Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Most Critical Question

I haven't written in this journal for a few days because of the events and media reports that have exploded around the recent DEP press release of, "Rounding up NYC geese to feed to the poor in Pennsylvania."
This ploy is obviously to make "palatable" to the public, the notion of killing birds from city parks for no other reason, then that they fly.
Among the many (mostly cookie-cutter) articles that printed verbatim, the DEP press release, came one that actually cited the number of geese that the city is targeting.
"1,000," according to this piece from MSBC and the National Post:
This is, needless to say, extremely disturbing because it is difficult to see how we presently even have that many geese in NYC to capture and slaughter.
Several articles have claimed we have as many as "25,000" geese in New York City.  But, that figure has been quoted for at least a couple of years and long before the "cullings" of last year or even the year before.
It seems the media does very little investigation of actual claimed "facts."  Indeed, the reporters don't even question the action.
The DEP press release claims NYC geese will be corralled (since they cannot fly now), crated and sent to a "processing plant" (i.e. slaughterhouse) in Pennsylvania. However, they don't give the actual location of the (waterfowl) slaughterhouse. That is something the media should question and demand.
The fact is that wild geese who have never been handled by humans will be crammed 6 to 7 to small, "turkey crates" and trucked to an "undisclosed location" at least two hours away from New York City in the heat of summer.
Does this not in and of itself, constitute "cruelty to animals?"
My personal guess is that at least half the geese will be dead by the time they arrive to the Pa "waterfowl" slaughterhouse due to the heat and stress.  And those will be the LUCKY ones.
The "reason" cited for trucking the geese to Pennsylvania is because NYC doesn't have a waterfowl "processing plant."  But, we are threatening to build some goose slaughterhouses for "next year."
Why is the press not questioning any of this?
If, in fact, any "questions" have been raised at all over the past few days, they have had to do with how to "cook the geese and how they taste."
It is indeed dispiriting that so few people and no reporters are asking what should be the most basic questions:   "Why are we killing birds for the simple act of flying?  Isn't flying something the geese were designed by nature to do?"
The excuse for the slaughter would of course be, "Public Safety."
But, the fact is that not one New Yorker has died as result of Canada geese.
On the other hand, thousands of people die in car accidents every year and at least three people (including a toddler) have been killed over the past couple of years in NYC by falling tree branches. 
But, we are not banning automobiles and we are not chopping down trees for these reasons.  Rather, (in the former case) we build better cars that are less likely to kill people during a collision.  Well, the same should be the case with airliners that sometimes collide with birds. "Build them better."
Because of the quota number cited in the above article, I will not be sharing numbers or locations of geese observed in Central Park over the next month or so. Since the geese are molting now and the roundups will soon be occurring, I would not want to possibly jeopardize any geese I personally see (and know) by putting such information on a public Internet site.
It is sad and borderline paranoid to think this way, but it has become crystal clear that we cannot take anything for granted -- even the safety of the few geese in NYC's most famous and prestigious park, Central Park.
It seems we are all drinking the Kool-Aid to go along with the "cooked geese." 
That is, with the exception of this one lone article from January of this year.
It asks the one and most critical question in all this: 
"Why?"  -- PCA 

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