Thank you Chinky for sending this to me.
I seriously doubt that putting an animal down is 'humane' just because community cats MAY have a shorter life. Also if cats on the street have a tough life, then shouldn't we be kinder to them instead of killing them?
If one follows this argument to its logical extreme, then if for example there are children who live in slums and have a tough life, ought they to be killed? Certainly they are in all likelihood more inclined to live shorter lives than the rest of us, because of hazards on the street as well. If you follow this warped logic, then charities who help to alleviate their suffering, educate these children, and try and feed and clothe them ought to be closed down. Instead the children should be killed! Does anyone seriously believe that?
Let's not forget people who are genetically predisposed to a terminal illness. Following this logic again, hey they should be killed! Not only are they very likely to suffer, they are almost certainly going to live shorter lives. If we take this ridiculous argument to its conclusion, then all these people ought to be dispatched with, pronto.
We can't predict life, nor the quality of life. Are most cats on the streets happy? Yes - unless they are ill-treated, abused or caught to be killed. And many of these cats actually live very long lives - I would argue that very often their lives are cut short precisely because they are caught and killed. If left on their own, they would live out their normal lifespans. It's not unusual at all now to see community cats that are older, healthy and well taken care of. With concerned community caregivers, many are given vet care and good nutrition. If the people trapping them, or calling up to complain about them would just leave them alone, then they wouldn't have miserable lives.
Want to be truly humane? Start a TNRM programme.