Caring, Hating, and Domesticating: Bird Protection and Cats in Imperial Germany


Caring for one set of species at the cost of another is the subject of Amir Zelinger’s article about bird conservation and its implications for the life of cats in Imperial Germany. The avian-feline conflict that escalated during this period is a prime example of “violent care”: bird activists called for the eradication of cats while cat lovers defended felines’ rights to roam outside the domestic realm, where they were free to kill songbirds. Human intervention in the relations between other species can muddle human-animal encounters such that care becomes commingled with love, hatred, companionship, and alienation.