Thursday, May 19, 2011

"Humane Harassment" -- Part 2

Yesterday, a poster commented via Facebook on my essay about Goosebusters:
"It is a double-edged sword with these companies - on one hand, they have stepped in to present a humane solution to the killing programs. HOWEVER - and this is a very big however - in order to STAY in business, they have to make the geese the villains. So ultimately, even though they may have started as a benevolent toward geese business, they end up being on the bad guy side in some ways. I have seen some go farther than others in this regard."
This is an intelligent comment that doesn't engender disagreement as much as question.
Is it really true that goose harassment companies have no choice than to vilify geese in order to stay in business?
It seems that an argument could be made for the opposite:  That by demonizing geese and creating fear and loathing in the public of these animals, the harassment companies thus spell their ultimate demise.
This occurs by giving credence and legitimacy to the government's extermination campaigns against geese.  Should all the cullings, expanded hunting, harassment and egg destruction campaigns ultimately be "successful" then the goose harassment companies would eventually be forced out of business as there would be few if any geese to harass.
Parks and golf courses are not going to pay big bucks for companies to come and harass two geese on a ball field.
But, if not demonizing the geese and convincing the public that the animals are evil "invaders" that need to be "gotten rid of," how should harassment companies provide a sometimes worthy service and still stay in business and even prosper?
First, they might consider changing their names and they might take some promotional cues from successful spay/neuter campaigns for cats and dogs.
Would any of us neuter our pets if spay/neuter services were named, "Doggie Be Gone" or "Kittybusters?"
Probably not.
The neutering of millions of pets over the decades did not occur because people were fear driven and convinced that cats and dogs were "aggressive,"  "posed a potential health threat" to us or because they caused car accidents.
Sterilization of pets occurs because people have been educated and convinced (truthfully) that sometimes we can have too much of a good thing and that by having millions of more pets than what there are homes for results in millions of dogs and cats being killed in shelters every year.
The ultimate "price" for not neutering our pets therefore, is death for millions of pets in shelters or streets.  Neutering is the humane alternative to wanton killing.
Likewise, the price for failures to monitor and/or humanely limit population growth for Canada geese in residential areas can and does result in government campaigns to "cull" and kill the animals.
In other words, companies whose primary area of expertise is humane, non-lethal population control of Canada geese could promote themselves that way -- very similar to the ways spay/neuter has been promoted.
For examples:
"We love our wildlife and seek to protect them.  But, sometimes we can have too much of a good thing.  Where conflict sometimes arises between the number of native geese living and populating in an area and what the environment and people are able to support and accept we are here to help!"
"We provide the humane alternative to lethal and cruel goose culling and management programs."
"Why kill birds when we can gently and efficiently shoo them away?"
"Why kill when we can implement programs of birth control?   -- Ovo Control or egg addling.
In suggesting these things, I personally don't support most harassment programs as they exist today for two reasons:
1 -- With few exceptions, I believe most are unnecessary at this time.
2--  The terms "Humane" and "Harassment" do not go together.  They are in fact an oxymoron.  In human situations, people are able to sue for actual harassment. 
Unfortunately, geese are not able to bring lawsuits for being stalked, hounded, chased and terrorized.
Unfortunately too, as they now exist, most goose harassment programs ARE all of the above. It is terrorizing not only geese, but all other birds who happen to be hanging with the geese.
Finally, I am concerned that even if their own workers read the websites of the goose harassment companies, they would view the birds as evil vermin for whom it does not matter how they are tormented and abused.  The goal is to just "get rid of them" no matter how it is done or what it takes.
I observed that personally last November when "Geese Relief" terrorized EVERY flying bird out of Harlem Meer.  The geese, mallards, shovelers and one swan were sent straight up into the air in a total panic.  The woman from Geese Relief was relentless and did not leave until every last flying bird was banished from the park
The only two birds remaining on the mostly frozen lake that night were the flightless, domestic ducks, Brad and Angelina who in sheer terror, actually struggled to fly -- but couldn't. 
It was a brutal and pathetic scene to watch.
That is simply not acceptable by any "humane" stretch of the imagination.
As said yesterday, despite the need to seek humane remedies to the shameful killing programs of "Wildlife (Extermination) Services" the goose "harassment" programs as they are today are not the answer.
Even the very name should tell us that.
There is no such thing as "humane harassment."  -- PCA

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