Pope Francis, in his first Christmas address, urged non-believers and people of other faiths to join in a global fight for peace in the world. The Syrian war is at the top of the agenda. The children being killed there kills a bit of our psyche at the same time. It is that bad. There are other areas where there is conflict. These conflicts are never justified. They are a human folly. All they achieve is destruction and pain.
Pope Francis has a very open, pure heart. It is devoid of the trappings of his position as leader of the world’s Roman Catholics. He is not puffed up. He is one of us and he applies the wonderful and underused principles of common sense and love to his objectives.
What can we learn from his thoughts and desires? How can we apply them to the world of the domestic cat, the feral and stray cat and the wild cat?
Each one of us will take their own message from his words. However, he wants to break down artificially constructed barriers (non-believers and believers, different religions) to try and achieve a better world. As stated, it sounds like common sense. It is strange that this simple concept is so hard to apply. I suppose the world is too dysfunctional.
In the cat world, there are four major areas where urgent action is needed. Each one echos the Syrian war in terms of harm, pain, madness and cruelty. They are:
- Declawing in the United States. This was, is and always will be unjustifiable.
- The mass euthanasia at shelters of unwanted cats in the world and mainly in the United States. This silent slaughter colors everything that happens in the world of cats. There is a debate about cat breeding and the keeping of wild cat species and and how they are regulated, for instance. I predict that, over the long term, there will be a gradual tightening of regulations for cat breeders and cat owners until the mass killing is stopped.
- The cat fur trade in China and other parts of the world (this should include wild cat species too). This is a silent war behind closed factory doors. This sick business, driven by the unknowing Western consumer who likes fur but has no idea where it comes from, causes untold pain.
- The gradual erosion of the habitat of most wild cat species and their exploitation. The greatest of these erosions is the destruction of virgin rainforest for paper and furniture and you name it; all products, primarily for Western human consumption. Each item of furniture or ream of paper is a nail in the coffin of a wild cat species that lives in the forest.
Everyone, cat lovers, dog lovers and people who don’t keep “pets” should come together to stop these abuses and they are abuses. People can argue until the cows come home that they are justified. We know they are not.
Note: I am an atheist but believe in the words the pope used.