I don't attend church and don't read the bible. I don't worry whether I will make it through the pearly gates or not.
But, I do remember some things from Catholic grammar school:
Jesus said, "The merciful shall obtain mercy."
I wonder now about the word, "mercy?"
It seems in short supply these days -- particularly with humans' relationship with animals.
Billions of animals are brutally slaughtered every year. Millions more are experimented upon and killed in laboratories, as millions are killed in shelters (ironic, considering the meaning of "shelter.") and millions more shot in forests, wetlands and African plains.
But, if some of us thought that despite all the carnage elsewhere animals were reasonably "safe" from human brutality in urban parks or "Wildlife Refuges" well, that too, has fallen by the way side, especially over the last few years and especially regarding Canada geese.
Yesterday morning our species degenerated to an entire new level, when on a beautiful spring day, one family of Canada geese comprised of "mother goose," her gander and the couple's newly hatched, five baby goslings were ripped from the grass of a peaceful, Inwood Hills Park, stuffed into crates and hauled off to some mysterious slaughterhouse in upstate New York.
Was mercy anywhere yesterday?
I wonder about the people paid to do such a "job?" What exactly do they tell themselves? Is any pay check worth the self destruction of all consciousness and mercy?
I wonder about the people who signed off on the death warrants (like Mayor Bloomberg) for this family of geese (and hundreds of their brethren from the NYC area)? And I wonder of those who put into place the actual "plan" for such wide scale massacre of innocent and completely defenseless park wildlife.
Does mercy even exist in their vocabulary?
Of course the city and USDA WS spokesperson, Carol Bannerman will offer us all kinds of rationalizations and explanations for the unexplainable:
"The geese fly into airliners." "We are donating the geese to food banks."
But, the fact is that two week old goslings don't fly into airliners and nor would baby goslings even feed a goldfish.
In their short stint on the planet earth, these tiny goslings only knew human cruelty, barbarity and insidious rationalization for evil.
Geese have flown for thousands of years and no one died. Humans fly for a century and millions of birds die -- including their babies only weeks old.
We need to ask ourselves, what is wrong in that picture?
I am all for human safety. But, the reality is that these ten geese peacefully grazing on park grass were "threat" to nothing and no one. And nor were the geese rounded up and slaughtered yesterday from a West 59th street Manhattan park, "threat" to anything.
These are just the things we tell ourselves to justify the unjustifiable and to blunt out all trace of mercy and conscience.
That the geese's cruel and unjustified deaths were only reported by one media outlet (The Daily News) while New Yorkers are kept informed on what Kim Kardashion will name her baby, raises questions that have no real answer.
"The merciful shall obtain mercy."
What will the answer be when, arriving to the pearly gates and expecting entrance, we are instead queried on our mercy to the meek and powerless among us while on earth?
Can we run off celebrity names or point to our athletic or scholarly achievements in life?
Or, will we be forced to ask, "Mercy. What is that?"
For sure, mercy was no where to be found yesterday in certain New York City parks. -- Places where families of innocent geese who, only last week were happily playing in grass are this week, slaughtered. butchered and their remains mostly discarded in the trash(despite ludicrous, "food" claims.)
One needs to look long and hard for mercy these days as it appears to be slowly vanishing in the remnants of violence and mutilated body parts. -- PCA