Personally I respect all creatures. I don't care how big or small they are, whether they are ugly or beautiful, dangerous or innocuous. As long as they do not present a threat to me I'm more than happy to live and let live but a recent blog entry I read started me thinking about those for and those against living in harmony with animals. The writer went into graphic detail about how evil domestic cats are. They are a blight on the world, they kill birds etc etc etc. And, of course, they do. They are predators doing what predators do to feed themselves. Interestingly the writer wasn't bothered by their big kin - also predators and very efficient ones too. That was apparently appropriate behaviour. I find the distinction odd.
This is an argument I've heard many times before. Cats are vermin. Kill them. That way we will save the innocent little native birds and animals. It would cut down on the predation. There's no doubt about that but before we get all righteous about this let me give an example of some cat haters I know. As they railed against the destructiveness of cats, they were in the process of stripping a large bush block of all its native vegetation so they could build a house and establish a largely self sufficient garden.
Am I the only one who sees the hypocrisy in this? To me the one doing the most damage to native wild life is the person who has just cleared nearly 3/4 acre of land. They have removed nesting sites, food and water sources and all the hiding places the resident animals and birds relied on for safety. When at some time in the future the trees and bushes they planted have grown large enough to replace some of those lost resources the creatures they - and their neighbours - displaced will be long dead and possibly extinct. Not that it would matter because they will net their trees or drive off any bird that encroaches on their food garden so if they are still alive they'll still won't find a haven there.
I accept that we have to live but I can see no difference in the destruction humans cause - global warming springs to mind - and that caused by cats except that in the scale of things the cat damage is minimal compared to that of humans. If anything cats are more honest. They kill to survive. I don't like to see it anymore than anyone else but the truth is despite all my efforts to make as little impact on the planet as possible in my lifetime I and the rest of humanity have done far more harm than cats - and we have the nerve to denigrate another creature for exercising its right to survival.