Monday, March 25, 2013

Krazy Kats continued

(I just could't continue with the K's)...
 
David Petersen is a bowhunter and a good writer; I think of him as an old shaman of the antler totem, and he has just received an award from the Back Country Hunters and Anglers. Here he is with a fine bull elk.
But he is not looking for praise; he is spearheading the effort to make Audubon Magazine  live up to its historic principles of bird conservation, and reinstate conservation writer Ted Williams,  fired for arguing for the euthanasia of feral cats, considered a major factor in the loss of breeding songbirds. My take is further down on the page, and I agree 100%. Dave?

"At the suggestion of Audubon, Mr. Williams, quite recently, wrote a short piece for the Orlando Sentinel detailing the horrific annual slaughter of songbirds in North America by cats, both well-fed and alley variety. A focus of Ted's article was on the inhumanity and ineffectiveness of the currently dominant method of public feral cat control, which involves trapping, neutering, and release back onto the streets to continue killing birds and other wildlife. Rather than this failed and inhumane program, Ted pointed out, it would be both more effective and more merciful to these millions of starving homeless cats, to trap and euthanize them. Ted went on to point out the ready availability of an inexpensive, effective and human cat-specific drug that authorities could be using for cat euthanasia, rather than a less effective concoction used in the past. From that, the Kat Krazies eagerly and viciously misinterpreted that Williams' was advocating that you and I should go out and start poisoning kitties in the park, which he had not said at all..."

Read the rest here, and join Dave's campaign to rehire a quality journalist who brought a real problem into focus.

Two more points: cat haters may for all I know be present in this campaign "against" cats, but its impetus was from a group of scientists involved in bird conservation. I have owned nearer ten than five cats, and my not having any is more a function of living in a four room house with five dogs and a hawk, and priorities.

Second, while a cat lovers group has objected to the methods of the study that implicated cats as significant songbird predators, studies in Australia and England came to the same conclusion. Especially if you live in an area of ground nesting birds,  at least til we know better, keep those kitties in!

UPDATE  26 March: Matt Miller says Ted has been rehired. No oficial word but Matt has good connections and I asssume he is right!

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Although I commented at length my opinion on this issue on the earlier post of the feral cat phenomenon, I do find it interesting that almost no one gets so irate or controversial regarding other feral domestics, with perhaps one exception. Not even feral dogs get this kind of blind sympathy--certainly not feral pigs, cattle, goats, or many types of birds. I guess the exception is feral horses--and included in that would be donkeys, of course. So feral "equines" DO get people riled up and polarized. Very interesting. I personally love them all, and believe in "live-and-let-live" Except when I get hungry.....L.B.

Matt Miller said...

Ted has posted that he has been reinstated. Audubon was swamped with letters of support for Ted. His column is usually the only thing worth reading in that magazine.

Backcountry Hunters & Anglers is a great organization. I attended their annual conference this weekend and used to edit their magazine.

ASK KSA said...

I am thankful to Matt for the update. This is one of those instances where people were able to see their mistake and recognize that being cowards has its drawbacks as well. Though I am not an avid reader of the magazine, I have flipped through several pages when they are available in the waiting room. Points of view are not meant to have total agreement. They wouldn't make for much discussion if they did. No discussion = being forgotten about soon enough. When a point of view is backed with data, it makes it harder to dispute, but it still leaves the table open to discussion. But when any organization panders to loud-mouthed whiners simply to avoid confrontation, the message they are sending is that they are not willing to stand up for their beliefs and would rather trample the process by which people communicate and learn than to have to answer to some [often minute and meaningless] group. Cowardice, laziness, no matter what you call it, it has no place in any organization. This is all INHO.

ASK KSA said...

I am thankful to Matt for the update. This is one of those instances where people were able to see their mistake and recognize that being cowards has its drawbacks as well. Though I am not an avid reader of the magazine, I have flipped through several pages when they are available in the waiting room. Points of view are not meant to have total agreement. They wouldn't make for much discussion if they did. No discussion = being forgotten about soon enough. When a point of view is backed with data, it makes it harder to dispute, but it still leaves the table open to discussion. But when any organization panders to loud-mouthed whiners simply to avoid confrontation, the message they are sending is that they are not willing to stand up for their beliefs and would rather trample the process by which people communicate and learn than to have to answer to some [often minute and meaningless] group. Cowardice, laziness, no matter what you call it, it has no place in any organization. This is all INHO.

Anonymous said...

my hispanic father in law had a 6 inch pipe entrenched in the ground in his back yard. the purpose of the pipe was to shove gatos machos in the tube so they couldn't claw him while he castrated them. altho they still roamed around probably eating songbirds, at least there was some reduction in the numbers of gatos wantonly killing birds, lizards and othr critters of the sonoran desert....and my small animal veterinarian describes these cat lovers who argue they should run loose as "humaniacs"....

Matt Miller said...

Steve,
Ted posted this on Facebook:

Trapped, Released But Not Neutered

"I’ve just been informed by Audubon that I am benched for the next issue but will be permanently back in the game the following issue. I knew I had fans out there, but never imagined there were so many and with such strong feelings. Your support went as viral as the emails from Alley Cat Allies. I was touched and humbled. Thanks so much my friends."

Anonymous said...

That's one for the win column. Shows what happens when the sensible folks decide not to cede the floor to the shrieking of the perpetually outraged.

Jim Cornelius
www.frontierpartisans.com