Humans should only be concerned with humans
I received an email from someone early in the morning on Saturday. This person was unhappy because he or she (they did not sign off) saw someone feeding the cats. The caregiver explained all the cats were sterilised and that they were cared for.
This person then complained that despite the altruistic aims of the feeder, this was all misguided and that as humans we should 'only be concerned with humans'.
The person wanted to know why animals should not be left alone as long as no one was abusing them. He wanted to know why the caregiver didn't look after hungry people in North Korea or in Africa. The person asked for a reply.
I wrote back almost right away as I was still up. I pointed out that the caregiver was helping to sterilise and manage the cats so the population was under control. This also meant the cats were less likely to forage in the garbage and make a mess.
I also said that caregivers, just like anyone else, help whom they can and whom they come across. Putting aside the very simplistic argument that feeding the people in North Korea or Africa would in fact solve the problem (because as everyone knows, shortage of food is just one of the byproducts of the many problems these countries face), caregivers don't live in North Korea or Africa and are unlikely to have the money to travel there and maintain a food programme and the infrastructure that requires.
In addition, I pointed out that the writer must certainly realise that even within 'helping people' there are so many different categories - and that people help out where they best can help whether it be with people or with animals. If one starts picking and choosing whom is more 'deserving' of help then where would it end? Are children more 'needy'? Do the elderly deserve more help than people who are physically disabled? What about abused women and so on and so forth.
I also pointed out that the writer assumes that because people help with animals they don't help people - in fact I've found that to be quite untrue. There are quite a number of people who do both.
Interestingly, I've found that people who tend to ask these questions tend not to be involved themselves. When I've met up with other non-animal NGOs, they are always supportive.
It is also sad that someone would get so upset that someone is feeding cats. How does it take away from their well-being to know that someone is trying to make the life of a small creature a little better by giving them a bit of food and sterilising and managing them?