Nature vs. Nurture
It's about declining wildlife populations, not just cats: Thank you for an excellent and timely article ["Live & Let Kill," Matt Smith, Feature, 3/30]. The only troubling thing is that the issue is being framed as a dispute between advocacy groups: feral cat people vs. environmentalists. Although environmental groups play an important role in public education, they are not the ones generating the argument against neuter-and-release programs. There is solid scientific evidence (as the article mentions) that domestic cats are harming wildlife. There is consensus among scientists and wildlife management professionals that this is a serious issue. The debate is not between advocacy groups, but between science and those who choose to ignore what they don't want to hear. Climate-science deniers, creationists, and flat earthers come to mind.
The feral cat people are clearly motivated by the best of intentions, but this is not the basis for sound policy. Evidence is.
It's okay, as long as they eat rats: Okay, they kill a few birds, but as far as feral animals go, feral cats are awesome. I don't even like cats, but sacrificing a few birds is cool with me as long as the cats keep the rodent population in check. Of course, I'd be delighted if the cats ate some of those horrible scrub jays that infest my yard and torment my dog. And while I think it's great that Smith decided to investigate this interesting topic, he ignored the best and most overlooked feral cat colony of them all — the one at the Sutro Forest entrance at the southern end of Stanyan. There are so many cats there that it's truly astounding.
Human impact is the real issue: Why do humans always have to have the us vs. them mentality? And why are deeply connected issues viewed as competing rather than mutually intertwined?
The humane treatment of one animal does not nullify the humane treatment of another. Felines are not the only problem here — and the riddance of them does not make a "paradise" (ask anyone who knows about the plague!). Habitat destruction (by humans), food accessibility (affected by humans), and competition with other birds are far more damaging and destructive in bird communities than the vilified cat!
Hoping for peaceful cohabitation of species: Slightly gruesome, but great [story]. What can I say? I love birds and I love cats, and I hope for the best. I did not realize Mother Nature had so many devoted assistants who are committed to the care and welfare of God's little creatures. A great big thank-you to everyone involved, including SF Weekly, for bringing this to my attention.
It never gets at the heart of the play: This is the worst type of theatrical review [Ruined, Stage, 3/23] imaginable — when the reviewer himself [Nathaniel Eaton] cannot understand what is before him [that] his disconnection is palpable, beginning with a basic ignorance as to what the entire play was about. To say "It's about something devastating, sobering, and true — the systematic and brutal rape of women in the Congo" is like saying Hamlet was about a king and how kings are systemic to English people.
Blog Comment of the Week
In response to a blog post about PETA requesting S.F. to change the name of the Tenderloin District: When are the people at PETA going to realize garbage like this makes them look totally foolish and only detracts from any real good they do in protecting animals ["PETA Asks S.F. to Take the "Loin" Out of the Tenderloin," Erin Sherbert, the Snitch, 3/29]? They do some good, but I'd never donate to them as long as they waste time and money on crap like this.
Note to PETA: No animals were harmed in the naming of a San Francisco neighbor-hood.