Press release March 14/09:
In an all-night bargaining session between the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), the government of Newfoundland and Captain Paul Watson of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, an agreement was reached that will see hundreds of unmolested seal-hunters club a million kittens to be released on Atlantic ice flows next season.
It seems that both federal and provincial authorities finally bowed to Captain Watson’s argument that spending ten dollars on Coast Guard and helicopter patrols to thwart protesters in order that seal hunters earn one dollar for skinning baby seals, is not entirely cost-effective. A fact that until now has never weighed too heavily on politicians eager to harvest the votes of Newfoundlanders.
By the same token, Captain Watson was finally reconciled to the need of 21st century men with clubs to play at being hunter-gatherers for a few weeks just to augment the family income and address some deep-seated primeval need to bloody an animal, however meek and defenseless. So he offered the family cat as a more deserving scapegoat than Grey and Harp seals, which in fact eat some 780,000 fewer tons of fish than the world’s 200 million domestic cats. In reality, Australian cats, for example, eat even more fish than Australian hominids.
But as much as the quantity of fish consumed by felines is alarming, it is the kind of fish that these parasites eat that is even more troubling. By consuming sardines, herring, anchovy and capelin, they are robbing larger fish like cod, tuna and swordfish, as well as marine mammals and birds of their mainstay and thereby knee-capping the aquatic food chain at its critical foundation. At least seals control those fish populations which predate other fish like young cod, and bequeath nutrients to the ocean with their afterbirths and dead carcasses.
Domestic cats, on the other hand, contribute harmful bacteria and viruses through the fecal material that is flushed into the aquatic system. In effect America sends out an armada of 85,000 fishing vessels to ravish the life-support system of larger fish, mammals and sea-birds in order to, in Watson’s words, “spoil one fish-eating species that does not eat fish naturally, while bashing out the brains of another species that evolved in harmony with fish species in a valued predator situation.”
In addition to their fish habit, domestic cats each kill 25 animals a year on average, including 4 birds apiece, or a staggering 18 million birds collectively in Canada every year. While human population growth must be assigned primary responsibility for mining a fishery that is 157% in overshoot and causing bird and other species loss through habitat fragmentation and destruction through logging, industrial and residential development and so forth, the growing domestic cat population is a function of a growing human population. More people, more cats.
In Canada, for example, there is one cat for each 7 citizens, so that by growing its human population by 1.08% annually, or 356,400 people, it will likely result in the acquisition of another 50,914 cats, who at 4 birds a pop, will maim, torture and kill some 203,656 birds each year. So with an immigration quota of 265,000 that will yield, again according to averages, some 37,857 extra cats, Prime Minister Stephen Harper sentences 151,428 birds to death each and every year and costs the aquatic eco-system 469.43 tons more fish than our domestic cats consumed last year. Since 200 million cats eat 2.48 million tons of fish annually, each cat eats .0124 of a ton each year, bringing Canada’s feline fish consumption to 55,800 tons. Before criminalizing Harper, it must be remembered that the so-called “Green coalition” of Liberals, New Democrats and Greens that was proposed to oust the minority Conservative government, would boost immigration levels by 38%, so feline fish consumption would consequently be higher under their enlightened leadership, as would green house gas emissions and the conversion of farmland to immigrant-driven housing development.
It might be argued that dog owners merit equivalent scorn for their indulgence, but dogs don’t eat cans of fish, although their “paw” print is substantial. Dogs are the pet of choice for Canadians (5.7 million vs. 4.5 million cats), but the reason is mysterious. Perhaps it is because cats cannot sniff for drugs at the airport, take down criminals, find earthquake victims under the rubble or avalanche victims under the snow, guard important installations, shepherd sheep, guide the blind and disabled, track lost hikers or accompany them on hikes, or even catch rodents with the ruthless efficiency of Jack Russell terriers. So other than serve as useless ornaments to the vanity of masochistic owners who adore being ignored, I have no idea why more Canadians don’t favour cats. Beats me. Undercutting a critical ecosystem that provides humanity with 25% of its protein needs is trifling surely.
Nevertheless, the DOF needs a scapegoat for the loss of fish. Whales won’t do anymore because scientific evidence does not vindicate the belief that commercial fisheries are negatively impacted by them in tropical breeding areas. And seals are, as Captain Paul Watson has so ably demonstrated, wrongly castigated. So cats will do nicely. It is unrealistic to hope that cat owners will ‘fix’ them when they won’t even fix themselves. Therefore it has been agreed that millions of domestic cats, preferably kittens, will be abducted at dawn by cross-country raids conducted by crack, battle-hardened veterans of the Afghanistan conflict, sanctioned by the parliamentary implementation of the Emergencies Act, which obviates the need for warrants.
It is thought that such a show of force will be necessary to counter the resistance of vegetarian cat-lovers whose proclaimed love of animals apparently does not extend to the marine and terrestrial creatures that fall victim to their pets. It is not yet certain if those hypocrites will be “belled”, confined to detention camps and fed the meat extracted from the hides of their clubbed pets on the ice-flows.