They say you're either a cat or dog person. Well, someone who most certainly ISN'T a cat person is New Zealand economist Gareth Morgan, who has suggested the country do away with kitty cats. Yes, if he had his way, those cuddly little fur balls we've domesticated since god-knows-when would cease to exist.
Morgan's argument in favour of extinguishing domestic cats stems from the threat they pose to myriad endangered bird species. Admittedly, according to an article in Slate, cats were a rather helpful lot—at least they used to be back in the days when they were "killing disease-ridden rats and mice and protecting our food stockpiles." Now? Not so much.
Morgan calls cats "mere parasites" and believes the key is not mass genocide ('cause that would just be insensitive). Instead, he has suggested “elimination,” i.e. existing cats can live out the rest of their natural lives but should be spayed and neutered, thus curbing future litters. Moreover, if he gets his way no new cats will be born or imported.
Morgan's campaign, Cats To Go, isn't a gag or a hoax. On islands like New Zealand, cats cause particular damage to the delicate and unique ecosystems by hunting and gobbling up birds. It's so bad that in places like Hawaii, Australia, the Chatham Islands, and New Zealand, claims the Slate article, many species of birds have been made extinct or seriously endangered and all because of the furry, four-legged predator.
What do you think of Morgan's argument? If you had to choose between birds and cats, which would it be? I hear you. Sophie's Choice all over again, isn't it?