McCartney, of the Beatles who said that if abattoirs had glass walls nobody would eat meat anymore. A clear statement that what goes on in an abattoir is horrific and people should see it. It might change some people from being speciesist to non-speciesist. It might change people from meat eaters to vegans and vegetarians. This is McCartney's objective.

Cats and dogs

Speciesism can occur in more minor ways. Take dogs and cats. Some people are dog people others are cat people are. The truth is that people should be animal people and like dogs and cats equally and if you don't like dogs but like cats you should at least respect dogs and treat them nicely as you would a cat in terms of fundamental welfare.

But some dog people hate cats, and they see cats as sinister and aloof. She them as aggressive and difficult and uncommunicative. They don't see them as loving companion animals which they are. And you will see many instances of stray cat abuse by people who dislike cats. A further example of speciesism. These people put dogs on a pedestal, but they put cats in the gutter.

Singer versus PETA

Singer's definition is only about humans being superior to animals but in my view, it is far better to define speciesism in a way that PETA has namely that it is differentiating between animal species and giving some animals greater value than others as well as giving humans greater value than all animals. This is a wider definition and I think far more useful because a lot of animal abuse comes about through treating some animals as sentient and others as non-sentient.

Fish

What about fish? A lot of people regard fish as nuts and bolts. Didn't see them are sentient creatures. These huge trawlers fish the oceans for millions of fish. When they are caught and dumped onto the deck of their boats they suffocate because they can no longer taking oxygen from water. So, they die of suffocation and in pain. Can fish feel pain? Yes, is the answer to that question.

Once you regard fish as inanimate objects and non-sentient you are engaging in the act of speciesism resulting in the abuse of this devalued animal which is purely regarded as a source of food and non-sentient.

Bees

What about bees and wasps? Bees have been found to be quite intelligent. They enjoy playing with balls and pushing them around the place. People will often simply swot bees and wasps to death when they come into their home because they are 'just insects'. But insects are animals and to simply swot a bee because you feel it is dangerous is yet another example of speciesism.

"Cats try to RUIN Christmas trees" discuss!

It is that time of year when websites sometimes discuss the interaction between cats and Christmas trees 😎. And this is where it goes wrong 😢. There's one website from New Zealand called Stuff which has a title as follows: "Watch: 12 times cats tried to ruin Christmas trees". This is a big website with an influence, and I don't like the title (Kiwis don't like cats!). I am being too serious, but this is a title which imports speciesism into the discussion.

Domestic cat pulls over Christmas tree
Domestic cat pulls over Christmas tree. See video below.

Domestic cats don't try and ruin Christmas trees. They try and climb them because that is what domestic cats want to do. They need to entertain themselves in the sterile human environment in which they are placed and forced to live. Strong words.

@yoilseari please send tips so this won’t happen again #cat #catsoftiktok #christmas #cats #fyp #foryoupage ♬ original sound - Ilse ◡̈

So why criticise them for trying to ruin Christmas trees? They are simply climbing them and enjoying the experience. If that results in the Christmas tree falling over and smashing to bits so be it.

It is not a conscious effort by a domestic cat to ruin a Christmas tree. I am spelling out the obvious and I'm sure that I am being incredibly tiresome and boring in doing so.

However, the title that I refer to on the Internet is a misdescription and a form of speciesism.

No doubt there are many videos of domestic cats pulling over Christmas trees. There are an equal number of methods to protect Christmas tree such as putting kitchen foil all around the tree. This works pretty effectively because it looks sort of Christmassy while at the same time protecting the tree because domestic cats hate to walk on tin foil. They don't understand it and it makes a funny noise which puts them off very effectively.

My theory is that the sound of tinfoil being walked on sounds a bit like a viper or a rattlesnake. Cats don't like snakes although it must be said that they are very effective at killing snakes particularly the sand cat. This is made possible by the fact that the domestic cat's reflexes are sharper than those of the snake!

Back to Christmas trees. The video on this page I think is priceless. That is a bit of a pun because there is a financial price to pay when a cat knocks over a beautiful Christmas tree as we see in the video.

Thursday 11 July 2013

Kiwi: more important than the cat (and other animals)

Setting traps that kill cats
Setting traps that kill cats. Photo: Jo Parker

New Zealand 10th July 2013: To the British, antipodeans are the inhabitants of Australia and New Zealand. All the signs are that antipodeans prefer birds to cats. Or they prefer species of animal that have been on their islands longer than other species. This is speciesism.

Bob Francis, the Chairman of the Pukaha-Mt Bruce wildlife reserve says:
"But the birds here are so, so special ... and with these predators you can never relax."
The earliest evidence of the Kiwi in New Zealand is 1 million years old (a fossilized leg bone)1. The Kōkako is endemic to New Zealand. "Endemic" means: belonging or native to a particular country. The New Zealand Kaka is a medium sized parrot. These are three endangered native birds of New Zealand.

These birds are protected in the Pukaha-Mt Bruce wildlife reserve, New Zealand by traps that kill the following animals that wander into the reserve:
  • cats - any type, domestic, stray or feral. There is a focus at the reserve on trapping cats at the moment. If a domestic cat wanders into this reserve and is killed in a trap, it is the cat owner's problem, they say. At least 40 have been killed in killing traps and some are domestic cats belonging to someone. They are family members. Isn't it a crime to kill them like this? The local SPCA (Society for the Protection of Animals) say they will prosecute people who dump their cat in the area! Who is doing that and what are the SPCA doing? They are meant to preserve animal life. Why aren't they in discussion with the people who manage this reserve? They must be biased against the cat, rabbits, rats, stout, ferrets and hedgehogs too.
  • rabbits - (61 killed) -- I didn't know they were predators of birds ;)
  • hedgehogs (400 killed)
  • rats (748 killed)
  • ferrets (18 killed)
  • stouts (55 killed)
So, the New Zealanders don't only prefer birds to cats they prefer birds to cats, stouts, ferrets, hedgehogs and rabbits.

Just so we know. What right do people have to decide which animal is more important than another?


Source:
  1. kamcom.co.nz

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