The Cat, Its Future on Planet Earth
Photo by Ofer K (Flickr)
A big title – a small article! The internet is a massive, rapidly changing business market place. The quantity of information disseminated is vast and growing. Social networking has become de rigueur for internet businesses or businesses that use the internet and nearly all major businesses use the internet these days. The internet is very competitive and becoming more so. If you don’t move forward you quickly go backwards.
There are many cat websites. PoC is, I believe, one of the leading sites about cats, perhaps the leading site or at least I like to think so.
In order to survive on the internet it is wise to look forward, to try and predict the future trends and tailor what you do to benefit from those changes. That should give you a head start; keep your nose in front of the pack. It also helps to assess how to lead from the front.
For a website about cats that wishes to speak up on behalf of the cat, it helps therefore to think about what the future holds for the cat on this planet. And I am talking about the domestic, feral and wild cats – all the cats.
Although there is a lot of admirable human behaviour in the cat world, as in all walks of life, there is a lot of disappointing behaviour as well. There is too much that is going wrong and the future should be about putting these wrongs, right. That is the only way we can live; to progress. Progress should be about improving the quality of life of all living creatures on the planet, improving levels of contentment and maintaining a global equilibrium.
The cat world is out of balance, it lacks equilibrium and there are too many discontented cats. PoC should be about doing its bit to restoring balance while looking ahead. So what are the main headings under which we should set out our predictions for the future and our desires?
Other than for highly responsible cat breeders, there is no place in the cat world for business. Business uses cats to make money. That invariably leads to incorrect decisions about cat welfare. Business – butt out of it! Business is destroying the tiger and all wild cats. Business maintains the unacceptable level of slaughter (so called “euthanasia”) of feral cats. Business provides cat food that is convenient for humans but not always truly healthy for cats. U.S. vets declaw cats for profit, the most direct example of how business hurts the cat.
The truth is that we only know of one model in the world: economic growth. That is all you hear from politicians. There is scant regard for sustainability and balance – world conferences on the environment always fail. Economic growth hurts the wildcat big time and the domestic cat just fits in with change that is not always good.
The status quo will not change. Business will be bigger so how can the cats of the world fit in? Perhaps by business becoming more sustainable and moral! Big talk, impossible to achieve! If the paper mills of Asia were more concerned with sustainability and conservation they would have a long term future whereas at present it is simply a case of cutting virgin forest down as fast as possible and killing everything that lives in, which includes rare and beautiful wildcats such as the clouded leopard and Bornean Bay cat. It’s pure unabated greed with no concern for the future of the planet – instant financial profit and gratification.
Cats are second class citizens at best. They are members of the family but have no enshrined rights. They are property just like a washing machine. This has to change. In the future, cats will have rights and the law governing “cat ownership” (cat caretaking is better) will be refined to take into account the obvious fact that the cat companion is a sentient being with emotions and a nervous system. It would not be possible to legally abuse a cat companion by declawing it if the cat had rights enshrined in the law. Australia is coming around to the idea that the problem of feral cats is ours! Hurrah. If people refuse to become responsible cat caretakers it will have to be thrust upon them through legislation which includes obligatory microchipping. An extreme but perhaps good form of control would be to make it obligatory to have cat enclosures and not to let cats go out free roaming. If cats have rights should they have health care free at the place of delivery? Vets are becoming too expensive, which is a barrier to maintaining the health of the domestic cat. Arguments against animal rights
Shelters do good and sometimes great work but they can do better in terms of killing. Yes, they must find an alternative to killing – not euthanising – cats. They can do better. It takes imagination and commitment. In the meantime I don’t like the word, “shelter” being used by an establishment that slaughters cats at a high rate and covers it up by calling it “euthanasia”. “Shelter” is often a misdescription – sorry.
Wild cat conservation
It is full of dignity, courage and integrity but no match for big business. The world is focused on making money out of the planet not preserving it. We need to reset humankind’s focus and think quality not quantity, sustainability and not instant gratification. Conservation needs to be as clever as possible and in some instances it needs to be organised on a global level. We also need to tackle wildcat conservation from the demand end. What I mean is we should not simply try and protect the tiger from poachers but shut down the reasons for poaching. The latter process is far more powerful but rarely employed. The Snow Leopard Trust does this, however: Clever cat conservation
This occupation must be controlled better to ensure that the prime objective is health not appearance. Once again a refocus needs to take place. It has drifted without sufficient controls designed to curtail the worst aspects of human nature. See: Persian cat breeding and Genetic diseases in purebred cats (controversial – opens in new window).
Humans should be regulated to a minimum level but sadly people do need to be regulated because humankind has yet to really grow up.
PoC should strive to foster the objectives set out above and if it achieves even the smallest of successes, it will be a great success for me.