Introductory note: I apologize for having to write about animal cruelty. For some of us, it does hurt to read about it. I do try and balance the sort of articles that are on PoC so there is a wide variety, reflecting the wide variety of circumstances and happenings in the world of cats.
Devaluing Companion Animals
This is a very important point that is not often if ever made. The cat overpopulation problem is detrimental to our relationship and attitude towards the cat. The same applies to the companion dog.
When there are too many domestic, stray, and feral cats wandering around homeless the cat is devalued. Bearing in mind that there are many people who don’t appreciate the need for a decent and humane relationship with cats, the devaluing of cats encourages their abuse in many forms. I really feel that this is a critically important point.
There is a duty on decent people to revalue the domestic cat. That can only be achieved by acting responsibly towards the cat and for more enlightened people to work hard to bring to the issues to light. The issues center on respecting the cat and for everyone to develop a responsible attitude towards the cat.
Stray Companion Animals as Fishing Bait
An unhealthy but unsurprising result of this devaluing of the importance of the cat in the lives of people is behind the cause of a petition that hopes to stop the use of stray companion animals as bait in fishing for sharks and the catching of alligators. Yes, you got that. People are sticking live kittens and puppies on fish hocks when fishing for sharks. You may have read about it elsewhere but no one has really addressed the underlying cause.
Side Note: this is the link to the Petition. It has more than 45,000 comments! Clearly a lot of people are moved by this.
This form of animal cruelty is rare, apparently. That is what we are told. How rare? I’d like to know. And I’d like some statistics to support it because people cover up this sort of thing.
View Larger Map
However, what is now fact is that on the island of Réunion, which is off the southeast coast of Africa (beyond Madagascar – see map above), amateur fishermen are using puppies (and kittens as I understand it) as live bait when shark fishing. The hook on the end of the fishing line is pushed through the animal’s mouth or legs. These are living animals. I know, it is horrific so don’t dwell on it too long. Apparently sometimes they use dead animals.
On the island many locals view the strays as vermin.
“There’s no value to the life of a dog there,” said the president of Thirty Million Friends Foundation.
The island is overrun with stray dogs and cats; mainly dogs it seems. And whose fault is that? Who caused the island to be overrun with stray unloved dogs and cats? ANS: the people of the island, of course. Then some of them compound that injustice by indulging in animal cruelty of the most barbaric kind. This is humankind at work again.
Need to Revalue Lives
It all turns on us. In reducing the stray domestic animal populations in any country, be it China, America, Canada or the UK, we will help to revalue the lives of these animals. It will stop nasty people shooting them for fun and, yes, sticking them on the end of fishing lines as live bait.