Friday, September 30, 2011

Quick Follow-ups

Some quick follow-ups to posts written over the past few days:
1 -- In a conversation with a USDA official on Monday, "AG" claimed it was a "goose" that collided with a plane a few days ago.  But, in fact, all news accounts of the bird strike do not specify what type of bird.  Since geese do not fly solitary, it is highly unlikely the particular strike was with a goose.  Most bird strikes in fact, occur with gulls and starlings:
2 -- In describing the frustration of being able to extract from the USDA exactly how long geese take to die in gas chambers, a colleague shared these insights yesterday:
 "It is difficult to put an exact time on death by gassing geese but , one
thing is sure, it takes too long and is carried out under circumstances and
for reasons that are inexcusable. There is still quite a variability in how much time it
will take to die in a gas chamber. Factors determining such outcome are:
1. number of birds in the chamber 2 volume of the chamber 3. gas type and concentration used 4. flow rate of gas applied 5. accidental gas leakage
from chamber, e.g. faulty gaskets, incomplete closure of chamber 6. untrained and unobserving personal 7. biological variants relating to species, physiology etc.
From the materials I have tried to evaluate it appears that wild-caught Canada Geese will die within 5- 15 minutes and some may still not be dead. Gassing wild-caught Canada Geese to death is simply unacceptable, cruel and inappropriate
." -- Jay Fingerlakes
Obviously, killing geese in gas chambers is not like baking a cake in terms of "recommended times."   However, for whatever time it actually takes to rob these waterfowl (who can hold their breaths far longer than humans) of oxygen and ultimately, their lives, it has got to be an eternity to the terrorized geese and their tiny goslings literally struggling to the last breath of their lives.
That any community, park or golf course would hire the USDA to round up and gas geese over simply hiring a Border Collie service to chase the "unwanted" geese away, seems to represent the height of callousness, cheapness, laziness, and total disregard for the intrinsic value and "rights" of nature and wildlife to exist (in short, moral bankruptcy).
3--  I wasn't sure, a few days ago exactly who the "Patron Saint of Lost Causes" is according to the Catholic church.  A Jewish friend has since assured me it is Saint Jude.  I am quite sure this is true because if recalling correctly, actor and comedian, Danny Thomas founded St. Jude Hospital for children many years ago because of the then seeming "hopelessness" of cancer.
Although Saint Jude seems to have a lot on his plate these days in terms of cancer-stricken children to bless and hopefully save, we might offer up a few prayers to the "lost cause" Saint to hopefully guide our forever maligned and persecuted geese to some place of safety and sanctuary.
One hesitates to say any just cause is "hopeless," but this one is as close to futility as it gets.  -- PCA

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