In today's news, I see that the state of Wisconsin is getting closer to enacting a law which enables hunters to shoot any cat seen outside without a collar. Reading this news, really makes me angry, but it also makes me think about how much I have changed in the past few months.
Last year at this time, I would have read an article about feral cats and said "Maybe those hunters are right. Feral cats are a nuisance. They kill rare birds. Somebody has to do something about them." I also would not have understood the thousands of animal activists who are fighting against this law. I would have said: "Don't they understand that cats are just animals and wild animals are a nuisance? Why don't they try to help people instead?"
But living with my boys has really changed my perspective on a lot of things, including and especially animal rights issues. I'm not ready to become a vegan yet or join PETA, but I understand where animal activists are coming from, particularly when it comes to defending the rights of cats.
I understand that not everyone who lives with cats feels the same way, but I have to say that watching my boys day in and day out has given me a profound respect for cats and I've started to think maybe this respect ought to extend to other animals as well.
I used to think that cats and dogs don't deserve our respect, because they don't do a lot of the things we humans do. They can't talk to you about politics or sports. They don't create great art. They don't advance the sum of all knowledge with their scientific achievements.
Even though their paintings don't hang in museums, cats have an equally important purpose to serve. Their purpose is to be the artwork, to embody beauty and grace and purity of spirit and to inspire the creative urge in us humans. They deserve better than to be treated like a disposable nuisance.