Monday, September 27, 2004

Feedback from my rat letter to the Editor

I got this email from a family member this morning:

HI My Darling You know that there is a good reason for killing the rats in Alberta, they can have a great influence on the food supply. There is a difference between wild rats and Mrs dingle Love "a family member"

My response was:

Hi there - I don't have a problem with them kiling the rats - it's the manner in which they're killing them and who they're expecting to do it - ie expecting me to use anything handy to kill them whenever I see them. Which is not right.

I was pointing out that the object of their hatred in other parts of the country are treasured family members and because of that their method of getting rid of them was quite distasteful. The pictures of the rats they were showing on the television were not of wild rats - they were of domesticated rats - rats exactly like Mrs Dingle.

At the bottom of the main page of my website is a picture of a cat and pig that are nose to nose with print over it that says "Which do you pet, which do you eat - and why?" Some cultures eat one and pet the other - so depending on which culture you come from you give a different answer - some cultures eat both and pet neither. It's the same for dogs. It all comes down to compassion. Why do we show so much compassion for some species and so little for others? This is the main topic of my blog and shows up a lot on my website - so whenever I get the chance to write a letter to the editor of some newspaper about it I've got to go for it.

This idea has never even occurred to most people before - but maybe once the thought is put in their brain and they think about it, they'll start to actually think about it and look around them and start to think about what actually does go on in the chicken slaughter houses and how pigs are treated and how the puppies that are pets
stores parents are being treated and not buy the puppies because of it.

We're all going to die - and all the rats found in Alberta are going to die because of their stupid law, but if you had the choice if you were the unlucky rat to be born in that province - would you rather be whacked over the head with a shovel and stunned - then you ran away and whacked again - and that goes on for a couple days until you finally die, or injected with some chemical so that you went to sleep

There was a quote I found a couple years ago that has really stuck with me and it went something like "Make visible what without you, might never have been seen".

Love, Joan

1 comment:

  1. I sent a LtE, too (at the Globe and Mail; I also wrote the original author of the first rat-whacking article and that wasn't too kind of a letter).

    I borrowed a little from the rat-positive article published two weeks ago in Winnipeg (visit for that one).


    In a recent article on the rat ban in Alberta, where they were killing (brutally, I might add) domestic rats released into the wild (i.e. Calgary), Dawn Walton blamed rats for spreading the plague and for other human diseases, and attributed the law to saving billions in lost crops and damage to human health.

    Rather than get all preachy that is misinformation, handed down generation after generation and accepted as truth, I respectfully request her to prove her claims.

    And as an aside: Alberta, Air Canada services your cities and towns. Air Canada accepts live cargo. When you find domestic rats, rather than killing them for the bad luck of being born in your province, make a deal outside the province to send them where they will be adequately rehabilitated. Wildlife deserve to live as wildlife, and those that can't survive in the wild deserve proper animal husbandry. The most immoral thing about your laws is your categorical denial that rats deserve either life or care, within or outside your borders, simply because they are rats, based on information and attitudes that are now 60 years old.

    It is only a rat.It is only a dog.It is only an old woman.Jane Sorensen
    Montreal, QC

    BTW, Saskatchewan is the bigger producer of food, and they have no anti-rat law. Hell, maybe Ontario is even bigger, as it has a greater variety of crops. No anti-rat law there, either, and a hell of a lot more hurricanes. Alberta is a rich enough province that they don't need sales tax - maybe they should be a little more accepting of the trials and tribulations that the Lord heaps down on an otherwise God-fearing people (this isn't to claim I'm Christian or making fun of Albertans who are, it's simply a way of looking at fairness vs. luck).