... if we're trying to be eco-friendly, shouldn't we be trying to do this to all our furry friends, not just the pretty ones?? ... please please please save all the envirmonment, not just the cuddly bits!!
Point taken. But I don't think "eco-friendly" means the same thing as "kind to animals". Some people belong to both camps, but some belong to just one or the other. And sometimes the two ideas clash. For example there was a story in the news recently about whether it is ethical to hand-rear a polar bear cub rejected by its mother, or whether it should be allowed to die, since that would have been his fate in the wild.
I think Andrew his the nail on the head when he said:
I think we also need to remember, with our ever increasing urban sprawl, that it's us that have invaded their environment, not the other way around.
It opens up a can of worms when humans start interfering with nature. If you found an abandoned polar bear cub in the wild, perhaps it would be an easier decision to leave it to die "as nature intended", but since it was born in a zoo so is already in an unnatural situation, where do you draw the line?
If rats tried to set up home in a fox's den, would the fox deal with them humanely, or would it just kill them? Obviously, in nature when two species clash the matter is resolved swiftly and mercilessly. But it's different when it involves humans for two reasons. First, we are just so much more effective than other animals at what we do. No other species has ever had such a massive imapct on the planet and every other organism in it, because of the technology we have created. And secondly because we are intelligent, we ought to be able to predict the outcome of our actions and behave in a way that does not lead to irreversible damage and destruction, if only for selfish reasons: we want out own species to be able to survive.
So where does that leave me and my rat problem? I'd love to hear your thoughts.