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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments


Do you suppose extremist wackos know they're extremist wackos? (OK, you who are about ready to say something about looking in the mirror, yeah, yeah, I get it.) Surely this guy has at least an inkling that he's a little bit out there.

Gareth Morgan has a simple dream: a New Zealand free of pet cats that threaten native birds. But the environmental advocate has triggered a claws-out backlash with his new anti-feline campaign.

Morgan called on his countrymen Tuesday to make their current cat their last in order to save the nation's unique bird species. He set up a website, called Cats To Go, depicting a tiny kitten with red devil's horns. The opening line: "That little ball of fluff you own is a natural born killer."

He doesn't recommended people euthanize their current cats -- "Not necessarily but that is an option" are the site's exact words -- but rather neuter them and not replace them when they die. Morgan, an economist and well-known businessman, also suggests people keep cats indoors and that local governments make registration mandatory.

Of course my Dutch and Maggie have been fixed -- not that I would do that to them; they came from the shelter that way -- and I do keep them indoors, so I suppose Morgan would be OK with me. His bird-brained view of nature is still offensive, though. Animals are going to interact, and some are predators and some are prey and that's just the way it is. How is it that people who want to thwart the laws of nature somehow see themselves as naturalists? Who's to say whether birds are preferable to felines anyway? Is a pooping pigeon really to be preferred over a cat in the lap?

And he may not even be right:

And the science remains unclear. Some argue that cats may actually help native birds by reducing the population of rodents, which sometimes feed on bird eggs.

An advocate letting emotion substitute for facts. Imagine that.