Saturday, February 2, 2013

Bird Killers

There's been a good deal in the news this past week about the claim that “US cats kill up to 3.7 billion birds a year.” In fact it appears the true number is nothing close to that, but certainly there is a good deal to be said for trying to reduce the number of birds killed by cats. Requiring cats to be on a leash would be extreme, but the Humane Society is surely right to call for licensing of cats. (It may well be that feral cats are responsible for more songbirds than are domestic cats.)

Before we condemn any sort of cat too loudly, though, we would do well to remember that human beings in the US and Canada cause about 9 billion birds to be killed every year—more than 25 per person. And, whereas cats may occasionally treat birds cruelly before killing them, we humans cause almost every bird we kill to be cruelly treated throughout every day of his or her life. That is the reality of factory farming as it’s practiced in North America. It doesn’t have to be this way; in much of Europe there is far, far less cruelty. When will we put a stop to this horror here in North America?

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This is my first post since June of 2011; during the past couple of years my spare time has been taken up largely with writing a new novel. It's called Rising Stories, and it's now under consideration by publishers in both the US and Canada. If you'd like to have a look at the new novel in draft form, please email me (don.lepan@broadviewpress.com) and I'll be happy to send along an electronic copy. I will post occasionally on topics related to that book, but I'll keep posting on matters relating to animals too--I hope with a little less time between posts than there has been!

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