Rats are crawling all over Paris. And under Paris. According to a report in the Wall St. Journal, they are turning up in supermarkets, parks and nurseries…and almost everywhere else. One rat control expert recently estimated that there are 4 million rats residing in the City of Light, far eclipsing the number of human residents.
City officials say that underground construction projects, the rising of the Seine river, and improper disposal of rubbish are causing more and more rats to dwell above ground. Most of the rats are wild, but some were likely raised as pets and released while others may have escaped from laboratories. The officials convened a meeting last fall to discuss ways to reduce the population. At which time ten protesters strode forth, denouncing plans to poison and trap the vermin as needless forms of unusual cruelty. Their suggestion? Deploy birth-control drugs on the randy rodents. Yes, that’s correct, we’ve “advanced” to the point where taxpayers are expected to pay for birth control for rats, now. I’m certain that program would be a model of precise execution and efficiency. Would city employees drop off hundreds of thousands of tiny condoms, diaphragms and educational videos around likely breeding areas?
This past January, a Paris trash collector video recorded hundreds of rats swarming around in a large garbage container. One of the rodents leapt at him. The video went viral. The sanitary engineer remarks in the recording: “It can’t go on like this. It’s a huge plague.” That should have gotten people’s attention.
Flea-infested rats nearly eviscerated Europe in the Middle Ages by way of The Plague. The creatures invaded pantries and destroyed crops, and nearly 60% of the its population died as a result. On a continent steeped in history, one would think everyone would error on the side of self-preservation. One would be wrong.
The city apparently has numerous pro-rat activists who believe rats have the same right to inhabit the city as any other mammal. They started an online petition to save the rats. It garnered nearly 26,000 signatures.
The Wall Street Journal article cited the retired psychologist who created the petition. She said, “we are very disturbed,” adding that rights for rats are only seen as abnormal “because others are able to live among the banality of such cruelty.” She should have stopped at “we are very disturbed.” That would’ve been accurate. “Others are able to live among the banality of such cruelty?” You know she would never say the same thing about abortion, thus proving the cruelty of her banality.
There exists a French Facebook group called “Rat-Prochement: Save the Rats.” It boasts 600 members…who take in “homeless rats.” Its founder says, “We really need to find a balance to live together.” Or die together. Her rats live in cages, but take turns roaming around her apartment. She and other activists dismiss unease with the rodents as a form of “rat phobia” and see themselves as part of a “resistance” movement.
It was not so long ago that many French people took part in a truly heroic resistance movement. Rapprochement was wrong then. Rat-Prochement is wrong now. You’ve heard the expression “like rats abandoning a sinking ship.” Europe is turning that phrase on its head. If leftist policy prescriptions and sentiments continue to prevail in Europe, in all matters, great and small, rats will eventually be the only ones left aboard that ship of state.