ok, i am glad you brought this up xris. i have been having similar thoughts.
first of all, i dont know enough to believe that rats carry any more disease than any other pest, but i do see that there are a lot more of them than other charming little furry critters. so i will leave that alone for now. we live with rats in india-they are bigger than footballs and more of them in the railway station than people-and you can imagine the number of people in an indian railway station. some people do catch them in cages when they come into homes and stores eating the merchandise and staples-one fellow is a druggist and told me the rats were eating the medicine. but the majority of people here are very resistant to the idea of killing animals ever, even as mercy killing.
my compromise deal is this-no uninvited guests in my home, or i will kill them if possible, sometimes chase them out. if both options fail i will continue to harrass and annoy them until they leave of their own accord or find suitable places to hide where i dont have to look at them and cant reach them. i dont care if they have any transmittable diseases or do any damage to my property, i go by the principle that they cannot enter unless invited by me. may not be logical, moral or even sane, but it works for me.
now outside is a different matter. outside there are frogs almost as big as those football sized rats. they attract the snakes-the other day we had a cobra go up the stairway to the upstairs flat and then come back down the stairs and out the gate across from my door. i see my landlord killing snakes because they have a four year old and these snakes will definitely kill you if you surprise them. but i let them go-not that i would have the guts to chase after one and kill it anyway, but i mean to say that whatever is outside of my door is fine. if the stray dogs get any worse i may carry mace, but that is all.
i sure hope i dont have to account for this some day! i do wish i could overcome my dislike for certain creatures, it is a handicap for me and i find it totally irrational behavior on my part.