“Thank Goodness Ghandi’s Dead”
Some Paws For Thought On The Subject Of Cat Culling …
- Cat Milton
Last week I got wind of an alleged cat cull due to take place in the Sant Joan district. News came through to me that the Mayor had authorised a ‘trap and kill’ policy of all street cats inJoan, Miquel, Vicent and Llorenç.
It was, on one level, understandable. The number of feral-born and dumped cats on Ibiza is, without question, an appalling problem.
Simply from the cats’ perspective, often starving, frequently injured, or painfully sick, their lives are about as God forsaken as can be. Anyone under the impression that a domesticated cat, once dumped will ‘be ok’ is sadly, horrifically wrong. Not the idyllic Ibiza we like to think of.
The island charity Care4Cats has known of this horrendous street/feral cat problem for fifteen years. Started in 2000 by Angela Collins and surviving solely on donations (no Govt. assistance whatsoever) they’ve been actively working to remedy the issue. Yet, in a far more effective and humane manner than the proposed cat cull.
In resolving challenges, it helps to have as much knowledge as possible – and when it comes to taking the lives of any other creatures, a little compassion also wouldn’t go amiss.
‘Trap and Kill’ doesn’t work. It creates, in simple terms, a ‘vacuum effect’. Other cats move into the area and breed to capacity and your problem simply repeats. It’s both inhumane and financially inept.
What has been proven to work is a ‘Trap, Neuter and Return’ (TNR) policy. Care4Cats has undertaken this TNR policy across the last fifteen years on Ibiza and to date, over 14,000 cats have been neutered. The charity also offers a discount for neutering of friendly strays that people feed, in the region of 50€ – a great deal less than the standard vet price.
The cats are healthier, peaceful (no seasonal fighting) and sterile – no more kittens running under the wheels of your car or wrecking your day by calling in terror, sickness and hope of help at roadside bins.
As I write, I’ve been told the proposed cat cull was just a rumour. One would think my mind was at peace but it is not. The simple fact is the problem of street cats on Ibiza still exists. In looking to resolve that, the Mayor of Sant Joan de Labritja is quite right. There will be more kittens at the bins, more young lives hit and killed, or possibly worse, injured and left to die in agonising pain and terror by passing cars.
Malicious, ill-educated minds will continue to lay down poison to kill these innocents. A death which can last weeks and induce an agony beyond our imagining as their insides rupture and they bleed to death, unable to eat, drink or know a moments relief or compassion. Sadly, poisoning doesn’t just impact on strays but pet dogs and cats alike.
It’s our island. Taking responsibility need not break the bank or ruin one’s day. The solution is both simple and compassionate. If you’ve rescued or are feeding a friendly stray that needs neutering, Care4Cats offers an amazing discount system. Go to their website or Facebook page (Care4CatsIbiza) and ask for a D2V (Direct 2 Vet) voucher. You’ll be able to have the cat neutered for 50€ rather than the standard 100+€ cost. If you’ve a few spare cents in your pocket, please pop it into the Care4Cats collection tins you’ll see in supermarkets, bars, etc. around the island. This will help fund the operations where the TNR volunteer teams go out and collect the ferals.
With minimal effort and great effect, we can help ourselves and these animals.
Let us be an honourable island, and reflect the best of Gandhi’s observation, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” He wasn’t wrong.
Ps. Care4Cats just today have launched an emergency fundraiser. There’s 20 volunteers flying from UK at their own expense for the next Trap, Neuter and Return operation, with a list of 480 cats. They’re 5,000€ short on vet bills though!
480 cats, with just 6 kittens each = 2,880 cats by end of season if not addressed!
Public breastfeeding; Why is it even an issue?
- Carly Sorensen
Since witnessing the Claridges hoo ha over breastfeeding, hearing chauvinistic plebs like Nigel Farage and Jeremy Clarkson say nursing mothers should sit in corners with a blanket over them or compare breastfeeding to urinating in public and seeing signs up in British shops announcing that rooms are available for breastfeeding (yes, let’s show how supportive we are of breastfeeding by sending the naughty titty barers off to a private little place!), there is something I need to get off my chest (if you’ll pardon the pun).
It seems to have escaped the attention of many people that the reason women have breasts is to feed their babies. Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, they are not there to advertise underwear, make dresses fall nicely, be plastered over page three of a newspaper to be leered at, be slapped all over billboards, wiggled in men’s faces in strip clubs, or pumped full of silicone and bounced around in music videos. The primary purpose of breasts is not to give men sexual pleasure but to give babies the vital nourishment they need. Somewhere along the way (and I source it to the Victorians… those outwardly prim, inwardly deviant, sex obsessed folk who were happy to have theirs almost bursting out of their corsets but employed wet nurses to feed their offspring) breasts have become naughty, tantalising playthings which many women have been made to feel ashamed of and are therefore reluctant to put into their child’s mouth, despite there being hard scientific evidence that mother’s milk gives a baby the best start in life and prevents a plethora of common infant illnesses, as well as reducing the mother’s risk of breast cancer later in life and saving the NHS millions in dealing with the gastro-intestinal illnesses so common in bottle fed babies. Yet, despite all of this, many mothers still choose not to breastfeed (I’m not referring to those who are physically unable to) because they don’t feel comfortable doing so. It’s incredibly sad when you think about it.
‘But you’re missing the point!’ I hear some of you cry, ‘we’re not against breastfeeding in general, just Public breastfeeding.’ Opps, sorry! Silly me! That’s totally different. Everyone else eats in private at home, so of course babies should too. Oh no, wait, everyone else goes out to restaurants, picnics outdoors, eats sandwiches on trains and buses, picks up fast food and snacks whenever they’re hungry. There is an entire industry built around public eating, so why is it unacceptable for some when babies eat in public? There are no two ways about it, breastfeeding Is the most natural thing in the world, yet in some places breastfeeding babies and their mothers are treated as freak-shows and told to do it in the bathroom, put a blanket over themselves and the baby or asked to stop because it’s offending the delicate sensibilities of someone else in the same place. It is absolutely farcical.
You wouldn’t want to eat your lunch in a bathroom or with a blanket over your head or in a corner away from the rest of your family, so why should a baby be expected to do these things? Why should they miss out on nourishing, vital food just so you don’t get offended? Never have I seen a breastfeeding mother draw attention to herself. We don’t whip both boobs out, give a primal yell, fire milk around the room and force people to watch. No-one bats an eye when a mother pulls a bottle from a bag and gives that to her baby but if a mother discreetly pops out a nipple and pops baby on, some people react as if she’s just defecated amongst the diners. Shame on her for revealing less breast than most celebrities in a designer gown at an awards night. Shame on her for making you feel uncomfortable. No. Shame on You for making a complaint, for shooting those disgusted disapproving looks at her and for making Her feel uncomfortable doing something human beings have done without shame since our time began.