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I’ve had more of a think about this anti-cat campaign that has caused such hot debate in New Zealand at the moment. With my current job I hear from people who take all sorts of different standpoints, and in discussions I try to stay as far away from an emotional viewpoint as possible – but now I’ve decided that actually, emotional reasoning is a fair way to consider the issue. After all, as I said in my previously related post, we alter our environment to suit our own needs – and this includes for emotional fulfilment.

Take little Greywind as an example. I tell you, this little girl has really come out of her shell. She is still shy around strangers and will quite often disappear into her cat tunnel or under the bed, but we had some folks over the other night for dinner and she came out so show off and make some mischief. I have just moved house this week (let’s not talk about moving… it’s so exhausting!) and she has a whole place to herself – well, doesn’t she know it!

We were having a cuddle on the couch when I realised – how could you want to get rid of animals that bring so much joy and companionship? When she is not in a playful mood, her first choice is to hop up on my lap and get as close as she can to me – at night this means snuggling right against my face. She purrs, so loudly, tips her head back and just looks at you with these big, adoring-looking eyes!

So, why are we here? I believe the point of life is to be as happy as possible, and doing what you are passionate about (while preferably positively contributing to the world in whatever way you can). We have introduced many species to New Zealand for our own use. How much of native land has been ravaged and turned into paddocks and pastures for our livestock, just to support our lifestyles and industry? Our cities have completely destroyed any hope a flourishing ecosystem has to establish in those areas. We work so hard to shape things into what’s most convenient and appealing to us, often without a second thought at the impact we are having or even if we can alter our ways to lessen the extent of the marks we make. Therefore, why are we being asked to suddenly remove something that brings so much happiness when there are so many other changes we could instead make to procure a positive change?

The massive benefits a relationship with a companion animal can bring into one’s life are infinite. Being asked to cull a member of one’s family because it might be hunting native species gets me riled when really we should be putting an end to the blatant environment-destroying acts we ourselves do every day. That’s something we as individuals have some control over. We have the conscious decision to use more sustainable products. We have the conscious decision to educate ourselves on more environment-friendly living. We have the ability to decide which companies and even industries we support. If we believe our pets are harming native wildlife, then we can do something about it that doesn’t involve ridding the whole country of particular companion animals. Again, cats in the city aren’t out in national parks every night killing animals – it’s all perspective and context. None of my foster kittens hunt any animal while under my care. I really am sounding like a massive cat advocate, and as I have already said – I have a degree in conservation and agree that our native wildlife is in danger. But when the whole point of us establishing massive civilizations at the cost of native habitat is to keep ourselves happy and thriving, I think there are other things we ought to focus on before taking away something that brings so much joy to so many.

 

Sam.

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