Don’t Blame Cats for Killing Wildlife – Shaky Logic Is Creating a Moral Panic

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The fact is, cats play different predatory roles in different natural and humanized landscapes. By William S. Lynn, Arian Wallach and Francisco J. Santiago-Ávila A number of conservationists claim cats are a zombie apocalypse for biodiversity that need to be removed from the outdoors by " any means necessary " – coded language for shooting, trapping and poisoning. Various media outlets have portrayed cats as murderous superpredators . Australia has even declared an official "war" against cats . Moral panics emerge when people perceive an existential threat to themselves, society or the environment. When in the grip of a moral panic , the ability to think clearly and act responsibly is compromised. While the moral panic over cats arises from valid concerns over threats to native species, it obscures the real driver: humanity’s exploitative treatment of the natural world. Crucially, errors of scientific reasoning also underwrite this false crisis. The (Shaky) Case Against Cats Conservationists and the media often claim that cats are a main contributor to a mass extinction , a catastrophic loss of species due to human activities, like habitat degradation and the killing of wildlife. As an interdisciplinary team of scientists and ethicists studying animals in […]

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