An American artist living in Tasmania, Kirsha Kaechele, has created a 544-page artistic book on invasive species and how to cook them. The book is part of an exhibition at a new Museum of New and Old Art (MONA) and is entitled Eat the Problem.
The book focuses on turning Australia’s so-called pests and invasive species into delicious meals. The concept is to get rid of the problem of pests by eating them. It’s a neat concept but what I don’t like about it is that it includes a recipe for cooking and eating feral cats.
We know that feral cats are considered to be pests and are invasive species in Australia. The woman has a recipe called “Pussycat Tasmanian Style”. I presume that this refers to feral cats.
She says that the book has a moral message presented in a fun way. She claims that it glamorises eating sustainably. Other animals for which there are recipes are cane toads, foxes, and grasshoppers for instance.
She concludes that the book, “celebrates an abundance of pests, and the art of transforming sh*t into gold”.
Well, I disagree with her in describing feral cats as sh*t. I won’t go on and bore people but feral cats should be domestic cats. Their parents or grandparents were domestic cats. Domestic cats were brought to Australia by Australians. Feral cats are a product of careless cat ownership in Australia perhaps a hundred or more years ago. If you want to describe something as shit with regard to cats in Australia then you would have to describe the cat owning standards of these early Australians.
The cat is an innocent victim of human carelessness and cruelty. To create a recipe to cook feral cats is, in my view, insulting and disrespects these animals who have a sorry history rooted in sh*tty human behaviour. Having created feral cats and left them to struggle in the harsh conditions of the Aussie outback, Australians now owe a moral duty to pay back by treating them with respect and at least to kill them humanely (and not to cook them).
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