Why _does_ zcash have the ability to send non-anonymous transactions?

One of the things that comes up on boards from time-to-time is the fact that zcash is split in two - the ability to send non-anonymous transactions by default.

Why does it have this feature? Is it possible to remove it perchance?

The biggest one that I can think of is compatibility with tools in the broader bitcoin ecosystem, the second is that that the amount of computational resources used is very large when sending shielded transactions, and the third is that you don't always need things to be shielded.