Date: January 29th, 2013
Source: The New York Times
Scientists have recently discovered that cats are much more deadlier than anyone had realized. It has been estimated that domestic cats in the United States — both the pets, the unnamed strays, and ferals — kill a median of 2.4 billion birds and 12.3 billion mammals a year, most of them native mammals like shrews, chipmunks and voles. These mortality figures position the domestic cat as one of the single greatest human-linked threats to wildlife in the nation. More birds and mammals die at the mouths of cats than from automobile strikes, pesticides and poisons, collisions with skyscrapers and windmills and other so-called anthropogenic causes.
There is much debate about what may be the best solution to this problem, but all agree that pet cats should not be allowed to prowl around the neighborhood at will, any more that a pet dog or a horse should, and that cat owners who insist their felines “deserve” a bit of freedom are being irresponsible.
As mentioned before in the first week’s lecture and reading, it seems as though there really is no place on Earth that has not been impacted in some way by human beings. What is shocking is the fact that the domestication of cats, not only affects the lives of the pets, but also the wildlife around the pet cats, and these kind of effects are not things people consider before choosing to own cats. By selecting interesting examples of environmental issues and making them known to the public through design choices, we may become more responsible for our impact on the environment as designers.
– Jennifer Jung-Eun Kim
Global Issue: Human Impact on the Environment
Primary Design Lens: Environmental Design
Secondary Design Lens: Design for Change