The ban on hunting with dogs was really very little to do with animal welfare, and much more to do with imposing social conformity. Opponents of blood sports don’t understand hunting, and don’t understand rural life. There is no equivalent campaign to ban factory farming simply because people want the cheap meat and don’t really care about cruelty to animals if there is any personal cost; but banning hunting allowed people to feel morally superior to other folks whose lives are different. What opponents of hunting object to is not the fate of the hunted animals, but the fact that hunters enjoy it. (Actually, there is also quite a bit of opposition specifically to fox hunting in rural areas, because the hunts are often bad neighbours, who spook other people’s livestock, leave gates open, and are typically snobby; but this opposition doesn’t extend to other forms of hunting.)
Now it turns out that urban cat owners are unleashing a circus of carnage onto the wildlife population, on a far more massive scale than the rural hunting community ever even dreamed of! Remember, most domestic cats are deliberately introduced into the urban habitat by the conscious activity of pet owners.
If the banning of hunting with dogs was really about animal welfare, then these people who opposed hunting will now stop keeping cats? Campaigners will call for cats to be banned?
No, I don’t think so. Because the opposition to hunting was nothing to do with animals, and all about fear of people with different values, and all about enforcing social conformity of urban sentimentality onto country dwellers.
I can't really disagree with him at all. Mind you, there is some hilarious stuff in there, like this:
The dislike of some people (mainly urban dwellers) for hunting is a symptom of an alienation from the visceral, sensual reality of the natural world; opponents of hunting live in a world where meat comes shrink wrapped; animals are sentimentalised and pets are treated like children. In truth, the alienation of human life to be decontextualised from the reality of animal husbandry and rearing animals for slaughter is a feature of modern industrialised society, and probably specific to capitalism.
Overcoming that alienation and putting women and men back into the natural world, overcoming the gap between town and country; and the distinction between manual and mental labour should in fact be part of the socialist project of creating a more sustainable, ecological and human-scaled society.
Which is, let's face it, pretty fucking hilarious.