Monday, March 21, 2016

 Raising Orphan Kittens

One cold wet October Saturday a man dropped off a box at the Alley Cat Rescue office. Inside were 2 tiny kittens. By the time they got to me, they looked as though they would not live for another hour. I quickly dried them with a towel and started warming a heating pad to put them on. 

Note 1--If you find cold kittens you cannot feed them right away until their body temperature rises.
Finally they started to warm up and I got some warm KMR (kitten replacement milk) into them via an eye dropper. Sadly one of the babies only lived for a few hours. That left poor Dennis without a sibling and without a feline mother.

Note 2-- I had to step in to be “Mommy”. He was only a few days old, eyes still closed, and umbilical cord still attached. Dennis made a lot of noise for such a tiny kitten. He cried a lot and it was very hard to comfort him. I have raised many neo-natal kittens and he was one of the most demanding and needed more care and attention than any of the others I have raised over the years.

Note 3--He did settle down a bit when I put a warm, fuzzy dog toy in with him, and he would cuddle into it. But mostly he would only stop crying when I put him up against my neck. So in order to be able to do any work, I had to sit on the couch with my laptop, with Dennis nuzzled into my neck.  

Note 4-- Thank goodness in a couple of weeks, someone else dropped off an older litter of 4 gray babies. I put Dennis in with them, and they kept him company so I could get some Alley Cat Rescue work done!
Not a bad idea to consider fostering some older kittens to keep a single orphan company.

Note 5-- Then Dennis developed a terrible bout of watery diarrhea. It just poured out of him and I had to get him to the vet immediately. We dewormed him in case he had parasites, and took him off the Kitten milk. We put him on a diet of ID canned cat food mixed with warm water. This did help and in a few days we had the diarrhea under control.

Note 6--Couple things Dennis did really well. (a)  just a few days old, he took to the kitten bottle really well and loved sucking the milk from that. (b)  The second thing was that the gray babies taught him to use the litter box early on, and I was relieved of wiping his bottom and stimulating him to do potty. Something their mothers do, and you will have to take over as “Mommy”. 

Note 7-- Whereas my many other neonatal kitten babies often started to eat canned kitten food mixed with KMR on their own from around 3 weeks old, Dennis totally refused and demanded the bottle for 5 whole weeks! I was getting really worried as I was going to California for Thanksgiving and could not expect the kitten sitter to bottle feed such a big kitty.

So it was a real celebration when he finally decided to start eating on his own. Although before he turned in for the night, he would still come and ask for a bottle before bed! He sure had a way of manipulating me!
Now a happy, healthy, Dennis!!

Conclusion--  Do consider fostering orphan kittens, or mama cats with a litter. The shelters are always flooded with kittens in Spring, and you will be saving lives!  Many will be killed as most shelters cannot do this work on their own. Alley Cat Rescue can get you started.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Feline FIV is NOT a death sentence

Unfortunately, so many cats are the victims of misunderstandings and prejudice in society. FIV positive cats are especially maligned. FIV, or Feline immunodeficiency virus, is the feline counterpart of the Human immunodeficiency virus, HIV, though it is far less serious. Even though cats with FIV can and do live long lives, still many veterinarians chose to put them down when they are diagnosed.
FIV positive cats are treated as hopeless cases because of several damaging myths about the disease that persist in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. One of the most damaging ideas is that FIV is a highly contagious disease that will easily infect other cats. This is simply not true. No evidence has been found that suggests the disease can spread through any means other than deep bite wounds, other than rare cases when a mother passes it on to her kittens during birth.
For this reason, you do not have to worry about an FIV positive cat living with other cats who do not have the disease. Cats cannot catch the disease by sharing food bowls and litter boxes, or by touching and being close to each other. It is only a concern if the FIV cat is very aggressive, but if the cat is spayed/neutered than this is usually not a problem as the procedure typically diminishes hostile behavior. So the risk of passing on the disease to other cats is actually quite low. Humans and other animals cannot catch FIV, as it only affects cats.
Not only can FIV cats live peacefully with non-FIV cats, but they can also live very long and healthy lives themselves. FIV often takes many years to develop, so it may be a very long time before cats who are infected even begin to show symptoms of the disease. When they are diagnosed, cats can still survive for an extended time. In caring for FIV positive cats, it is important to take your own precautions in regard to their health. FIV is a disease that attacks the immune system; it is not deadly on its own, but it can make cats less able to fight off other diseases. Caretakers should take care to try to keep their homes clean and disease free. They should keep their cats indoors and may perhaps consider homeopathic treatments or foods meant to strengthen the cat’s immune system.
[ACR President Louise Holton] knows from personal experience that FIV positive cats are in no way a lost cause. Several years ago (in the early 1990s) Louise had an ex-feral cat named Adam who contracted the disease. He had been living in her house when he escaped one night and returned with deep bite wounds on his neck. Months later, Adam became sick, with a high fever and an upper respiratory infection that did not go away with antibiotics. She found out Adam had FIV. It took time, but he recovered from his illnesses, becoming strong and healthy,  and stayed with her for 12 more years, before he died of unrelated causes. Adam was a happy and friendly cat, who eventually grew to be 14 pounds, and lived a full life even with this disease that so many consider to be deadly. Louise retested seven rescued cats that lived in close quarters with Adam several times to prove that the disease from Adam was not contagious, and none of them ever contracted FIV.
The sad truth is that many veterinarians still euthanize these cats who might otherwise have years ahead of them and are not a danger to those around them. As with other cat issues, it is important to spread the word for our feline friends and not allow false beliefs to do any more damage than they already have. It is important for caretakers to know that if they have an FIV positive cat, there is still hope. And the goodwill should not be limited to cats living in homes; feral cats can also live full lives with the disease, which has been shown to be no more common among ferals than among house cats. Like all free roaming cats, they should be spayed/neutered, which would make them less likely to pass along the disease through fighting.
FIV is not a death sentence. We must be aware of the truth of this disease so that FIV positive cats can live the full lives they deserve.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The centuries-old War on Cats continues to this very day.

Cats have been used as scapegoats for centuries. During Medieval times cats were tortured and slaughtered during the terrible witch-hunts. They were initially blamed for bringing the plague to Europe and England. It does seem that much of this latest modern war on cats is once again related to the old “scapegoat” frenzy upon the cat. This time around though, it is often otherwise-intelligent scientists and biologists doing the scapegoating. They call cats “non-native”, “alien”, “exotics” – all translating into “eradicate.”  Firstly, cats have lived in the U.S. for 500 years and should no longer be considered non-native; secondly, cats are meso-predators. They have taken over niches left by the slaughter or demise of predators such as the bobcat, wolf and other major carnivores.

The Persecution of Cats
The early Christian church linked cats with so-called pagan religions. As a result, the cat began to fall from favor during the Middle Ages. Western religions started encouraging the cruel torture and burning of cats, condemning them as pagan demons. During the thirteenth century the church blamed witchcraft for the social problems of the time, and cats became a scapegoat – along with witches and nonbelievers. During these medieval times, superstitious beliefs about witchcraft led to the killing of large numbers of cats, which allowed the Bubonic Plague to spread unchecked.
The Bubonic Plague, also known as Black Death, killed more than 25 million people throughout Europe between 1347 and 1352, nearly a third of Europe’s total population in just five years.
Many women, who practiced ancient healing crafts using old folk medicines, were accused of being witches. And many women were killed solely because they cared for cats. Cats were accused of being witches’ familiars or even witches in disguise. The Festival of St. John was celebrated annually with the burning alive of cats in the town square. Cat burning was a form of sadistic entertainment in 17th century Paris, France. In this form of entertainment, people would gather dozens of cats in a net and hoist them high into the air from a special bundle onto a bonfire. According to historian Norman Davies, "[T]he spectators, including kings and queens, shrieked with laughter as the animals, howling with pain, were singed, roasted, and finally carbonized." (Pinker, 2007) By the 1400s, the domestic cat had become almost extinct because of rampant persecution.
Australian Environmentalist Frankie Seymour says, “by the late Middle Ages, cats in Europe had been hunted, hanged and burned almost to extinction. Then, of course, the Black Death (Bubonic Plague) arrived in Europe and 25 million people…died in five years. (Seymour, 2011) The persecution eventually spread to the New World and in places such as Salem, Massachusetts, more than 150 people were accused of witchcraft. Then, “For the next couple of centuries after ‘the Death’ – centuries which just happened to coincide with the Age of Exploration - cats became popular again. Ships traveling to Asia and Africa were particularly vulnerable to pick up Plague – so cats on ships were considered lucky and necessary.” (Seymour, 2011)
The Mayor of London, along with others, thought that the disease was being spread by dogs and cats and ordered the extermination of all pets. Despite this the plague did not abate but accelerated as the elimination of cats was followed by an explosion of rats. Some people kept their cats in violation of the law and it was found that they did not get the plague. Soon it was realized that rats carried the plague, and that cats would be able to keep populations in check.
In private conversations I have had with some American environmentalists and biologists, including one of the world’s foremost experts on migratory birds, many do acknowledge the bias against cats, but they do not care sufficiently to go against their peers in defense of the cat. A book titled The Domestic Cat: the biology of its behavior resulted from a symposium on cats at the University of Zurich over a decade ago. The scientists at the symposium presented either their own findings or the results of cat predation studies done on 31 islands and on 4 continents. Their conclusion?   ”Any bird populations on the continents that could not withstand these levels of predation from cats and other predators would have disappeared long ago.”

The American Bird Conservancy and The Wildlife Society are so predictable. A few of us almost always know what they will come up with next to grab the nation’s attention continuing their 17 year mission to try to have all feral cats killed, and to put an end to all nonlethal, humane care for feral colonies.
So the latest press release from the anti-cat establishment announced that researcher Kerrie Anne Lloyd observed 2,000 hours of video from “kitty cams” and found that 44% of 55 cats “engaged in predatory behavior” defined as stalking, capturing, or killing prey. And 30% were successful. The Athens, Georgia, cats most frequently stalked lizards called Carolina anoles. The cats’ prey did include chipmunks and voles and flying insects and even worms. Just five of the cats’ 39 successful hunts involved birds, Lloyd said.
As long ago as 1993, international Biologist and cat expert, Roger Tabor said: “In biological terms is it insufficient merely to have found that one animal will eat another, that, after all, is what predators do—but is that predation pressure within normal limits?”
Consider what these scientific experts have had to say about cat predation:
Fitzgerald, B. M., and B. J. Karl, 1979: Foods of feral house cats (felis catus L.) in forest of the Orongorongo Valley, Wellington.  New Zealand Journal of Zoology 6:107-126
"Cats suppress populations of more dangerous predators such as rats and thus allows denser populations of birds than would exist without them."

Tabor, Roger, 1993:  Tabor found that “cats have low success as bird hunters”, and “the bulk of a feral cat’s diet is garbage, plants, insects, and other scavenger material” and therefore cats are “not impacting bird populations on the continents”
Julie Levy, DVM: “Not surprisingly, decades of hand-wringing over this issue have failed to resolve it. Eradication of feral cats has only been accomplished on small uninhabited islands in which a combination of poisoning, shooting, trapping, and deliberate release of infectious diseases was used over several decades at a cost of millions of dollars. These techniques are obviously inappropriate and ineffective on inhabited mainland locations.”
Do we disagree with everything American Bird Conservancy does? No, of course not. We love birds and at Alley Cat Rescue have written about ways to save them.  We love other animals, as well as cats.
In fact the only living things I ever deliberately kill are mosquitoes, fleas and flies. I am the crazy person holding up traffic to remove a dead possum, raccoon or skunk from the middle of the road so crows and other birds eating the carcasses don’t get killed by drivers not seeing them, or not caring enough to slow down.
ABC works to reduce birds and window collisions. Estimates of up to 976 million birds per year are killed flying into windows. We support this. They work on reducing the use of pesticides. Millions of birds are killed by ingesting pesticides. One wildlife rehabber that I used to take dying birds to when I worked in a wealthy north D.C. suburb where pristine lawns all looked like the greens on golf courses, told me they were all the victims of pesticide poisoning. I hated walking from my parked car down several blocks to my office in spring, as I used to find so many dead and dying birds. There were no alley cats around these areas. I worked on several colonies in the D C area, and worked at this organization in N.W for 14 years, and there were definitely no feral cats in this neighborhood. The only cats I ever saw were ones staring at me through windows.
ABC promotes shade-grown coffee. ACR promotes shade-grown coffee. They ask people to reduce their carbon footprint. ACR asks people to do the same and to live lightly on the planet.
They promote this through reducing the use of fossil fuels. While we do this as well, I have yet to see them ask people to eat lower on the food-chain. And do they ask people to cut back on fast food? No. Many chains still use cheap hamburger obtained from the rainforests. This is the most important reason for the loss of songbirds. These are important numbers to keep in mind if you want to be a true environmentalist:
  • More than one third of the world’s grain harvest is used to feed livestock.
  • Some 70 to 80% of grain produced in the United States is fed to livestock
  • Half the water consumed in the U.S. is used to grow grain for cattle feed.
  • A gallon of gasoline is required to produce a pound of grain-fed beef.
This is where we should be concentrating our energies, if we are really serious about saving the planet and saving birds.
Cattle raising destroys tropical forests. Hundreds of thousands of acres of tropical forests in Brazil, Guatemala, Costa Rica, and Honduras have been leveled to create pasture for cattle. This is the REAL cause of the loss of songbirds.
Urban Birds: Many species of native birds inhabit our cities and suburban environments. Most feral cats also live in these same areas. The truth is that bird populations show an increase in their numbers of 20% over the past 40 years.  Now, if feral cats are creating the overall decline in bird species, how is it that in the very areas where they thrive, bird populations are also thriving? 

The Real Reason American Songbirds are Vanishing
Although songbird populations are declining, other birds such as blackbirds and greenfinches, blue jays and brown-headed cowbirds (both nestling-eating preda­tors) are exploding. As mentioned above, year-round U.S. bird residents are stable or increasing in numbers, indicating the need for serious consideration of reasons why songbirds are in decline. Blaming cats for songbird decline is a facile and simplistic solution to a complex problem.
 Professor John Terborgh of Duke University reported in the May 1992 issue of Scientific American that little can be done about restoring songbirds in rural and suburban areas and conservation efforts should be directed towards consolidating and expanding large tracts of forest, such as the Smokies and Adirondacks, to maximize habitat for nesting birds. Terborgh suggests that farmers practice fallowing their fields every two to three years. He is also concerned about the damage done by clear-cutting national forests and overgraz­ing federal lands.
More than 250 species of songbirds migrate south of U.S. borders. Tropical deforestation is occurring at the rate of 142,000 to 200,000 square kilometers each year, an area roughly the size of Florida. At this rate the world’s remaining tropical forests will be depleted by 2030 and many species of songbirds will disappear along with them.
Dr. Roger Tory Peterson, internationally known ornithologist, nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1983, had this to say about birds and nature: “Most thought-provoking of all is to discover the balance of nature: the balance between a bird and its environment…We learn that each ecosystem has a carrying capacity, and that predation harvests only a surplus that otherwise would be leveled off in some different way: hence, putting up fences and shooting all the hawks and cats will not raise the number of Red-eyed Vireos to any significant degree.”

So let’s cut to the chase: How can we REALLY help birds? 
This is an urgent matter, and we are asking you to start taking action today. We cannot waste any more time. And we should NOT have these anti-cat folks always focusing public attention on their small studies showing that cats are predators.  Hello, we know this.  That is the reason they became domesticated in the first place. They are experts at killing RODENTS, and help cities, towns, farms, counties keep these populations in check. Without cats, According to the Rainforest Action Network, following these simple actions will go a long way to saving the rainforests and therefore the songbirds who make the forests their home.
1) Reduce your paper and wood consumption: Logging companies are cutting down some of the most endangered forests on the planet to make wood and paper products such as office paper, phone books, toilet paper, window trim, lawn furniture, and 2’ x 4's. Over seventy-eight percent of the Earth's original old growth forests have already been logged or degraded. Reduce your own wood and paper use. For example, use both sides of each piece of paper, use your own cloth bags at the grocery store, use cloth napkins and towels, and avoid disposable paper plates and cups.
2) Reduce your oil consumption: You can help alleviate oil's impact on the environment by reducing your own oil and gas consumption. Choose a car that gets good gas mileage and avoid gas guzzling sports utility vehicles. If you drive somewhere regularly, start a carpool. Whenever possible, leave your car at home and walk, ride your bike, or take local mass transportation. Support funding for mass transportation and bike lanes.
3) Reduce your beef consumption: Rainforest beef is typically found in fast food hamburgers or processed beef products. In both 1993 and 1994 the U.S. imported over 200 million pounds of fresh and frozen beef from Central American countries. Two-thirds of these countries' rainforests have been cleared, in part to raise cattle whose meat is exported to profit the U.S. food industry. When beef enters the U.S., it is not labeled with its country of origin, so there is no way to trace it to its source. Reducing your consumption of beef will reduce demand for it and save forests.
ABC has been at this for 17 years---demonizing cats. When will they stop? There are so many serious issues facing the planet right now, and this constant witch-hunt on cats not only consumes their energies, but forces TNR advocates to spend our time and money always defending the cats, and correcting the myths and misinformation.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Is it ethical to hunt a bird like the Pheasant when numbers are in decline?

This is excerpted from
and my comment on this is: how loud would anti-cat folks be howling if cats were hunting the birds instead of human hunters?

"For the better part of the past two weeks, the phone on Anthony Hauck's desk at Pheasants Forever's headquarters in St. Paul has been ringing off the hook.
Be it a hunter from Minnetonka or one from Memphis, the question on the other line has been the same for the Pheasants Forever online editor: How many pheasants are in South Dakota this year?
"Quite frankly, almost no one calls me to ask about other states," Hauck explained to me during a break from his phone and computer. "If I get 50 calls and emails, 48 of them are wondering what the bird numbers are looking like in South Dakota and if they should try and hunt around Aberdeen or Winner or Huron or wherever they did the year before."
South Dakota's pheasant population is big news in the upland bird hunting world, and with the release of the 2011 pheasant brood survey report by the Game, Fish and Parks last week, Hauck finally has an answer for those looking to make the trek to South Dakota this fall. At first glance, the numbers generated from those early morning rides along South Dakota's gravel roads aren't likely to make many pheasant hunters smile.
The figures released by the GF&P indicate a 46 percent decrease in the statewide pheasant-per-mile index compared to 2010 and a 41 percent drop compared to the 10-year average, but that is really only a part of the story. When a person considers that during the past 10 years hunters have seen pheasant numbers nearly on par with Soil Bank Era, this "bad year" for pheasant hunting in South Dakota will likely still rank among the best in the nation.
The cold, snowy winter that blanketed much of the state for nearly 4 months starting last November and a wet spring are being cast as the major contributors to the decline of pheasant numbers for 2011. Certainly more than one hunter stood by a window last January or February and wondered aloud how pheasants can make it through such harsh conditions.
As it turns out, quite a few didn't, which, if anything, lends a little credence to the theory that the thousands of acres of habitat created by standing corn left in the fields during the winter of 2009-10 were the saving grace for many pheasants and other wildlife during that particular stretch of cold and snow.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Pet Peeves: Being on Tree Patrol

So most of us who want to help save the Planet know that planting trees will help a lot towards that goal. Forests and especially rainforests such as those in the Amazon are being cut down at a tremendous rate. This is the REAL problem songbirds are facing. Bird people should put some of the negative energy that are placing into vilifying feral cats, into saving the rainforests.

There are some things we can all do to save the rainforests, such as eating fewer cheap burgers, or switching to veggie burgers (Burger King make a veggie burger, and Subway make a veggie burger sandwich)

 If we all ask other places such as Mac Donald's to offer veggie burgers, they may do so. I don't eat there so don't even know how to spell it properly? Is is Mc or Mac??

Anyway my main focus today is: Why do towns and cities plant trees and then don't care for them properly? I have seen this happen time and again in my town and in surrounding towns. The young trees don't get water, and then they just die. This is so sad. I have just seen this happen in my dog park.
Now I am very grateful to this town for even having a dog park, don't get me wrong.!! But they planted 5 or 6 trees and then let 3 of them die. I did complain to the town, and next day they set up Tree Gators!!

Now I have to make sure the Tree Gators get refilled!  So I will still be on tree-patrol. But may I suggest to you that you  watch all those trees planted by your towns and nag the town the minute you see the trees don't get watered!

The earth needs more trees here and in the rainforests, for the birds and other animals, and for us human beings. They help to cool the planet.

And young trees need humans to water them for the first year or 2. So help me be on Tree-Patrol!!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Rethink the native versus alien species divide

Some scientists are saying: Rethink the native versus alien species divide.
An editorial in Nature argues that not only have too many resources been invested in curbing and controlling invasive species but that the entire concept of the threat of non-native species is flawed.
As some of us have been arguing for nearly 20 years,  humans have caused most of the earth’s problems such as climate change, urbanization and drastically changing the land, all which makes “the native-versus-alien species dichotomy in conservation increasingly meaningless."
The latest edition of Animal People states: “eradicating ‘invasive’ species is just the current politically correct term for what used to be called ‘pest control’.”
“People like to have an enemy, and vilifying non-native species makes the world very simple,” said ecologist Mark Davis of Macalester University. “The public got sold this nativist paradigm: Native species are the good ones, and non-native species are bad. It’s a 20th century concept, like wilderness, that doesn’t make sense in the 21st century.”
The Animal People magazine team said many years ago that “Except on small islands, where the effects of feral animals and wild exotics are usually ambiguous, introduced species over time tend to help more native species that they harm, by filling ecological niches that have not only been left open by the extirpation of other species, but are also essential to preventing the collapse of whole ecosystems.
“In their zeal to annihilate feral and wild exotic animals,” they argued, “wildlife regulatory agencies often don’t give nature credit for finding ways to accommodate new species.
They concluded: “The war against the largely imaginary alien menace goes on…both in the name of ecology and in opposition to ecological principle.”
It is strange that most of the environmental groups don’t tackle Agribusiness.

This is from a Rainforest website:

As the demand in the Western world for cheap meat increases, more and more rainforests are destroyed to provide grazing land for animals. In Brazil alone, there are an estimated 220 million head of cattle, 20 million goats, 60 million pigs, and 700 million chickens. Most of Central and Latin America's tropical and temperate rainforests have been lost to cattle operations to meet the world demand, and still the cattle operations continue to move southward into the heart of the South American rainforests. To graze one steer in Amazonia takes two full acres. Most of the ranchers in the Amazon operate at a loss, yielding only paper profits purely as tax shelters. Ranchers' fortunes are made only when ranching is supported by government giveaways. A banker or rich landowner in Brazil can slash and burn a huge tract of land in the Amazon rainforest, seed it with grass for cattle, and realize millions of dollars worth of government-subsidized loans, tax credits, and write-offs in return for developing the land. These government development schemes rarely make a profit, as they are actually selling cheap beef to industrialized nations. One single cattle operation in Brazil that was co-owned by British Barclays Bank and one of Brazil's wealthiest families was responsible for the destruction of almost 500,000 acres of virgin rainforest. The cattle operation never made a profit, but government write-offs sheltered huge logging profits earned off of logging other land in the Brazilian rainforest owned by the same investors. These generous tax and credit incentives have created more than 29 million acres of large cattle ranches in the Brazilian Amazon, even though the typical ranch could cover less than half its costs without these subsidies. Even these grazing lands don't last forever. Soon the lack of nutrients in the soil and overgrazing degrade them, and they are abandoned for newly cleared land. In Brazil alone, more than 63,000 square miles of land has reportedly been abandoned in this way.

Why don’t the environmental groups challenge “cattle” -----also an invasive species. In my opinion there are several reasons:
(1)  When you challenge the beef industry they fight back. Remember the law suit against Oprah at the height of the mad cow disease period?
The cattle producers sued Oprah under a 1995 Texas law under which people can be held liable if they make false and disparaging statements about perishable food products. In April 1996, the topic of the show was mad cow disease, an outbreak of which had occurred in Britain. The disease in cattle has been linked to a related disease in humans that kills people by slowing destroying brain tissue.
Ex-rancher Howard Lyman was on the show and he criticized the practice of feeding processed livestock to cattle, linked to the outbreak in Europe. Oprah said: “Lyman’s remarks just stopped me cold from eating another burger.” Lyman was also sued by the cattle producers. He said that an outbreak of human form of mad cow disease could make AIDS look like the common cold. Cattle producers claim that the remarks on the show sent cattle prices tumbling, costing them 12 million.
(2)   Environmentalists are afraid of upsetting their membership, who may interpret this as a call to vegetarianism.
(3)   Or on the other hand, they may be afraid some of their members may ask if they themselves have given up eating beef, or at least cut back on red meat.
Whatever the reason, it’s easier for them to tackle the “little ole cat ladies” who take care of feral colonies, and for them to turn the cat into a scapegoat, than face a multi-billion dollar industry that really does harm the environment.
From a 2006 United Nations Food and Agriculture report called Livestock’s Long Shadow: “ Indeed, the livestock sector may well be the leading player in the reduction of biodiversity, since it is the major driver of deforestation, as well as one of the leading drivers of land degradation, pollution, climate change, overfishing, sedimentation of coastal areas and facilitation of invasions by alien species.”
Feral pigs: Another animal now on the “hit list.” Animal People notes that feral pigs have been living in Texas for 300 years. Now a new Bill allows landowners to shoot pigs and coyotes from helicopters. The hit list includes red foxes, bobcats and stray dogs. Bobcats are on the list as they may kill chickens. But chickens are now intensively farmed and the old Farmer Brown farms where chickens run around the barnyard, no longer exists. But poor old bobcats still make the hit list.
Fortunately there are some scientists today questioning the way we are treating the environment and individual animals.
“The way that we breed animals for food is a threat to the planet. It pollutes our environment while consuming huge amounts of water, grain, petroleum, pesticides and drugs. The results are disastrous.”
David Brubaker, PhD, Center for a Livable Future, Johns Hopkins University
Environmental News Network, 9/20/99
We agree with Animal People when they say: “The time is right for the humane community to exercise leadership—not just on behalf of feral cats, mute swans, wild horses, or the other popular species—but on behalf of the confluence of humane consideration for individual animal life with the ecological principle that every individual, of any species, contributes positively to the evolutionary process.”