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Question: Is it ok to kill rats with a BB gun?
Yes, kill away. - 24 (57.1%)
No, get the city to poison them. - 3 (7.1%)
Let the cat gang get them. - 11 (26.2%)
Do nothing. - 4 (9.5%)
Total Voters: 42

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Author Topic: Moral dilemma  (Read 4181 times)
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Eduardo X
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« on: October 13, 2008, 05:23:39 AM »

Chicago is a city with the most alley-ways of any city in the world. This was done to combat the dirty system of cities like New York that leave their trash on the front steps of buildings.
So, like New York, we have rats. Unlike New York, they're usually in the alley.
While we have a small gang of cats that controls the alley, I've noticed their number dwindling and for the first time, rats are appearing. Apparently, they're getting into our backyard, because at night, our dog goes nuts running from bush to bush sniffing for something, and I assume that something is the rats. I worry she'll catch one and get who knows what kind of disease.

My wife suggests we call the city and have them come lay poison down, but I oppose that idea on the grounds that the cats will eat the poisoned rats and die, and that sounds horrible.
So, the other day I got out my BB gun, and told her I would shoot the rats. She was appalled.

I figure that, if I'm going to kill the rats, this is a pretty humane way. It's quick, and won't have the side effect of killing cats, but she says it's sadistic.

I'm a vegan, and quite opposed to killing animals for food when I think there are plenty of other options for humans (as well as a myriad other reasons). However, I also am very much against the process of having other people kill for you so you can benefit without the side-effect of being freaked out by the killing process.

If I will be responsible for the deaths of animals, I'd rather not have it out of sight, out of mind. They're dying for my benefit.
She disagrees. She wonders why I would want to know that I had any hand in the deaths.

So my rambling, late night question to you: is killing the rats with a BB gun (all ideas about waving a gun, albeit a BB gun, around in a city aside) a better idea or a worse idea than getting the city to poison them?
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Sarkus
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« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2008, 05:35:38 AM »

Yeah, I don't get your wifes attitude either, if that helps.   icon_smile

As for the rats, using a BB gun probably isn't the most humane way to go, if that's your goal here.  To kill a rat quickly with a BB gun you are going to have to be a pretty good shot.

Also, I can't see you controlling the population effectively that way.

I guess I'd look into traps if it were me.  The kind that kill, that is.  But I'm also coming at this from the angle of someone who has never had to deal with a serious rat problem.

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« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2008, 06:05:08 AM »

Back when I lived in the old house with a massive barn spider infestation I used to shoot them with a BB gun on our back porch.  These were huge suckers, about the size of a half dollar.  I bring this up because barn spiders are A LOT smaller than a rat and half the time the spiders would still wobble away after being hit despite having lost half their body. 

I can’t say for certain but I doubt shooting rats with a BB gun is going to be terribly effective.
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Lee
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« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2008, 06:40:44 AM »

I would say kill away, but not with a BB gun, find something deadlier
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Razgon
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« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2008, 08:01:02 AM »

small tactical nukes?
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« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2008, 10:54:51 AM »

We used to bullseye womp rats in the... I can't remember the quote.
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« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2008, 11:11:39 AM »

Quote from: IkeVandergraaf on October 13, 2008, 10:54:51 AM

We used to bullseye womp rats in the... I can't remember the quote.

Where is TK-421 when you need him? ;-)

On-topic, I used to shoot rats with eh, Airguns, is that the english term, when I was a kid..not terribly efficient and not very humane either.... Toxic solutions probably are the best ones..although, I dont know if cats will eat dead rats?
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« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2008, 12:19:25 PM »

Quote from: Razgon on October 13, 2008, 08:01:02 AM

small tactical nukes?

there's probably some sort of Chicago by-law banning their use.  I would recommend some light artillery.  Maybe a 25-pdr would do the job?
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kadnod
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« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2008, 01:38:08 PM »

Unless this is something you can devote a lot of time to, I don't think taking pot shots at rats with a BB gun is going to do anything to noticably lower your neighborhood's rat population.  Doing something to make the garbage in your alley harder to get at sounds like a good idea, but I'm guessing this might be something beyond your control if you live in an urban area.

If you're trying to freak out your neighbors, though, lurk in the alleys with your BB gun and shout demorlaizing slogans at the rats.   Putting up anti-rat posters in the alley would be pretty cool, too.
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« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2008, 01:49:04 PM »

Don't forget to set up a 'rat blind'!
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coopasonic
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« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2008, 01:50:07 PM »

Quote from: Sarkus on October 13, 2008, 05:35:38 AM

As for the rats, using a BB gun probably isn't the most humane way to go, if that's your goal here.  To kill a rat quickly with a BB gun you are going to have to be a pretty good shot.

Yah, I'm thinking a .22 may be necessary to actually kill them with the bonus of potentially injuring bystanders with ricochets. In other words, I'd say let the city handle it. From a morality standpoint, rats are pests. Do they serve any purpose in modern society? Did they serve a purpose in any other society? Recycling trash? Feeding predators?
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« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2008, 02:24:46 PM »

No one else can see the potential?
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Ironrod
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« Reply #12 on: October 13, 2008, 02:26:15 PM »

A BB isn't going to cut it. I used to shoot dogs with BBs to drive them out of our yard. BBs rarely even break the skin. You might get lucky and put one's eye out.

We used to use rats for target practice at our local landfill. I got pretty good with a long-barrel .22 target pistol.

Since Chicago will probably object to firing a weapon in your neighborhood, you might try a slingshot instead.
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« Reply #13 on: October 13, 2008, 02:38:44 PM »

Quote from: Eduardo X on October 13, 2008, 05:23:39 AM

So, the other day I got out my BB gun, and told her I would shoot the rats. She was appalled.

They're dying for my benefit.

She wonders why I would want to know that I had any hand in the deaths.

So my rambling, late night question to you: is killing the rats with a BB gun (all ideas about waving a gun, albeit a BB gun, around in a city aside) a better idea or a worse idea than getting the city to poison them?

 eek
Do it.   Do it once and watch as that wounded rat runs into a hole and you can think about him spending the next 5 days dying.... then go ask your good wife for her forgiveness.

I am shocked that a Vegan would consider any of your options other than 'let the cat's do their thing'.  I thought Vegan's were against the killing of animals (or harvesting of their honey or eggs) for ANY reason.  You make it sound as if Vegan's would be fine with the slaughter of cows if they were using a field we wanted to turn into a strip mall, as long as those cows were not later eaten.  I don't think it's the 'Eating' that's the critical part of Veganism, it's the 'Animal'.

Do you have a disease problem in your neck of Chicago or are you just concerned about rabies or something in general?  I'm curious as to why you feel the need to kill off this species in the first place.  You should know that: "Rats and other small rodents have never caused a single case of human rabies in the United States (CDC)."   Is it the black death you are freaking out on?  Is it just 'Rats are unclean' that's got you eyeing your BB gun??

But in any event, I will just say this again, in all seriousness.  Shooting a rat with a BB gun is not anything close to a quick/humane death.  Period.
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ATB
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« Reply #14 on: October 13, 2008, 02:48:46 PM »

Paint ball gun. If the round doesn't kill them, they'll be too embarassed to come out with hot pink fur.
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« Reply #15 on: October 13, 2008, 02:49:36 PM »

Quote from: Unagi on October 13, 2008, 02:38:44 PM

But in any event, I will just say this again, in all seriousness.  Shooting a rat with a BB gun is not anything close to a quick/humane death.  Period.

+1.



you need to get at least a .45 and blast away.  go for the spinal cords, so they can't run away and you can finish them off without having to think about them taking 5 days to die.
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kratz
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« Reply #16 on: October 13, 2008, 03:02:03 PM »

Depends on where you shoot it.

I'd go with a pellet gun... something with better accuracy and more power.  Hit them in the head, it'll kill 'em.

Rats have thinner skin than dogs, Ironrod... and shooting dogs with BB guns... that's cruel.
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« Reply #17 on: October 13, 2008, 03:02:50 PM »

Quote from: Canuck on October 13, 2008, 12:19:25 PM

Quote from: Razgon on October 13, 2008, 08:01:02 AM

small tactical nukes?

there's probably some sort of Chicago by-law banning their use.  I would recommend some light artillery.  Maybe a 25-pdr would do the job?

you'r such firepower prudes in the states...
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« Reply #18 on: October 13, 2008, 03:28:45 PM »

Quote from: Razgon on October 13, 2008, 03:02:50 PM

Quote from: Canuck on October 13, 2008, 12:19:25 PM

Quote from: Razgon on October 13, 2008, 08:01:02 AM

small tactical nukes?

there's probably some sort of Chicago by-law banning their use.  I would recommend some light artillery.  Maybe a 25-pdr would do the job?

you'r such firepower prudes in the states...

see, with tac nukes there's some radiation, and then you get mutant homeless people holding out 4 different hands asking for change.
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rickfc
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« Reply #19 on: October 13, 2008, 03:35:39 PM »

Quote from: Unagi on October 13, 2008, 02:38:44 PM

Quote from: Eduardo X on October 13, 2008, 05:23:39 AM

So, the other day I got out my BB gun, and told her I would shoot the rats. She was appalled.

They're dying for my benefit.

She wonders why I would want to know that I had any hand in the deaths.

So my rambling, late night question to you: is killing the rats with a BB gun (all ideas about waving a gun, albeit a BB gun, around in a city aside) a better idea or a worse idea than getting the city to poison them?

 eek
Do it.   Do it once and watch as that wounded rat runs into a hole and you can think about him spending the next 5 days dying.... then go ask your good wife for her forgiveness.

I am shocked that a Vegan would consider any of your options other than 'let the cat's do their thing'.  I thought Vegan's were against the killing of animals (or harvesting of their honey or eggs) for ANY reason.  You make it sound as if Vegan's would be fine with the slaughter of cows if they were using a field we wanted to turn into a strip mall, as long as those cows were not later eaten.  I don't think it's the 'Eating' that's the critical part of Veganism, it's the 'Animal'.

Do you have a disease problem in your neck of Chicago or are you just concerned about rabies or something in general?  I'm curious as to why you feel the need to kill off this species in the first place.  You should know that: "Rats and other small rodents have never caused a single case of human rabies in the United States (CDC)."   Is it the black death you are freaking out on?  Is it just 'Rats are unclean' that's got you eyeing your BB gun??

But in any event, I will just say this again, in all seriousness.  Shooting a rat with a BB gun is not anything close to a quick/humane death.  Period.

Though I think rats are nothing more than pests and should be exterminated by any means necessary, humane or otherwise, I have to agree with Unagi's post 100%.  That has to be the most hypocritical thing I've read in a long time.
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leo8877
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« Reply #20 on: October 13, 2008, 03:51:54 PM »

No, let the cat gang get them.
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« Reply #21 on: October 13, 2008, 03:53:20 PM »

Quote from: Eduardo X on October 13, 2008, 05:23:39 AM


I'm a vegan, and quite opposed to killing animals for food when I think there are plenty of other options for humans (as well as a myriad other reasons). However, I also am very much against the process of having other people kill for you so you can benefit without the side-effect of being freaked out by the killing process.

Wait, so you oppose killing for food, but killing because the rats are an inconvenience for you is okay?  Yep, they can spread disease and I understand that, but if you are making a statement with your veganism, you are going against that statement by killing them.
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« Reply #22 on: October 13, 2008, 03:59:08 PM »

Aim for the groin.  Sure the hit percentage is low but the damage potential is great.

Kill a few rats and put their heads on pikes as a warning to the others.
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Simon
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« Reply #23 on: October 13, 2008, 03:59:44 PM »

Anyone seen Verminators on Discovery? Rats are hard enough to kill with traps and poison, let alone a BB gun. I say call the city and let professionals deal with it. Also, last thing you want is a neighbour calling the police and claiming animal cruelty on you.
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« Reply #24 on: October 13, 2008, 04:12:22 PM »

Maybe since the question is one of a moral dilemma, this should be moved to R&P as folks have already unjustly brought the venom against Ed...

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« Reply #25 on: October 13, 2008, 04:14:10 PM »

Simon raises a good point... you aren't going to wipe the rats out with this method, as fun as it might be.  You need to destroy their nest.

Buy some napalm.
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« Reply #26 on: October 13, 2008, 04:59:53 PM »

The answer is to stop being a vegan.
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« Reply #27 on: October 13, 2008, 05:42:10 PM »

Quote from: kratz on October 13, 2008, 03:02:03 PM

Rats have thinner skin than dogs, Ironrod... and shooting dogs with BB guns... that's cruel.

My parents assigned me to watch over our dog when she was let out to do her business while she was in heat. I'd plink invading males from the kitchen window. It was pretty funny when the dogs would spin around looking for whatever had just stung them. They'd usually wise up and run away after being hit 2-3 times.

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« Reply #28 on: October 13, 2008, 05:46:07 PM »

Quote from: SensuousLettuce on October 13, 2008, 04:12:22 PM

Maybe since the question is one of a moral dilemma, this should be moved to R&P as folks have already unjustly brought the venom against Ed...



Athiests have morals too. The concept of morality is not inherently religious.
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« Reply #29 on: October 13, 2008, 05:54:51 PM »

Quote from: Ironrod on October 13, 2008, 05:42:10 PM


My parents assigned me to watch over our dog when she was let out to do her business while she was in heat. I'd plink invading males from the kitchen window. It was pretty funny when the dogs would spin around looking for whatever had just stung them. They'd usually wise up and run away after being hit 2-3 times.



You're so awesome.
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Eduardo X
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« Reply #30 on: October 13, 2008, 06:03:31 PM »

Quote from: SensuousLettuce on October 13, 2008, 04:12:22 PM

Maybe since the question is one of a moral dilemma, this should be moved to R&P as folks have already unjustly brought the venom against Ed...
It isn't really venom, I'd say. It's a good question: how can I be a vegan and also be trying to figure out how to kill rats?

Like I say, I'm worried for my dog. She got into a scrap earlier this year with a racoon (which was surprising because I didn't know there were racoons in Chicago), and I instantly assumed she had rabies. She didn't, of course, but it scared me.

We were faced with the whole dilemma of how to kill pests when our apartment had a mouse problem a few years ago. We tried the no kill traps, but they did absolutely nothing. The electronic noise thing didn't work either, so we both decided that the kill traps were our only option. It sucked, but after having to throw out a ton of food, and constantly worrying that we missed some mouse poop in the rice we were cooking, I didn't see any other options.

I am not going to shoot any rats with a BB gun. Nor am I going to call the city. This question was more about if people thought I was crazy for bringing it up, which Jennifer definately does. I just figure, if I'm going to cause the death of something, I should be honest with myself about it, and not try to put it out of sight and out of mind.

I am vegan for my own reasons. I am not part of some vegan club. I happily eat honey. I know that soy is killing off the amazon quicker than any meat ever could. So, I CERTAINLY don't speak for "Vegans." I'm just somebody who calls himself one.

My issue with meat isn't so much about killing, just about having other people kill for you. I figure: if you don't have the stomach to do it yourself, why do you feel it's ok for somebody else to do it for you?

Again, no killing of rats will result from this thread. I just wanted opinions.
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« Reply #31 on: October 13, 2008, 06:19:20 PM »

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« Reply #32 on: October 13, 2008, 06:22:21 PM »

Quote from: Suitably Ironic Moniker on October 13, 2008, 05:46:07 PM

Quote from: SensuousLettuce on October 13, 2008, 04:12:22 PM

Maybe since the question is one of a moral dilemma, this should be moved to R&P as folks have already unjustly brought the venom against Ed...



The concept of morality is not inherently religious.

ORLY?
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« Reply #33 on: October 13, 2008, 06:31:00 PM »

Quote from: SensuousLettuce on October 13, 2008, 06:22:21 PM

Quote from: Suitably Ironic Moniker on October 13, 2008, 05:46:07 PM

Quote from: SensuousLettuce on October 13, 2008, 04:12:22 PM

Maybe since the question is one of a moral dilemma, this should be moved to R&P as folks have already unjustly brought the venom against Ed...



The concept of morality is not inherently religious.

ORLY?

YARLY
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« Reply #34 on: October 13, 2008, 06:34:19 PM »

Quote from: leo8877 on October 13, 2008, 06:31:00 PM

Quote from: SensuousLettuce on October 13, 2008, 06:22:21 PM

Quote from: Suitably Ironic Moniker on October 13, 2008, 05:46:07 PM


The concept of morality is not inherently religious.

ORLY?

YARLY

+1
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« Reply #35 on: October 13, 2008, 06:46:59 PM »

Quote from: Eduardo X on October 13, 2008, 06:03:31 PM


My issue with meat isn't so much about killing, just about having other people kill for you. I figure: if you don't have the stomach to do it yourself, why do you feel it's ok for somebody else to do it for you?


This is something I struggle with all the time.  By the way, my comments to you, Ed, were just pointing out that there is a conflict there.  I have my own and you just outlined it.  I refuse to kill anything myself.  I let bugs do what they want.  I let mice and rats do what the want.  I always feel horrible when I hit something by accident in my car.  And yet, I eat meat.  I had a colleague who only ate what meat he killed himself and I totally respected him for that.  I myself couldn't do the killing, but I always admired how he was tough enough to do the deed himself and only eat what he killed.  I've tried going vegetarian and vegan, but I really miss the meat and so I am responsible for all kinds of animal killing, even though I can't bring myself to do it.
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« Reply #36 on: October 13, 2008, 06:49:16 PM »

The morality of an atheist, I would say, is purer than that of a lot of religious people.  The atheist do right because they know it to be right.  There's no bearded god/reincarnation wheel/Santa Claus/Flying Spaghetti Monster to reward their good behaviors.

That being said, I'm not going to turn a rat thread into an R&P thread.  

Call the city.  If they're unwilling to do anything, maybe a local pest control company can help, but there may be issues with the common/city owned areas.  The perimeter of your yard is all you can control.  Kill traps are probably your best option.  Just make sure you make it into the yard first every morning.
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« Reply #37 on: October 13, 2008, 06:54:20 PM »

Get more cats.
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« Reply #38 on: October 13, 2008, 06:56:36 PM »

Quote from: Isgrimnur on October 13, 2008, 06:49:16 PM

The morality of an atheist, I would say, is purer than that of a lot of religious people.  The atheist do right because they know it to be right.  

How do they know it to be right?  Where does that knowledge come from?
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« Reply #39 on: October 13, 2008, 06:57:02 PM »

A similar thing came up between my wife and I recently, where I was saying I kind of missed going bird hunting with my Dad.  She said that hunting was barbaric (my word, not hers), and I said 'But you eat meat.'

And so it goes.
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