Friday, December 28, 2012

The Last Refuges (for Canada Geese)

I have a friend who tells me she never reads newspapers or watches the news.

"But, don't you want to know what's going on in the world?" I asked one day.

"Not really." she answered.  "Most of the news is too depressing."

Sometimes, when scouting various articles everyday or catching newscasts, I am inclined to agree with my friend.

But, not only is most news "depressing," but in many cases, it is downright vile.

Take for example, this article about Canada geese out of Denver, Colorado yesterday:

One is nearly at loss on what to say about this hateful diatribe and wonders in fact, how it was published by a supposedly "reputable" news source?

The writer of the piece seems to be carrying bolders on his shoulders and whatever his frustrations or paranoia with the world, has seemingly found easy projection and target in Canada geese.

It is difficult to believe that the most hated and feared species on the planet would be Canada geese, but according to this rant, Canada geese are "vicious predators" that need to be "gotten rid of" by any and all means. (Strange words for an animal that in nature, is mostly vegetarian, peaceful and deemed a "prey" species.)

It is hard to imagine that knowing how intelligent and perceptive geese are that any would be overly solicitous of the writer's affections (assuming the author has any).

Most animals are extraordinary intuitive about humans and have over the eons, sadly, learned to fear people.

But, geese seem to draw distinctions between their human friends and human enemies.

This might help explain many geese's tendencies to flee areas of heavy human hunting for the perceived "safety" of urban parks and golf courses. -- Areas where they are more likely to find human friends and are relatively free from flying bullets and arrows.

But, of course there are people like the writer of the above hysteria (and newspapers only too happy to publish hostile rhetoric and propaganda rather than actual facts).

How can geese possibly "know" about emotional disorders, projection and paranoia in some people?   Indeed, our own government is seemingly incapable of knowing the mental and emotional states of those purchasing high powered weapons and guns.

Makers of the "Goosinator" (the actual subject of this article) claim that the device is "humane" and will simply "send the geese back to their natural habitats."

But, considering that up to 60% of wetlands ("natural habitat") for geese has been destroyed and that rural areas are typically turned into shooting galleries, it is more likely that the "hazed" geese will simply flee to people's backyard lawns -- thereby opening up a whole new set of "complaints."

We claim in this country to "love and appreciate nature," but apparently not when it seeks natural habitat in areas we like to take over for ourselves.

We like to build lakefront homes and turn natural grassy areas into golf courses and parks with man-made lakes and ponds.

We then apparently go into a tizzy when realizing these are natural habitats for geese, ducks and other waterfowl.

What then to do about all these "vicious predators?"

Personally, I believe that if one is fearful or hostile towards whatever an area has to offer, one should avoid that area the same way one who is fearful of heights or elevators avoids high buildings.

But, if avoidance is not an option, then we might consider curtailing the hunting of geese in areas they would normally and naturally call "home" and concentrate on protecting our natural wetlands.

The reality is that urban parks have seemingly become the last refuges for many thousands of otherwise hunted and harassed Canada geese whose "natural habitats" have all but disappeared.

This past summer, even a supposedly real "refuge" was turned into a slaughterhouse for Canada geese. (Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge.)

I would simply like to know from all these "goose haters" where the geese are supposed to GO?

Extinction and/or canned hunts are not acceptable answers.  
Canada geese were nearly hunted to extinction in the last

They are wiser now and so too, should we be.

As for "avoiding the news," I am not sure I am prepared to actually do that.

Occasionally, there are the positive and factual pieces that one would not want to miss -- such as this published today:

Perhaps wisdom, appreciation and tolerance are not quite dead yet.

But, we have to keep seeking and promoting them, both in real life and the printed word.  -- PCA


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