Where to even begin with this one? Some world-class putz, operating under the guise of "science," has published what amounts to a lengthy anti-cat/anti-cat-lover screed—replete with half-baked "facts" and a whole helping of personal animus against felines and the humans who love them. His name is Dr. Peter Marra (hey—Josef Mengele was a doctor, too!) and his book is called Cat Wars.
(Normally, we'd link to the book on Amazon. But we have an Amazon affiliate account, and we'd literally rather starve than make one dirty dime on this garbage.)
The Huffington Post has a lengthier analysis of everything that's wrong with this book and its arguments, which we encourage you to check out. In a nutshell, the book argues that cats kill birds, therefore we should kill all the cats so the birds may live.
We could start by pointing out that studies supporting the idea that cats are responsible for the extinction of bird species are flawed at best, as noted by Jackson Galaxy some time back in an interview with New York Magazine.
It's probably also worth noting that killing a whole lot of animals in the name of "conservation" seems like suspiciously faulty logic. Wiping out one species in order to prioritize another isn't conservation—it's biological engineering, and it's something we humans haven't exactly mastered.
In fact, species all over the planet are currently going extinct at a rate not seen since the last Great Extinction, which killed the dinosaurs. No sane person would argue that cats are responsible for the dangerously dwindling numbers of polar bears, pandas, elephants, tigers, whales, or honey bees. But plenty of sane people have argued that human development, overpopulation, and encroachment into previously protected habitats are the single greatest threat facing all species on the planet. (Including humans! And birds!)
We wonder if Dr. Marra and his supporters are vegetarians? Do they know or care how many millions of birds die in the rainforests that are leveled every day to produce cow pastures for human beef consumption? How many chickens (which are birds, last we checked) are killed in factory farms each year? The fish and aquatic life and marine birds poisoned to death by run-off from slaughterhouses and sausage factories? And what of the herons and egrets bordering on extinction in the Everglades so Big Sugar can farm ever-more land?
But giving up sodas and Big Macs is hard, while attacking cats is easy. Nobody even likes cats, anyway, except women and weirdos, right?
Which is what this really boils down to. As Marra makes perfectly clear in his book, his real issue is his personal disgust with cats and the manner in which cats kill their prey. He is equally disgusted by the humans who love and respect cats nonetheless.
"Perhaps the owners did not view the birds and mammals that fall prey to domestic cats as sentient beings but instead as playthings for their beloved companions." (p. 49)
So…birds are "sentient beings" and cats aren't? Perhaps it hasn't occurred to Marra that humans truly concerned with ALL animals realize that animals don't make moral choices. Cats hunt the way they do because nature, over a period of tens of thousands of years, has designed them to do so, and they simply obey their instincts.
In other words, they're just as God made them. People with a genuine interest in protecting animal life may not love every single animal equally, but we don't judge any of them for being what nature has designed them to be.
And what in the ever-loving f--- is with Marra's advocating that ALL outdoor cats—be they strays, ferals, or human-owned cats allowed to roam free for part of the day—be killed by "any means necessary"? Seriously?
With all due respect to the self-appointed Malcolm X of birds, is this what Marra has in mind?
Sociopaths and dirt-bags of the world, rejoice! Cruelty to animals is no longer contemptible or a sign of moral rot. It's your gosh-darned civic responsibility.
Of course, no genuine cat lover wants to see cats over-populate. It's not healthy for cats, birds, humans, or anybody. Which is why Trap/Neuter/Return (or TNR) programs are such a wise and humane alternative. One would think that anybody sincerely interested in protecting life—ALL life—and creating sustainable balance among species would be interested in at least trying this alternative and seeing what comes of it.
But Marra isn't interested in life. Not really. He's just one more in a long line of history's tarted-up genocidal maniacs, who've given us such fun-filled epochs as the witch trials, pogroms, lynch mobs, "ethnic cleansing," and general reckless slaughter.
And so, knowing how ultimately pointless it is to try to reason with an irrational hate-monger, we'll conclude by speaking to Dr. Marra at his own level. Dr. Marra, we cordially invite you to eat a bag of these:
First round's on us.