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Animal Defenders of Westchester
Articles Renewing Our Kinship with Geese and other Wildlife
Renewing Our Kinship with Geese and other Wildlife
By Kiley Blackman, Larchmont.Patch.com
During the last several weeks, many areas of NYC and upstate paid thousands of tax-payer dollars to the U.S. Department of Agriculture to round up and kill their geese populations during the molting period when they shed their feathers and canít fly away and escape. These slaughters, euphemistically named 'culls,' have sparked outrage far and wide.
We believe these municipalities can do better. Although it is too late for the innocent birds and their babies who were already killed, now is the time to work on learning to live in peace and harmony with geese and other wildlife critters, to avoid any more of these pointless, heartbreaking wastes of money - in fact to enjoy the tranquility that being in their presence affords us. Communities across the country are learning to live successfully with their wildlife; a few have even gone from a position of wanting a geese slaughter to welcoming them as part of the community. I believe it is our duty to be decent citizens who are stewards of wildlife, not their enemies. What kind of lesson are we teaching our children?
Who decided that we're the only ones who have a right to be here? We are so removed from the natural world that we take our 'marching orders' from the media, from 'researchers' who terrify us with biased data, using our own taxpayer dollars to do it. Part of the problem is we have become a nation of 'Sheldons' straight out of 'The Big Bang Theory' - we are fearful and germ-obsessed to an absurd degree, tv commercials have successfully convinced us that everything 'outside' has germs and must be sanitized. We don't dare enter a supermarket anymore without wiping down the cart and our hands with sanitizer in a bizarre effort to get control over our lives, we remain powerless over the increasing incidence of cancer, heart disease, asthma, obesity and worse...but if we kill all the geese our problems will be solved! Really? What has happened to our common sense and human decency?
On a practical level, cleanup can be accomplished with a rake and dustbin, as is done in other areas. A good rain washes everything away, and a machine called 'Naturesweep' will keep everyone happy as well. 'Bird strikes' with airplanes? Sonor and radar are available that would prevent such strikes and are being used successfully in other countries. In addition, pilot error was just cited yet again by the NTSB as a cause of 94% of collisions; and the 'Miracle on the Hudson' plane had reported serious mechanical problems just before the flight...the geese are being scapegoated to just put a band aid on the issue instead of addressing the real problems - so why kill the geese?
We cringe at stories of cruelty to animals ó a kitten burned to death in an oven, puppies being drowned. We are even horrified upon hearing of larger animals such as horses deliberately being starved to death or circus elephants being beaten into submission. And the press would eagerly report on the horrific act of some criminal stomping a mama goose and her baby to death. Yet, without hesitation we make plans to slaughter them en masse because they poop just like we do, or dare to share 'our' airspace, instead of finding solutions. The hating and killing needs to stop. I believe we are still inherently decent people who not only don't want to harm geese but forget that we can benefit by the joy of seeing them and their families - in fact, if you have the honor of being in their presence, you'll discover that these noble, intelligent little folks mate for life and diligently watch over their infants just like we do.
(And speaking of horses, they can deposit some seriously large poop, but because people can make a buck off them with carriage rides and the like, they look the other way and donít complain; if people could make a buck off geese rides their droppings would be ignored, too.)
The geese donít bother anyone: They walk around minding their business, eating grass and nurturing their babies. The geese enjoy their little life exactly like we do ours; I believe we donít have a right to take their lives just because they have bodily functions just as we do, or have the 'nerve' to fly in the air when any plane is up there. The pharmaceutical companies tell us we should take a valium when we're stressed, or or costly statins for our high blood pressure - but studies show being around nature benefits our health enormously - free of charge. Don't take pills: Go outside and delight in nature, view wildlife in all its glory. Watch the geese and their babies - they are nature's gift to us, for all to appreciate.
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