Compassion is a much admired quality in people. Compassion is soft, gentle and tender but it can take strength to exercise it. Even the word itself sounds soft and gentle. Compassion is a quality that people should aspire to. Compassion is on the decency spectrum of human qualities. People who have compassion towards the vulnerable and less fortunate have high emotional intelligence.
They are mindful people (an awareness of ourselves and the world around us). Their are sensitive towards others. They are empathetic towards all others. They have the ability to listen. They are thoughtful. Compassionate people are outward thinking; they are aware of others and how their actions affect others.
Compassionate people are happier than people who lack compassion. The Dalai Lama said:
“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”
Happiness lies in our interaction with others. “Others” must include other species of animal. Happiness does not rely solely on serving self-interest but in our relationships and interactions with others including animals.
Psychologists will tell us that when we have feelings of caring and love for other people and animals we feel better. What makes us feel good is feeling loving and a part of that process is to be compassionate.
A study found that as a person climbed the social ladder his or her compassion for others declined. A higher social class negatively impacts a person’s ability to be empathetic towards others.
The last paragraph may be significant in how the people who govern us i.e. local authorities all the way up to federal governments, deal with feral cats. If feral cats are considered to be a nuisance by the majority of people (and that is not necessarily a case) then the way the authorities deal with feral cats is a test of their compassion and decency.
The people involved in local government and upwards are politicians and they want to be admired for the simple reason that it ensures their election to the post and thereafter re-election. Therefore they should show compassion towards feral cats who are vulnerable and live difficult lives.
The necessity to be compassionate towards feral cats must be highlighted by the simple, well-known fact that their existence is the product of human carelessness. If feral cats are a problem then they are a human-created problem. If a person creates a problem they have a duty to correct it and in correcting it they have a duty to act decently.
Poisoning feral cats to eliminate them in large numbers is a form of behaviour which is diametrically opposed to acting compassionately towards them. Any form of mass culling of feral cats by any means is indecent behavior.
The only known way of resolving the so-called “feral cat problem” is to reduce their numbers through well-managed, widespread trap-neuter-release (TNR) programs. That is the only current way we know of acting compassionately towards feral cats.
If somebody can come up with a better idea then please tell me. Until then those in government should act compassionately towards these cats. If they do so they will be admired for it. Let that be a motivator. It will make them happy.