This was probably someone’s pet. I found it on the lawn in front of a house I walk by early every morning when I walk my dogs. (I live in a fairly big city; I’m not in rural Americana.) My first thought was that a coyote had caught this cat, although a Fish & Wildlife person I spoke with offered up the idea that some owls are also capable of this – I have to say, that one had not occurred to me. I rule out dogs for the simple reason that very few of them will actually eat what they kill unless they are truly feral. I suppose it’s not impossible, but I’ve never seen one in the neighborhood, while I’ve run into coyotes many times, some of them rather large (45 pounds or so).
The coyotes don’t bother me or my dogs because the coyotes are too smart to mess with me. If they caught the dogs it might be a different story, but coyotes are not stupid and it would take something pretty dramatic to get one to take on a full grown human. But it’s been interesting to see them because one of my dogs looks a lot like a coyote in some ways and so far, my dogs and the coyotes have simply looked at each other. One big coyote stopped and stared at us so we did the same thing. I found it interesting to watch him from 30 feet; he wasn’t frightened and I wasn’t disturbed because if I had to, I could kill him. My dog must have picked up on my lack of worry because she just watched him, too. Eventually we all got tired of this and just went our own ways.
People who let their cats go out on their own are opening the door to this pictured outcome, of course, but most cat owners simply don’t want to think about it. It never seems to bother most of them when the cat brings home a bird or a mouse, though. Cats are carnivores, they are not omnivores like we are; while we can subsist on a meatless diet, we don’t do well on it (sorry to offend any vegans dropping by, but I doubt there are any) but cats can’t do that, and they like to hunt. But turnabout is fair play; coyotes, too, are carnivores, just as are owls.
It’s all a circle.
And we are part of the circle too, even the vegans, LOL. Although they are responsible for more animal deaths than most of us who actually bother to find out anything about how our food is sourced and try to do something about it. Lierre Keith’s book The Vegetarian Myth has probably been the biggest stumbling block for the vegans and vegetarians of the world, although most can’t get past the fact that the title calls their lifestyle a myth so they tend to dismiss it out of hand reflexively. Too bad, because Keith is the poster child for veganism and what it can do for you; that’s why she wrote the book. I would think that vegetarians would want to read it if for no other reason than to familiarize themselves with some of the arguments that can be used against them, many of which are devastating. That the vegetable people have somehow taken on for themselves the moral high ground is both understandable and preposterous; it shows how people want to do good but are unwilling to think through the consequences of their actions. Thus, without thinking very deeply about the subject, a lot of people tend to agree that “not eating animals” is the best thing to do, and if not eating them meant that animals would not die than I’d agree with them, too. But it doesn’t. Keith phrases all of this better than I could do it, so if you want to disagree with me I’d suggest you go to the source and find out what she says and then disagree with her directly and not by proxy.
When I was younger I hunted, so I’m not squeamish about the fact that animals must die for me to eat. I’m too old for that now, but we buy our beef and lamb from a farmer we know and we see the animals grow up in their pasture and we see the lives they lead. I don’t think there’s any comparison to the life of a feedlot steer at all and the animals’ food does not require huge amounts of oil to grow; once again, it’s a circle. Likewise, while we don’t have chickens ourselves, we do the best we can to get eggs from birds that do not live in battery farms, and who (we hope) actually eat insects. I saw a posting on a paleo blog the other day by a reader who said “chickens that eat bugs? What a peculiar thought!” Yet this commenter presumably has done at least some thinking about the subject; obviously a ways to go yet. It’s harder to get pork that comes from a good source, but there are ways to do it without buying half a pig; it takes some effort to find the sources, but you can do it if you really want to. Most of us don’t really want to, I think. It’s just easier to get in line for the shrink-wrapped packages that grow on pork trees somewhere. Damn, we are a thoughtless people!
Here in Oregon it is easier to do a so-called “green burial” than it is in some other states, something that pleases me because that’s what I would want. And maybe those bugs can get a little payback. Like I said, turnabout is fair play. Circles, you know?
It’s all a circle.
*Wamni omni is the Lakota word for whirlwind. It’s pronounced (very approximately) “wah-many oh-many”, a nice piece of onomatopoeia.