Thursday, June 13, 2013

Mad (Avenue) Quotes from USDA Wildlife Services --Targeting College Campus Geese

"Really?" this yearling goose asks.
 USDA "Wildlife Services" is a very busy governmental agency -- especially this time of year.

Among its millions of wildlife killings annually, are of course, Canada geese. 

But, not only is WS engaged in the actual roundups of these defenseless birds when they are in the helpless state of molting and flightlessness, but WS is apparently also in the  murky and questionable business of drumming up work for newly opened "processing plants" (i.e. slaughterhouses) and attempting to sell goose culls to college campuses.

Recently, at Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, controversy arose when it was announced that the University was entering into a plan with WS to round up and slaughter campus geese and "donate" them to so called, "food pantries."

Both, students and professors objected to the proposed cull and at the last minute, it was canceled due to protests.

Not one to easily give up, WS Public Affairs Spokesperson, Carol Bannerman is still attempting to "sell" the massacre as some kind of charitable act as the below article cites:

Ms. Bannerman is very good at her job and has been doing it for years.

Terms like "charity harvest," "humanely transported" and "good quality protein" conjure up cozy images of Thanksgiving in June.  But, they are hardly reality. Rather they are akin to the slickest of the slick "spin" from Madison Avenue ad men.

With this in mind, I emailed the letter below to Ms. Bannerman.  WS stoops to a new low when trying to sell wildlife slaughters to our impressionable and growing young minds as well as drumming up business for a "new Illinois processing plant opened up in the last year:"
"Dear Ms. Bannerman,

Referring to your quotes in the following article, I am curious how you and your colleagues at WS came up with these?

Even if he drank five bottles of booze straight, Don Draper (of Mad Men) couldn't come up with gems like these and nor could his weed smoking underlings.

"Humanely transported."  -- How many geese are crammed into those turkey crates together?  Five?  Six?  Guess we could squeeze 10 people into a Volkswagon and call that "humane" -- but it kind of renders the word meaningless.

You "separate the grown geese from the small ones."   -- Nice way of saying, Ms. Bannerman, that you split up the parents from their goslings.  All animals (including human ones) jealously guard and protect their young. That must be quite a scene when WS workers are "separating" the families.  Do you call it, "Sophie's Choice?" -- Only in this case, Sophie has no choice because she, her mate and her youngsters are all going to the same hell.

How nice that you don't round up the geese in the rain. Considering that water rolls off a goose's back, one cannot believe that is to spare the geese any discomfort as to spare your workers the inconvenience of getting wet.

And when it is hot, you round up the geese "in the mornings."   How merciful and compassionate. One suspects however, the sunrise roundups are done to avoid being seen by members of the public who might then call the press. We sure would not want another NY Times "Prospect Park," would we?

You guarantee the geese will be "exterminated within 24 hours."  (Thank you for at least not using the term, "euthanized" which most college kids understand the meaning of.) 

But, according to FOIR reports, geese were not "exterminated" within 24 hours when sent to a "processing plant" in Madison, Wisconsin two years ago.  And we have seen no documentations or proof of any kind as to when or even where geese rounded up in NYC over past two years were slaughtered (or gassed).   Why should anyone take your word on this, Ms. Bannerman?   "The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior."   Actions unfortunately speak louder than words.

Finally, you refer to the goose carcases as "high quality protein."   How can you say that when the so-called meat carries warning labels not to eat more than once a month?  How can you say that when geese who typically weigh from ten to twelve pounds yield less than one pound of edible meat?  How can you say that when you have no idea what these animals have been ingesting? -- In most cases, pesticide laden grass.  Ms. Bannerman, would you feed this stuff (from molting, sickly geese) to your children?  Do you not care what we are "donating" to downtrodden humans who can be presumed to have minimal or non-existent health insurance?

Granted, you did not say much in the above article. But, what you did say, Ms. Bannerman would certainly be worthy of a full episode on Mad Men if only the TV series were taking place in real and present time.

If the staff and students at the university buy this, they will apparently buy anything. I guess WS can always hope they are all strung up on booze, weed or LSD.

But, for those of us actually living on this planet, we have to hope that Mad Men is eventually modified to occur in the present and is focused, not on Madison Ave, but government bureaucrats.   Perhaps, Ms. Bannerman, you can be the new Don Draper substitute to represent "women's progress" in the 21st century?

Have a nice day....."

Regarding Ms. Bannerman's substitution of the term "exterminated" for what used to be referred to as "euthanasia," it is interesting that WS has gone from comparing geese to beloved, but terminal pets whose suffering is ended through euthanasia to instead, vermin that needs to be "exterminated."

That seems to suggest the role WS sees itself these days. 

Rather than a governmental agency whose purpose is to responsibly aid the citizens in solving complex and legitimate  problems, it is rather acting like a private extermination company that shows up with poisons, traps, corrals or mobile gas chambers anytime someone has a complaint or irrational fear about an animal.

The charge of geese "attacking" people on campus is particular ludicrous in light of the fact the only means geese have of defending themselves are flapping wings, toothless hisses or a couple of honks as the below video demonstrates from the SIUE campus:

One suspects the video was shot by one of Bannerman's relatives.  Though supposed to show the "aggression" of geese, it merely calls into question the mental state of the photographer.

That only we could say, "Achevidesein" (sic) to the spin doctors at WS like Bannerman and (from the YouTube video above) their mentally questionable pals and supporters.   -- PCA


1 comment:

Grandma Marilyn said...

Your comments are powerful and knowledgeable...