Mr "Helping Animals is self-serving" wrote back over the weekend and his arguments left me more confounded then ever.
He agreed that people were destroying nature and killing the environment, and responsible for destroying the habitat of animals as well. However he feels that the root cause of 'stray cats' is that people feed them and keep them out of 'loving desire' and hence they lose their ability to fend for themselves. I have to say I'm kind of stumped. I pointed out that since humans are the ones causing the problem, for example, dumping the cats - shouldn't we be the ones who set things right by ensuring these cats are taken care of? If we cause the problem, and then turn around and blame the animals, that seems very odd to me.
He also pointed out that acts of charity are commendable but must be done out of necessity, not altruistic self-desire. He felt that medical and social workers tend to people who are in 'real' need. He also felt that for example in natural disasters, people should therefore be helped - but only to a point. How one determines a 'real' need or at which point people should be cut off was not explained and I wrote back to ask how he determines this. I pointed out that in a natural disaster, people might still be in a bad condition years down the road, or in the case of famine. At what point does one decide that aid should be cut off?
He said there was a fine line between feeding people in a famine and feeding the cats. I said that I didn't see a fine line. According to his earlier arguments, nature has left these people hungry and we must not meddle with nature after all! However most community cats are either abandoned, or the offspring of abandoned cats - hence it is because of people they are there in the first place. So according to his argument, then shouldn't the cats be helped more?
He also said he believes that everyone has a desire - either to help animals or people. However in his view the 'correct' view is to and I quote, 'castrate pet lovers'. He said that feeding an able-bodied human for example would mean that they do not look out for themselves.
I had pointed out that among other things, cats had been domesticated for thousands of years and been living with humans closely all that time. Cats therefore aren't as he keeps insisting part of nature, such as an elephant is.
He still not respond about what he did to help. I said that from his emails frankly it seems as if no one should ever be helped.
I also pointed out that there is no such thing as completely altruistic desires. I said that maybe instead of concentrating so much on peoples' intentions, we should look at what people actually do. Sitting around analysing why people do things is all well and good - but it's probably better if you went out and DID something yourself.