From the Hate Mail Bag
As someone who believes in the consumptive use of wildlife, I am subject to some rather critical (to put it mildly) e-mails from those who disagree. You know, members of the animal rights protest industry activist movement. Part of the reason why I enjoy getting these letters is that it gives me some insight into how other people think. Unlike animal rights protest industry activists, I actually read material that I disagree with because I was taught that before I criticize I must understand. Regrettably, many of my critics don’t follow the same advice which makes reading their letters somewhat entertaining because they frequently accuse me of things I haven’t said nor believe.
A friend of mine recently sent me this link http://catdefender.blogspot.com/2011/07/evil-professors-have-transformed.html, where I along with a host of other people were vilified by someone with the moniker “Moonraker”. I admit I didn’t read it that closely. It is a rather long post. Nevertheless, I was amazed at the number of factual errors the document contained. I shouldn’t be surprised. Animal rights protest industry activists frequently get the facts wrong either by distorting the context containing the fact or by ignoring it all together.
What was amazing about this “Moonraker” was that it (I don’t know the individual’s gender so Moonraker will be called “It”) appeared to argue in an intellectual manner. It quoted all kinds of documents and listed names and used graphic language. The brunt of Its tirade focused on academics who oppose the presence of free-range cats on our landscapes. Free-range cats are effectively a protected predator but beyond that they are invasive in that they were introduced to the North American environment. So their predatory habits are devastating to our wildlife.
On its face, it sounds like a thoughtful (but angry) and researched person. But upon closer inspection, you find out this individual held several seriously mistaken ideas.
Permit me to list a few of the errors.
- I was mentioned as the first author of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln publication on feral cats, but in fact I was the second author.
- I was described as a pest controller for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Not true. My job is educating the public in wildlife damage management. In other words, I was hired to transmit information, not control pests.
- Moonraker argued that cats play with their prey because of their “poor eyesight”. That comment is just downright funny. Really? Cats have bad eyesight. Wow.
- Moonraker excoriated the various research projects on cats, which is to be expected from an animal rights protest industry activist. However, Moonraker made no mention that Land-Grant Universities have to follow Institutional Animal Care and Use Guidelines. But then again why let facts interfere with a good hell-fire and brimstone sermon?
I’m sure I could go on. But these are enough and I have already given Moonraker way too much airtime.
About the Author
Stephen M. Vantassel is a certified wildlife control operator who helps individuals, businesses, and agencies resolve wildlife damage issues through training, writing, expert witness, and research. His latest books are the Wildlife Damage Inspection Handbook, 3rd edition and The Practical Guide to the Control of Feral Cats. He can be contacted at wildlifecontrolconsultant at gmail dot com.
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