Gareth Morgan and His Proposal to Rid New Zealand of Cats
Gareth Morgan is a New Zealand businessman, economist, investment manager, motor cycle adventurer, public commentator, and philanthropist, according to his website. He’s come out in a big way as cat hater, as well. You’ve probably seen his proposal to rid New Zealand of cats in the news this week, where it is getting a lot of play. The proposal is framed by concern for native species of birds.
Morgan launched the Cats To Go website this week, which advises owners to keep their cats indoors 24 hours a day, bell them, and not replace them when they die, ostensibly out of concern for native birds. While Morgan suggests that cat guardians merely let their living cats die out without replacing them, he indicates on video that killing the cats is an option he would not decry.
The proposal is being received as an outlandish plan by the general public and in many quarters, yet it is no different from the perspective that has become entrenched in many public conservation agencies, nonprofits and universities. The delivery of the message is just splashier. Morgan has the support of many of his country’s conservationists. Nicola Toki supported the plan in her In Our Nature blog post ‘Staging a pussy riot’ at stuff.co.nz, where she says the razzle-dazzle approach to the proposal was needed in order to get attention for it. She says, “The key to getting your stuff in the media is having a “hook”, and generally that relates to something being really cute, really gross or really shocking.” Toki gives her position, saying, “I have been outspoken about the need for us to question our love affair with cats since long before Gareth began his campaign, and I see nothing wrong with asking people not to replace their cat when it dies (especially if you live in or near amazing wildlife areas). In fact, on perusing his website, under the “What you can do” section, he says “We don’t suggest you knock your favourite furry friend on the head.” The suggestions there are about thinking about not replacing your cat when it dies, getting it neutered, getting a bell and getting your local council to introduce registration of cats. The enormous “Pussy Riot” via traditional and social media that has ensued is inaccurate and, frankly, disturbing. We’d have linked to her post, but thought readers might be distressed by her photo of a smiling man surrounded by a large number of dead cats and other small animals from one morning’s kill at a wildlife area.
The New Zealand Herald published and article titled ‘Morgan’s neighbours unconvinced by cat concerns‘, which is not so opposed as the title suggests. It is one of many articles published both at home and abroad.
The hear Morgan tell it, your cat, or “the friendly neighbourhood serial killer” lives to kill, and assets, “the fact is that your cat is not innocent”. ”
“Like the parent of a bully saying that their little Johnny would not behave like that, if you’re a cat owner reading this, you are probably thinking that the above statistics don’t apply to your cat. The fact is that your furry friend is actually a friendly neighbourhood serial killer.”
You can tell Gareth Morgan what you think of his perspective and proposal at his Gareth Morgan Facebook page.
A report lays out the basics of the proposal and the reaction to it.
NZ SPCA Executive Director Bob Kerridge and Gareth Morgan present their views in a video piece produced by Channel 3 News. Please click on the image of the video. It will take you to the video at channel 3′s site.
Below is an anti-cat infographic from Morgan’s cat hating site Cats To Go. We do not like or endorse this information, and present it for informational purposes only. In the words of the fictional Jeeves, it is “as well to know what tunes the Devil is playing” . Likewise, as Sun Tzu advised, “Know your enemy”.