West Texas Big Bobcat Contest is grotesque and cruel

In Texas they have a bobcat shooting contest called the West Texas Big Bobcat Contest. And on Twitter X, Christina, an animal advocate, has posted a photograph (see below) of competitors bringing in their shot bobcats I guess for weighing to see whether they’ve won the competition. To me, it looks grotesque and callously cruel. Clearly it depends on your point of view and to west Texans it isn’t callously cruel or grotesque but just another bit of fun.

The heaviest bobcat wins Grand Prize. Your team must kill either 5 grey fox OR 5 coyotes (NO MIXING OF THE TWO) in order to qualify your heaviest bobcat in the contest. (5 bobcats DO NOT qualify your team to weigh your big cat.) It is not necessary to qualify a bobcat to win the “Most” Jackpots.

Part of the rules of the contest which includes shooting foxes or coyotes as well. They are ‘vermin’ according to these guys.
West Texas Big Bobcat Contest victims brought back for weighing
West Texas Big Bobcat Contest victims brought back for weighing. Image: Twitter X
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

I just don’t get it myself. I just don’t see the pleasure from shooting animals. It’s all in education and how we were raised. In many ways I’m not blaming the Texans for shooting these bobcats. They were taught that it’s okay. Probably their father took them out when they were young kids to have some fun shooting bobcats and other wild animals such as deer. It was entirely normal and still is for them.

But if you are raised differently as I was, without guns, without any education or indoctrination on shooting animals for fun, it does indeed seem grotesque and cruel.

The underlying point probably of this post is that it has to be cruel because bobcats are sentient creatures. They feel pain. So, when that .22 calibre bullet enters their body and destroys internal organs, the bobcat feels an enormous amount of pain. Perhaps Texans would deny this because they might say that they are such excellent shots that they kill the bobcat instantly and they don’t feel any pain. That would be BS. Sorry to be rude but I’m correct.

Pain

The conclusion is that these men and I guess some women feel pleasure when they shoot a bobcat dead while at the same time the cat feels acute pain. Pleasure is juxtaposed with pain. It cannot be right to seek pleasure from pain. Even a Texan would agree with that. Unless there is something wrong with you. And unless you are thoroughly imbued with belief that bobcats are lesser creatures and who cares if you cause them pain.

Animal Liberation

I’m going to dip briefly into Peter Singer’s book: Animal Liberation and add my own thoughts along the way. He’s a great animal rights advocate who many people respect tremendously. He rightly says that “Most human beings are speciesist.” And that speciesism extends to the belief by many people today that animals are incapable of suffering. That they are unconscious automata “possessing neither thoughts or feelings nor a mental life of any kind”.

How do we know that bobcats feel pain when they are shot by a .22 calibre bullet? Well, the answer is simple. Humans feel pain and the anatomy of the cat is very similar to that of humans. And when they shoot a bobcat no doubt the animal cries out and jumps up in the air and then falls dead. Surely that is a sign that they felt pain.

And if a bobcat didn’t feel pain, they wouldn’t be able to survive because the process of feeling pain is designed to improve survivability. It’s the way evolution has worked but I guess some Texans don’t believe in evolution. Perhaps they believe that God created the earth in seven days. And that the Earth is flat.

Peter Stringer quotes Lord Brain, “one of the most eminent neurologists of our time”. Lord Brain said: “I personally can see no reason for conceding mind to my fellowmen and denying it to animals. I at least cannot doubt that the interests and activities of animals are correlated with awareness and feeling in the same way as my own and, which may be for aught I know, just as vivid.”

I’ve just written an article by Dr. Petty DVM an American veterinarian who has criticised other American vets for carrying out non-essential operations such as declawing and air cropping. Dr. Petty is a pain expert; well known for his expertise on this subject. He makes it clear that the cat declawing operation is very painful and cause behavioural problems. Domestic cats are no different to bobcats in many respects and certainly in respect of their nervous system and therefore the detection of pain. Just another point. I don’t need to make these points actually because it’s obvious that bobcats feel pain when they are shot but it seems I have to drive the message home and fill the page out a bit.

As long as go as 1951, in Britain, “Three separate expert government committees on matters relating to animals have accepted the conclusion that animals feel pain. After noting the obvious behavioural evidence for this view, the members of the Committee on Cruelty to Wild Animals, set up in 1951 said: ‘We believe that the physiological, and more particularly the anatomical, evidence fully justifies and reinforces the commonsense belief that animals feel pain.'”

Peter Singer writing on page 15 of his book states: “So to conclude, there are no good reasons, scientific or philosophical, for denying that animals feel pain. If we do not doubt that other humans feel pain, we should not doubt that other animals do so too. Animals can feel pain. As we saw earlier, there can be no moral justification for regarding the pain (or pleasure) that animals feel as less important than the same amount of pain (or pleasure) felt by humans.”

The West Texas Big Bobcat Contest causes a huge amount of pain and all for the pleasure of West Texans. Sounds okay to you?

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6 thoughts on “West Texas Big Bobcat Contest is grotesque and cruel”

    • Texans like their guns and they tend to be anthropocentric (life is centered around humans). They’re a bit thick in truth. Guns and pick up trucks with a liberal policy on keeping exotic pets.

      Reply
  1. I sent a email comment at the Interior Dept about this. It is clear they are hunting and killing the poor bob cats on public lands and it must stop!
    I thought bob cats were a protected species, I guess I was wrong. Also who is issuing permits to kill them, the National Park Service? Federal wildlife officials are nothing more than hunters themselves…
    Also just sent a letter to the editor of Nature Conservancy asking them to write a story about the Texas Bob Cat killing contest on public lands. We need to stop it now!
    editor@tnc.org and Interior Dept https://www.doi.gov/contact-us

    Reply
    • Thanks, Tamara, for the info. I have changed the way comments are made but they can still be made and I welcome them. You’ll have to re-visit the page to find out if there has been a reply whereas in the past there should have been a notification. Hope u are keeping well.

      Reply
  2. Jesus wept. But did nothing to stop it. Cruel, evil scum excuses for human beings. Nothing humane about them whatsoever. What is wrong with Americans?!?

    Reply

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