I feel the same way, waterbutts. I sometimes get the impression that I'm wrong or not a real gardener because I strive to accomodate wildlife in my garden because I truly believe that every living thing, vermin or not, has an equal right to life. I admit I find it distressing sometimes when, for instance, the morning after I have lovingly planted something I find it strewn all over the lawn because something has decided to burrow for Australia but I just shrug, replant (sometimes a dozen times) and eventually the critter gives up. I find it irritating that I built a series of raised beds only to find they were in the route of a 'fox run' but, rather than try to get rid of the foxes, the raised beds have been turned into a wildflower meadow instead of the planned veggie-beds. The bees and butterflies are thrilled .
I understand the health issues of rats and reluctantly accept that calling in pest control is probably the wise option here, but I am distressed by the casual and almost joyful descriptions of killing that seem to have become the tone of this discussion.