Kaye Kessing, a writer and illustrator, believes that the residents of Australia should be eating feral cat meat on a regular basis. She has set her own example by preparing what she describes as a “caterole”. She caught, skinned and sautéed and then served up a feral cat. She did this as part of the Alice Springs Desert Festival in 2007.
“When I dealt with the first cat corpse I thought as I skinned it, this is sweet meat…I’d describe it as a mix between chicken and goanna,” she said
She firmly believes that feral cat meat should be on the Australian national menu. She believes this because she has unquestionably (and I suggest unthinkingly) taken on board what the Australian authorities are saying namely that the feral cat is destroying millions upon millions of native species and that the situation is out of control. There is a need for a war against the feral cat, the government says and if you’re killing lots of feral cat why not eat them at the same time? Quite a simple formula when you think about it. Too simple in fact. It is all guesswork and it ignores human activity and its destruction of native species habitat.
She says that Australia’s citizens should put away their emotions:
“People have to get over their emotion, they have to realise the critical danger that these animals are causing.”
She believes that she is presenting a logical and common sense and indeed practical idea. However, her proposal is utterly impractical because you cannot put aside the emotional aspect of the relationship between human and domestic. That also applies to the feral cat. The feral cat should be a domestic cat and we put these unfortunate and unwanted cats out there in the wild to survive. They are linked to the domestic cat and they are our responsibility.
The wildcat has been domesticated for around 10,000 years, as we know. You cannot put aside and ignore the deeply emotional connection that millions upon millions of cat caretakers have with their “family member”. More and more often people are relating to their domestic companion cats as family members. This is because of the emotional connection. It is therefore impossible to put the emotional content aside and agree to cook feral cats. The suggestion that feral cats should be on the menu is completely untenable.
The truth of the matter is that in all Western countries and countries which are being westernised there are more and more domestic cats living in close harmony with their human guardians. Therefore this emotional connection is becoming deeper and deeper across the globe.
The citizens of Asian countries will, I predict, gradually adjust their relationship to the domestic cat such that it is similar to the situation in the West. At the point when it is on a par with countries such as America and the UK then the whole concept of eating stray, domestic and feral cats will be regarded as unacceptable.
Conclusion: you cannot ignore human emotions especially when they are deeply ingrained as is the case in the relationship between human and domestic cat. Forget about eating feral cats and get on with managing them sensibly and humanely.
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