“Cats are the only true sadists of the animal world”, so says a person who is highly educated (he has a PhD) and who is one of New Zealand’s top economists. I think he should stick to economics. He has let his dislike of cats colour his judgment rather badly. He is Dr. Gareth Morgan. He is referring to New Zealand’s domestic and stray cats. He wants them all eradicated.
The word “sadist” means “someone who obtains pleasure from inflicting pain on others”. We should note that the definition includes the word “someone” meaning a person, homo sapiens, not felis silvestris catus, the domestic cat. Cats have no conception of the meaning of the word. When a cat kills prey it is an expression of an instinctive drive to survive and pleasure has nothing to do with it. It is only people who have the unenviable ability to be sadists. It is uniquely a form of human behavior.
It appears that Dr Morgan has anthropomorphized cats in his hatred of them. Intelligence in a person does not necessarily translate to sensible and coherent thoughts especially on subjects with which the person is unfamiliar. It can make a person arrogant, though, and look foolish.
Dr Morgan wants to remove all cats from New Zealand because he says they “destroy our native wildlife”. It is strange that he makes such sweeping, wild and inaccurate statements. It would be nice if he had the common sense to recognize the horrendous damage done to the earth’s resources and wildlife by the human. Human population growth and increased destructive activity has had a far greater effect on wildlife than cats. Human activity is in a different league in respect of destruction.
The much respected, Sir David Attenborough says that this about humankind:
“We are a plague on the Earth…..Until humanity manages to sort itself out and get a co-ordinated view about the planet it’s going to get worse and worse”.
For me, there is no chance of a co-ordinated view within the next 50 years, if ever. Humankind is radically disjointed and dysfunctional.
Dr Morgan spews out the usual cat hating sounds bites. He jumps on the bird conservation bandwagon by saying “Birds bond for life … until your cat kills one.”. A lot of domestic cats don’t even hunt and when they do it is usually mice or other rodents. Birds are more difficult to catch.
Please Dr Morgan, try and keep a balanced perspective. I agree that cat ownership needs to be responsible and improvements can be made in that area. There are too many people who are not good at cat caretaking. For example, they don’t neuter their cats at all or until after a litter has been born. See, for example: 3207 Reasons To Relinquish Your Cat.
The sensible and humane thing is not to try and eradicate the domestic cat. The straying domestic cat is the victim of careless human behavior. The better and fairer way is to tackle people; to educate people; to make people more responsible and aware.
Any problem with the domestic cat is people generated. Look to people for the answers, Dr Morgan.
One last point; what do the people of New Zealand think about Dr Morgan? Well, the New Zealand Herald, an newspaper with a website is running a poll. In the hope that it has been used by New Zealanders this is the current position:
For me it is not a great response. Almost a quarter agree that cats in New Zealand should be eradicated. Let’s reflect on that.