Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Too Cute to Kill

I wandered over to CNN.com just now, and found that the only interesting thing that's happened since the pope died is that they want to legalize cat hunting in Wisconsin. Apparently there are too many "wild" cats out there, killing the precious songbirds.

I actually like this idea. I'm a pacifist, but I'm also a biologist. It's the same argument with deer hunting: population control. These animals aren't endangered; they're wreaking havoc on the ecosystem.

When there's too many deer, they eat too many plants, and plants die. Without the right plants, other animals (like birds) can't survive, so they die too. Eventually, all you have left is the deer, who die because they have nothing to eat. You might as well build a Wal-Mart.

(By the way, I saw an episode of The Simpsons--On a Clear Day I Can't See My Sister--the other day in which they went to Sprawl-Mart, which had a secondary sign reading, "Not a parody of Wal-Mart." And there were gnomes inside. Other than that, the ep was kinda boring.)

It's the same problem with the cats, only more direct: "Every year in Wisconsin alone, an estimated 2 million wild cats kill 47 million to 139 million songbirds, according to state officials."

And the protestors are upset because the cats are too cute to kill.

Let's see what they say when the cats start rooting through their garbage like raccoons.

1 comment:

  1. I don't think that cats are too cute to kill -- and I do think there's a strong argument that we have the right, perhaps the responsibility, to do something about animals who, through overpopulation or some other mechanism, are messing with the food chain (um, except this might mean we ought to start hunting each other).

    I do, however, think hunting (for fun, rather than food) is a really bad idea that gives us all sorts of notions about what we should be allowed to do with the power we happen to have. So I don't think the solution to this problem is adding another species onto the list of creatures hunters are allowed to shoot for sport. I think if there are too many cats, there should be some kind of trained force to deal with them, which would stop when it seemed they had done enough.


    I think I'm getting to New Haven on the Greyhound between 11 and noon Saturday. Yay!