Here’s something to chew on. Is it ethical to keep cats?
I’m not talking about as pets, as far as I can tell they get a lot of benefit out of that (unless they get into the hands of an abusive family), but because their popularity combined with their insistence on slaughtering anything small enough to be able to have its neck broken from a kick does have an impact on the ecosystems they are introduced to by us.
This is of most worry in areas like the Galapagos archipelago, where most of the native creatures have no natural predators and therefore are not adapted to escape and have their population be able to bounce back from attacks and deaths from cats, both owned and stray.
It’s not just a problem for these areas however, as the popularity of cats increases, and as the size of the human population all over the world increases, cats are making quite a mess of small vertebrates, and it has been suggested that their prevalence has been the cause of some extinctions.
But what’s the answer? People aren’t going to give up cats, not as long as they remain adorable. Keep them inside? Put bells on them? It’s up to the individual I suppose but it’s a shame we’re not as attached to animals that don’t like to murder species (I realise we as a species are pretty keen on slaughter as well and I won’t pretend I’m not ashamed about that, especially given I have a meat-eater’s guilt of sorts recently).