Well, the Boston bombers are finally caught or killed and the streets are safe to jog on once again. Now, the only questions that remain are, what kind of people use gunpowder and ball bearings to kill their fellow sentient beings, and why? Well, I ask those questions every day—at least during waterfowl hunting season.
Maliciously spraying lead into a flock of migratory birds may not seem like terrorism to you, but to the ducks and geese on the receiving end of the shrapnel, it certainly does. Don’t get me wrong and somehow think I’m in any way trying to belittle or brush off the horrendous cruelty inflicted on others by the Boston bombers. No, quite the opposite—I want to get to the root of this kind of evil and weed it out of our species, if possible.
So why do people do it? What could possibly motivate someone to bury any scrap of compassion they might have and prey on the innocent? How do they justify the act of killing so many and how can they rationalize away the cruelty they’ve inflicted?
Perhaps the answer can be found in a recent quote from filmmaker Jennifer Siebel Newsom, in this case talking about the growing menace of violence against women: “…it’s about a culture that views women as objects to be acted upon rather than fully realized human beings,”
Objectification—now, isn’t that just what we’re talking about when someone kills, bullies or otherwise victimizes another to further an agenda or satisfy their own self interests? Just as the abuser objectifies women and the bomber objectifies innocent bystanders, hunters view their non-human targets as objects to be acted upon, rather than as fully realized beings.
And speaking of objectifying birds, here’s Huffington Post travel blogger William D. Chalmers’ idea of a joke in the face of a potential global pandemic: an article entitled, “Avoiding Avian Flu While Traveling in China,” wherein he lists the “…top 10 things to avoid in Shanghai as a traveler during the recent avian flu outbreak:
1. No wet markets where chickens are “processed” for dinner. They do things different here in China, no plastic-wrapped boneless chicken breasts in aisle three… they eye-ball their dinner.
2. No squab on a stick as pigeons may be a migratory transmitter. Oh, sorry, you didn’t know squab was pigeon! The things you learn traveling.
3. No less-than-over-hard runny eggs for breakfast. And push away that soft boiled egg too.
4. Avoid alternative modes of popular transportation used by farmers, such as chicken buses!
5. Attracting and posing for pictures with flocks of pigeons in local parks and gardens is probably not a good use of your time.
6. Although well-cooked poultry is fine, you might want to rethink that kung pao chicken or chicken satay. And chicken soup may not be the cure for what ails you.
7. Look on the bright side: eating out in Shanghai is cheaper as KFC is offering super special promotions.
8. While visiting China and jet-lagged up at 3 a.m., maybe you should change the channel when Alfred Hitchcock’s Birds comes on.
9. Try to forget the menacing virus; odds are you’ll probably succumb to the smog or a traffic accident.
10. Three words: designer surgical masks! They are all the rage among fashionistas here.”
Okay, well I’ve got another point to add to his list:
11. Forget the KFC or other over-cooked poultry products—try the tofu; that way you won’t bring the bird flu back home with you to spread among the rest of us…