Pigeons: To Feed or NOT To Feed
An Animal Rights Article from All-Creatures.org


Ruth Eisenbud
February 2010

Recently there have been several alerts involving pigeons, in one instance a person feeding pigeons in a public space was assaulted and the bird seed grabbed...Another alert notes that a canned pigeon shoot is planned in Pennsylvania, which will kill thousands of pigeons for the pleasure of the sharp shooters (both items enclosed below)...'DO NOT FEED THE PIGEONS' signs are everywhere. In the USA pigeons are viewed as a plague, a nuisance, or an object of pleasure killing, not as living beings worthy of respect. No surprise though, as the vast majority in the west are followers of the Judeo-Christian religious tradition, which explicitly states that man may harm and kill animals for his own benefit.

How different it is in India!

For almost all animals there is a marked difference in how they are treated in India, a nation whose mainstream religions teach that ALL life is sacred and by the west, where the Judeo-Christian tradition grants humans the right to harm and slaughter them for human benefit.

Bears, elephants, monkeys, dogs and even the humble pigeon fare better in India. It is considered a blessing to feed them and Jain temples often allow individuals on temple grounds to feed the Pigeons. The following shows a Jain Temple in Kerala where people come everyday at noon to feed the pigeons, because it is part of the Jain religion to care for animals.


Rather than a plague or a nuisance pigeons are viewed as living beings, who have the right to live free from human harm. Feeding them is a blessing...

The following items are the result of a flawed model of compassion of the Judeo-Christian religious tradition. It is clear that when animal abuse is sanctified by religion, humans too are more vulnerable to assault and abuse:

From New York Bird Club

Assaulted when feeding birds

As I was feeding the birds, a man and a woman grabbed my bag of bird seeds and threw it away. They shouted at me and put their fingers up in front of my face and put their hands on me. Several passerbys took pictures and called 911. But the perpetrators fled in their vehicle, NY plate CMH 9863. Five police cars sped up with their sirens on, but after hearing what the complaint was about, refused to do anything and were laughing about the incident. I forced them to fill out a Harrassment complaint and they gave an Incident Information Slip and I am to call a phone number. They told me there alot of such incidents of citizens harassing people who feed birds. The police did not take the incident seriously, even though they sped up to the scene with sirens whaling. If the same thing happened for another reason, they would have chased the vehicle that left the scene of a crime, but because it was about feeding birds, they took the entire scenario as a joke.

From Showing Animals Respect and Kindness (SHARK)

Starting Saturday Feb. 20 and bleeding into the next day, thousands of innocent pigeons, unaware of where they are or what is to be their fate, will be stuffed into small wooden boxes, then launched into the merciless fire of shooters who will laugh and smile at the carnage that follows. This is what is called 'fun' for the members of the Pike Township Sportsmen Association in Pennsylvania.

SHARK is wholly committed to fighting these barbaric pleasure kills and we will be at the shoots - but we need your help.

Pigeon shoots clearly violate state law, yet Berks County District Attorney John Adams, who has jurisdiction over the Pike Township shoot, has not only refused to file charges, but has personally intervened and had charges that had been filed by a human police officer withdrawn. Adams, who has received election contribution from bird shooters, has failed his job and betrayed the public trust given to him.

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