POC E zine, Issue #005

Forest Dwelling Cats

Pictures of Cats conjures up funny pictures. There is fun on my site, but at heart, it is serious. And what really is funny is the more I work on the site the more serious it gets and I can’t avoid it because the more you learn about cats the more problems you see that you didn’t see before.

We are all interconnected. And this applies to just about everything including cats. What made me think about this was a television programme I watched on my computer (it was a BBC Player – television is on the way out). It was about food production. One of the points that the presenter, George Alagiah, made was this.

When a European buys a lettuce grown in India he exports from Europe to India a water shortage. Well, that’s an exaggeration but the amount of water that is used to grow a lettuce is enormous and that water is shipped to Europe. That is the equivalent of Europe shipping a water shortage to India and many farmers are shutting up shop in India because too much water has been extracted from the ground due to over production of crops, which in turn is due to human population growth.

So what has this got to do with cats? When you buy a furry trinket or a pair of fur lined gloves in America or Europe you export death and destruction, cruelty and abuse to millions of cats in China. And I am not going to criticise the Chinese. I am just stating the facts. This is not judgmental.

Millions of cats and dogs are killed brutally in China for their fur. It is the biggest fur exporter by far in the world. In Europe, a centre for fur distribution was (still is?), Switzerland (see Cat Fur – Switzerland). When I was younger it was something that simply did not cross my mind. When you buy gloves you don’t think about these things. Few people do. And the fur is often misdescribed as coming from rabbit or raccoon (what’s the difference some people say – I’ll save that argument for another day).

Photo of an Asiatic golden cat caught in a camera trap in Cambodia.

When we buy furniture in Europe we kill the Sumatran tiger. We gradually destroy the Borneo bay cat or the Asian leopard cat or the gorgeous clouded leopard. I could go on. These are examples of forest dwelling cats. They are losing their home.

When we pop down to a stationers in town to get some copying paper we kill more arboreal wild cats (forest dwelling wild cats). Big multinational paper pulping companies are cutting down primary (ancient) forest for paper with a complete disregard for the wildlife in it including our precious and ever more endangered wild cats. Ultimately, this is the fault of the governments in both the countries where the cats live and where the fur is bought. But we elect them (sometimes!).

Everything is connected. Don’t buy fur lined gloves or furry trinkets. Photocopying paper should be recycled and the wood for furniture should come from a renewable sources (and this should be checked). Lets save the wildcats. Even if doing these things makes an almost insignificant difference we should still do them. This really is very serious…
for the wildcat.

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