This is messy and long because I’m emotional about the subject. I can totally feel both sides. However, this is my truth which I had been holding back for fear of upsetting many loved ones. “Pardon my dust!”
Cats! Leave them alone! They’re not your toys, babies, ornaments or responsibility. If you love them, treat them like you would treat a friend. Help when you can; offer a meal, company, medical assistance or relief, but don’t make life decisions or irreversible choices for them. If you don’t like them, leave them alone but don’t mistreat or hurt them. They are beautiful autonomous beings. They don’t need to be eradicated, imprisoned or owned (calling it adoption doesn’t make it less cruel). Cats adapt to their environment, just like humans. Let them live on their own terms. They will choose where to go and with whom to spend time. If you feel them, they’ll let you know what they need. Provide if you’re willing without control or obsession. Just because we diverged so far from Nature in all its glory (including the dark side), doesn’t give us the right to drag other species with us.
In some cultures, humans and animals don’t share public spaces. It’s considered “wrong” and “cruel” to have animals on the streets. In other cultures, humans and animals coexist, interact and share public spaces. It’s considered “wrong” and “cruel” to mutilate their genitals (calling it “fixed” doesn’t make it less cruel). I feel sad when people, including many loved ones, see free cats and appoint themselves their guardians. They feed them artificial food filled with carcinogens*, cut off their genitals, imprison them in confined spaces (aka apartments), sometimes even fly them overseas to be imprisoned in someone’s home. All in the name of love. IMHO, that’s projecting our fears, judgements and morals onto helpless beings. Free animals eat from the garbage: that’s not dirty. Garbage is their feast. Isn’t it better for the discarded food to be used instead of wasted? Free animals move more and eat less often so they’re not as fat as imprisoned cats. Fat doesn’t necessarily mean healthy, just like humans. They may get injured or killed. Just like humans. Some will die and most will survive, just like humans. On the streets, like in the wild, it’s survival for the fittest. While it won’t favor every single living being, it’s healthier for the species as a whole. Most cat injuries, especially males, come from fighting other cats. It’s Nature. When a mother cat doesn’t feed her babies and lets them die, it’s not cruel, it’s Natural selection. It’s much smarter than humans.
By mutilating their bodies, choosing who can and can’t reproduce, you’re playing God. Isn’t that arrogance? Would you rather get sick or injured every now and then or get your genitals cut off? You’re inflicting pain, changing their biology and depriving them from living a natural life. Just because you don’t see the negative impact in your face, that doesn’t mean it’s not there. Are you doing this for yourself or them? If you can’t handle sickness, injury or death, they can. Because it’s Natural. Maybe you have an unhealthy relationship to death and projecting your human morals onto other species? Your fear addicted mind may obsess over the suffering, projecting worst case scenarios and fails to enjoy the moment and notice the rest of the picture. Animals add so much life, beauty, love and joy to an otherwise sterile environment. They also eat mice (that’s why they were sacred in ancient Egypt). Let them be. Share the world with them. If you treat them with love and respect, they will reciprocate. Not all animals are aggressive, dangerous or crazy. Even if they outnumber humans. Nature regulates itself and doesn’t need you to play God. Let’s drop the the knives. Live and let live. Do your own inner work. Embrace your shadows. Don’t project your fear and insecurities onto other creatures. This causes suffering for everyone involved.
Wherever you live, observe the local culture, see what you can learn from it: about yourself first and about life. If you impose your morals onto other creatures and cultures (aka colonization), you’re depriving yourself from a great growth experience. Examine. Understand. Learn. Maybe, just maybe, you can learn something from “the other”. Maybe there’s no right or wrong. Enjoy the diversity!
* Cats, of all sizes, are omnivore opportunistic eaters. If they’re hungry, they’ll eat whatever is available, including veggies and grains. Over feeding them prevents them from hunting which is their natural gift.
* Same argument may apply to other animals as well.
* I “adopted” sterelized cats in California so I’m aware of the seeming hypocrisy of my post.
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