You’ll never encounter a bad person involved in helping feral and stray cats. In stark contrast you’ll see lots of bad people, normally the male of the species, involved in crass and ignorant criminal behaviour in abusing feral cats, shooting at them, kicking them, poisoning them and harassing the good people who are helping these cats.
The good guys – normally the females of the species – see the bad guys as jerks and they are correct. Feral and stray cats divide the attitudes of people. The division is along the lines of education and ignorance.
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The people involved in TNR programs are likely to be well-informed and educated. If they are not formally educated they are smart and self-taught. The thoughtfulness of these people leads to their sensitivity towards these cats.
Education also leads these people to the inevitable conclusion that humans have a moral obligation to do the right thing for these cats because we created them through our negligence.
There is no escaping that obligation. There is a clear moral mandate to care for these cats while at the same time managing their numbers so that wildlife is protected in the long term and that cat haters are appeased. People who dislike cats want instant results and answers. They see the feral cat as a disease spreader and a danger to humans and wildlife.
We can’t ignore their arguments although they are greatly exaggerated. If we do we exacerbate the divide between cat lovers and haters. We need to try and bring the parties together to find a common strategy for the long term.
You have to admire the volunteers engaged in TNR programs. They are unpaid and often use their own money to fund their activities. They work consistently and unstintingly for the benefit of these cats. That takes self-discipline and persistence, both admirable human qualities.
I have already mentioned the moral obligation. Feral cat supporters have the moral high ground. They are doing the right thing. It is impossible to deny them that recognition. They are admirable.
Politicians have to deal with political pressures. They face calls to cull feral cats from a segment of society in many places. They have to listen. However, city councils across the US consistently come down on the side of TNR and they have to because the councillors have to behave morally.
Of course the focus should be strongly on cutting off the supply of feral cats via poor cat ownership. TNR volunteers pick up the pieces. Universally excellent cat ownership as an ideal would dramatically achieve this.
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