This poster is on display in the
Tampines Pasir Ris Public Library branch. While I wholeheartedly agree with the message, that it takes everyone to keep the city clean, I disagree with the images used to portray the negative consequences.
This poster implies that cats are disgusting pests, on the same level as roaches and disease carrying rodents. Cats are not in the same category of animal. Cats are domesticated house pets and have been for thousands of years. In ancient Egypt, when a household’s cat died, the owners would shave off their eyebrows as a sign of mourning.
While I’m not suggesting that we start shaving our eyebrows off to protest cat culling in Singapore, I do want to call attention to the fact that it’s not proper to reinforce the negative perception of these animals. The person who created this poster was even sly enough to use a black cat, which has always been associated with bad fortune, to add dramatic effect and further create a negative opinion of cats in the general public.
What’s truly ironic about this poster is that cats are Singapore’s greatest defense against the real pests, as mice are a stray cats natural prey.
A clean city may be a reflection of moral and civic values, but kindness to animals is a much better indicator.
“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi