Image: Balloon release at the Yarmouth Old Gaffers Festival, by Editor5807 CC BY 3.0, via wikimedia.org
Someone’s cat just wandered across my back yard, and that got me thinking about butterfly releases. No, really – stick with me for a moment. There’s a connection, and, eventually, a bigger point.
By now, everyone ought to be aware that letting domestic cats roam outdoors is a terrible idea. It’s terrible for the cats, who live shorter and less healthy lives; but much more important, it’s terrible for wildlife – cats kill millions of songbirds each year, and have (on islands) even been directly responsible for bird extinctions. That there are self-identified cat “lovers” still insisting on letting cats outside says a lot about the phenomenal ability of humans to avoid (often deliberately) the acquisition of knowledge. But this post shouldn’t become a rant about cats, so I’ll move on.
Balloon releases have more recently come under scrutiny, and it’s pretty obvious that they’re also a terrible idea. Continue reading