Animal Lovers: Don’t Hesitate to Feel Your Hate

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, 2014. All Rights Reserved

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, 2014. All Rights Reserved

Living in Earth’s out-of-the-way places, surrounded by prime wildlife habitat (as I’ve always chosen to do), an advocate must eventually make a choice—either stand with your wildlife friends, or join in the “fun” (made increasingly more popular by repulsive “reality” shows like Duck Dynasty and so many evil others) and go around shooting everything you see.

I made my choice long ago and decided the only way to live in such a wildlife-war-torn area is to have as little to do with the people as possible. To quote Sea Shepherd’s Captain Paul Watson, referring to his native land, coastal New Brunswick, Canada (where clubbing baby seals is the local pastime), “Love the country, hate the people.”

Author Farley Mowat, another selfless Canadian animal advocate in league with Captain Watson, ultimately came around to that same sentiment in A Whale for the Killing. The 1972 book is an autobiographical account of Mowat’s moving to Newfoundland because of his love for the land and the sea, only to find himself at odds with herring fishermen who made sport of shooting at an 80-ton fin whale trapped in a lagoon by the tide. Although he had started off thinking folks around there were a quaint and pleasant lot, he grew increasingly bitter over the attitudes of so many of the locals who, in turn, resented him for “interfering” by trying to save the stranded leviathan.

Mowat wrote, “My journal notes reflect my sense of bewilderment and loss. ‘…they’re essentially good people. I know that, but what sickens me is their simple failure to resist the impulse of savagery…they seem to be just as capable of being utterly loathsome as the bastards from the cities with their high-powered rifles and telescopic sights and their mindless compulsion to slaughter everything alive, from squirrels to elephants…I admired them so much because I saw them as a natural people, living in at least some degree of harmony with the natural world. Now they seem nauseatingly anxious to renounce all that and throw themselves into the stinking quagmire of our society which has perverted everything natural within itself, and is now busy destroying everything natural outside itself. How can they be so bloody stupid? How could I have been so bloody stupid?’”

Farley Mowat ends the chapter with another line I can well relate to: “I had withdrawn my compassion from them…now I bestowed it all upon the whale.”

Having recently finished reading, Give a Boy a Gun, by Jack Olsen (author of the pro-coyote/anti-trapping book, Slaughter the Animals, Poison the Earth—an appropriate addition to his numerous other true-crime works), I’m still puzzled by that book’s similar underlying question: How could so many people be so stupid as to think so highly of Claude Dallas Jr., a killer whose crimes included poaching, trapping out of season and the shooting of two Idaho Department of Fish and Game agents? Apparently the majority of people in cattle country there think nothing of the prolonged suffering of a bobcat, coyote or trappers’ other non-human victims, and accept people at the shallowest of face-value (except game wardens out to uphold the few laws animals have on their side).

In civilized society we’ve been brought up not to hate other people. Tolerance is the buzz word and that’s supposed to go for everyone, even if they choose to kill the animals you care about. It’s not like animals are people, right? Well, that’s debatable; besides, there’s only so much tolerance to go around. I love the wilderness and the wild things who live there. But can you really love something, without at the same time, hating those who threaten its very existence?

Every morning I’m reminded how much I hate the local duck and goose hunters, for example. At first light this time of year, before I can even think about how much I love living where flocks of migratory geese spend the winter, the sound of shotgun fire rings out to remind me of those whom I hate—the ones who make sport of killing creatures more noble, magnanimous and intelligent than they could ever hope to be.

If it’s not okay to hate the people who kill your friends for sport, who can you hate? And don’t think for a second that hunters, no matter how the schmooze, don’t hate you or anyone who might be out to spoil their fun by trying to ban contest hunts, or otherwise exposing their sadism.

1598558_10152837672323554_7131931279073962386_oIdaho’s ongoing Predator Hunting Contest and Fur Rendezvous, organized by a group ironically calling itself “Idaho for Wildlife” (more appropriate names would either be, Idaho against Wildlife, or Extremist Idahoans for the Destruction of Wildlife) claims as part of their second mission, “To fight against all legal and legislative attempts by the animal rights and anti-gun organizations who are attempting to take away our rights and freedoms under the constitution of the United States of America.” Apparently somebody is confusing the Second Amendment with the right to kill non-human animals for sport.

Now, you may have grown up to songs with lyrics like, “Come on people now, smile on your brother, everybody get together, try to love one another right now,” or just heard phrases like, “feel the love,” “love thy neighbor” “blah, blah, blah.” Bullshit! If your neighbor is out mowing down coyotes or wolves for fun or cash prizes—or blasting into flocks of geese for sport—they need to know how deeply you hate them.

But hate is such a negative emotion; it’s not good for your chakras, or whatever they say. Well, sometimes the animals need our outrage, our lividness, our hate. It’s a war, after all, and the other side is winning, partly because we resist the urge to embrace our hatred. How can you fight a war and not feel hate for your enemy?

Yet it shouldn’t be seen as desperate words coming from some lone, animal-loving whacko. As long as the laws are on their side and they think society shares their view of animals as objects, they’ll be encouraged to keep up the killing.

In other words, “Come on people now…Everybody get together, try to hate coyote hunters right now. Right now. Right Now!

coyote contest kill

Wildlife Service Eyes Migratory Canada geese Next

Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson

Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/avian-flu-detected-at-two-more-farms-in-bc-as-outbreak-continues-to-spread/article22035682/

Avian flu detected at two more farms in B.C. as outbreak continues to spread

Birds at two more farms in southwestern British Columbia have tested positive for avian influenza, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency said Wednesday — underscoring the difficulty facing officials attempting to contain the virus.The outbreak began last week, when turkeys and chickens at two farms in the Fraser Valley tested positive for the H5N2 strain of the disease.

The virus has now been detected at eight locations on seven farms, leaving 155,000 birds either dead or set to be euthanized. The outbreak has prompted surveillance and control measures affecting half of the province, as well as a growing list of trade restrictions on B.C. or Canadian poultry.

Dr. Harpreet Kochhar, Canada’s chief veterinary officer, said the new infections did not come as a surprise and he suggested more could turn up in the coming days. Indeed, another farm was also being investigated as suspicious, he said.

“The identification of additional farms is not unexpected, given that avian influenza is highly contagious,” Kochhar said during a conference call with reporters.

“Our efforts are directed to controlling the avian influenza virus from spreading. In spite of those measures, there is a possibility that this could show up at other farms. This is something that is attributed to the highly virulent, highly pathogenic nature of the avian influenza virus.”

The affected farms are clustered within several kilometres of each other in Abbotsford and Chilliwack.

In each case, the farms were immediately placed under quarantine and plans were made to destroy any birds that had not already been killed by the virus.

Earlier this week, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency announced a control zone covering the southern half of B.C., where restrictions have been placed on the movement of poultry. Those restrictions are more strict in the area immediately around the affected farms.

It’s not yet clear what caused the outbreak, though two farms where the virus was detected had received chickens from a previously infected facility.

Officials are looking into the possibility that migrating wild birds introduced the virus into the region, though Kochhar said there’s nothing conclusive yet. He said there was no evidence the virus had been circulating among migrating birds and a wild bird monitoring program hadn’t found any unusual increases in animal deaths.

Avian influenza poses little danger to people as long as poultry meat is handled and cooked properly.

It can, however, put the poultry industry at risk.

Previous outbreaks in B.C. and elsewhere in Canada similarly led to the destruction of tens of thousands of birds. The most serious, a 2004 outbreak in the Fraser Valley, prompted federal officials to order the slaughter of about 17 million birds.

Since last week, eight countries have placed restrictions on poultry and poultry products. Singapore was added to that list on Wednesday, joining the United States, Mexico, South Africa, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong and South Korea.

Some of those restrictions, such as those put in place by Japan, apply to poultry from all of Canada.

Kochhar said he hoped to convince authorities in other countries to limit any trade restrictions to the region affected by the outbreak.

“We have sent our information to them in terms of our primary control zone, which is southern British Columbia, and have requested them to revisit their restrictions on poultry and poultry products from the rest of Canada,” he said.

Consumers are unlikely to notice the outbreak at the grocery store.

The marketing group the B.C. Turkey Farmers has said about 25,000 turkeys meant for the provincial Christmas market have been lost — a relatively small proportion of the 3.3 million kilograms of turkey typically produced for the holiday season.

Likewise, the number of chickens destroyed due to the outbreak pales in comparison with the 160 million kilograms of chicken produced in B.C. each year.

                                                  ………

Meanwhile, bird Fluis  rampant on B.C. chicken/turkey “farms” (read: concentration camp). Is there a scapegoat connection or is it just a coincidence?

http://www.dailyastorian.com/Local_News/20141212/geese-numbers-may-trigger-plan-revision

A new wildlife service report on the number of Canada geese wintering in the Lower Columbia River and Willamette Valley areas of Washington and Oregon shows the population surpasses the goal set for the migratory birds and may trigger a revision of management plans.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 2014 report estimates 281,300 cacklers spend the winter in the two states, where they cause considerable agricultural damage, especially to grain and grass seed fields. The 2013 estimate was 312,200. Year-to-year population fluctuations are common; the wildlife service has set a population goal of 250,000 geese.

Crop damage from geese has been a concern for decades. Farmers argue they are essentially feeding the birds and absorbing damage for the sake of maintaining the population for hunters or nature lovers elsewhere. But the latest report hopefully will open the door to discussions of a longer hunting season or more opportunities to haze geese out of fields, said Roger Beyer, executive director of the Oregon Seed Council.

However, the situation is complicated by migratory bird treaties and compacts involving Native American tribes, the U.S., Canada and the states of Oregon, Washington, Alaska and California, Beyer said. “It’s a long slow process,” he said.

The Oregon Farm Bureau’s wildlife committee will be discussing geese — and wolves and Greater sage-grouse — at the bureau’s annual convention next week in Salishan. Wildlife officials have been invited to discuss the population report.

A 1997 report by the Oregon Department of Agriculture estimated annual crop and livestock damage by wildlife at $147 million, with more than $100 million attributed to deer and elk. Damage from geese was estimated at $14.9 million.

Be Thankful for Hunting Accidents

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson

In response to a favorable comment to a post about a goose hunter who shot his 45 year old son in a hunting accident, one Facebook reader replied:

“I find it disheartening that so many anti-hunters take such psychotic joy in the death of human beings…I find this sort of cheerleading just as bad as the hunters that flaunt their kills. Show some compassion for a change.”

To which I responded, “It’s not that anti-hunters don’t have any compassion; just that their limited supply of it is focused on the original victims (in this case the geese). As police reported about the incident, ‘The two had Canadian Geese decoys spread out in front of their blind…’ Yes, this was a tragedy for the hunters…but they were out there to cause pain, suffering and death for an untold number of geese—a gentle species who care for one another and mate for life. Yesterday afternoon, after the constant blasting of shotguns earlier that day, we saw and heard a lone goose calling mournfully for its lost mate. It is not a game or a sport for the geese—is nothing short of heartbreak.

Hunting accidents are a good way to remind the public about the lethal violence inherent in the “sport” of hunting. To reach the average viewer, the media has to frame everything in the context of how it affects a person. Most people are anthropocentric and have little or no compassion for non-humans. If a human doesn’t get maimed or killed once in a while, people continue to believe the misguided notion that hunting is just a friendly, social hour for traditional family-values proponents; “ethical” conservationists (claiming to be doing the animals a favor by killing them); or worse yet, those fashionable so-called locavore foodies who think of wildlife only as a source of flesh to stuff in their trendy, goateed, hipster gob.

What real harm is there in cheering on the underdog (or deer ordsc_0112 goose or wolf) with remarks like, “What a shame,” “One less hunter out there,” “Another Darwin award,” or “Now he knows what the animals went through.” A mite insensitive, perhaps, but people’s attitudes during wartime can turn rather ugly. And make no mistake; hunting is like war to the animals and those who advocate for them. No doubt the otherwise compassionate Allies cheered as their enemies were eliminated. After all, how much compassion did Hitler and his ilk deserve anyway?

Still, in one way, devoted anti-hunters can be compared to fanatical wolf hunters who won’t be satisfied until they attain their ultimate goal: the total annihilation of their quarry. Yet anti-hunters and other compassionate misanthropists aren’t really planning to march out there and off all hunters. They know that the end of hunting won’t come about merely through  hunting accidents or people violently targeting them. There’s too much pro-hunting propaganda out there and too many hunters breeding mini-Me’s as ready-made hunting partners to one day take over the tradition.

Never mind that folks can get together in the out-of-doors to take a hike, watch birds or photograph wildlife—without taking any lives.

No, hunting isn’t going to end because of a high hunter body count. Not unless those who survive are willing to learn from others’ mistakes and lay down their weapons once and for all.

Now that’s a vision of the future to be thankful for.

DSC_0101

Roadblocks to Raise Funds for Victims of Hunting

An Alabama paper, the Gadsden Times, reported the other day that a goose hunter was critically wounded by friendly fire. Apparently the victim and his buddy were both carrying loaded shotguns when his buddy slipped and hit him point blank in the side. 

They followed that article up with news that there would be a roadblock set up to collect donations to help offset the victim’s hospital costs.

My first reaction mirrored that of a Facebook friend who succinctly commented, “Un-fucking-believable.” The nerve of stopping everyone on the highway to ask that they fund a hunter’s recovery from a hunting accident! 

Then the thought came to me: two can play at that game.

I propose we set up road-blocks—everywhere there is hunting going on—to collect funds for the wildlife victims of hunting. Whenever a goose is winged by a shotgun blast, a deer is crippled by an arrow, a bear escapes on three legs from a shoulder wound or an animal is found struggling in a trap, hunters would have to pay for their rehabilitation and return to the wild. 

I guarantee if hunters had to put their money where their mouths are, it would cut down on the prolonged animal suffering inherent in the sport of hunting.

1441225_10151990537383491_1309889797_n

 

 

Peace for geese

By Christie Lagally, Columnist
Thursday, August 14, 2014 9:04 AM
Our relationship with Canada geese in the Puget Sound region has a convoluted history. The resident population of geese was originally transplanted here as goslings by the government in the late 1960s as hunting stock. With the mild climate, the fledglings formed a non-migratory population that now lives in the Puget Sound region year-round.

Unfortunately, geese living and defecating in waterfront parks is an annoyance for some. So around 1998, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services (USDA-WS) began conducting region-wide geese roundups by suffocating the birds with carbon dioxide or shooting them on Lake Washington.

Videos and eyewitness sightings of the roundups motivated local residents to demand an end to geese killing, and in 2004, the Seattle Parks and Recreation announced it would no longer use lethal control. However, Wildlife Services did not stop killing geese on behalf of King and Pierce county municipalities, according to reports obtained under a Freedom of Information Act request.

Each year, local cities sign onto an Interlocal Agency Agreement to collectively pay for USDA-WS services. This year’s agreement included Bellevue, Kent, Kirkland, Mountlake Terrace, Renton, Tukwila, Woodinville, the Port of Seattle, Seattle Parks, Tacoma MetroParks and the University of Washington (UW). Most participants pay $2,230 per year to have USDA-WS conduct surveys, addle eggs (to prevent development) and kill geese. USDA-WS Washington state director Roger Woodruff explains that the fees collected for these services, around $25,000 per year, covers all costs for these services.

The UW, Seattle and Bellevue, among others, report that they do not request lethal control, but all the agreement signatories pay for lethal control regardless of whether it is done within their jurisdiction. In 2013, 1,159 geese were killed in King County.

Non-lethal control

According to Woodruff, the geese population in our region soared in the late 1990s, when the agency ramped up lethal control. He says that egg addling is only minimally successful because much of Seattle’s shoreline is privately owned where USDA-WS cannot reach the eggs, and that culling prevents bird strikes at local airports.

However, according to the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Bird Strikes database, in 1998 and 1999 (at the height of the geese population), there were two strikes involving Canada geese each year at the local airports. By 2004 and 2005, after years of killing geese, the average number of Canada goose strikes was still two per year. Even today, while many cities shun lethal control, only one Canada goose bird strike occurred in 2013. These strikes caused only minor or no damage to the aircraft and no human injury.

Animal advocates maintain that lethal control is cruel and unnecessary and should not be funded by taxpayers. When gassed, geese are corralled into metal boxes, where they struggle and gasp for oxygen. Eyewitnesses report the geese break their necks and wings in a desperate struggle for their lives.

Advocates encourage the use of a wide range of non-lethal alternatives, including expanded egg addling, modifications to park landscaping and harassment of geese with trained dogs and other deterrents. Certain cities do use some of these methods.

Feces-cleanup equipment, such as Naturesweep, can be purchased for park cleanup. For population control, OvoControl (a birth control-laced bird feed) and male goose vasectomies could be used.

Unfortunately, Interlocal Agreement signatories have shown little innovative spirit to implement new solutions. Bellevue, Seattle and UW report never having tried OvoControl, citing concerns about delivering the right dose or feeding non-target species, such as rats.

However, scientists at the USDA National Wildlife Research Center collaborated to develop and test OvoControl. Studies on Oregon geese populations have shown the product is successful at population control and is cost-effective.

The drug is administered during breeding season and would mitigate the problem of not being able to addle eggs on private property. With some ingenuity, a geese-specific feeder could be used to ensure the OvoControl does not reach non-target species.

Similarly, a Bronx Zoo study showed that vasectomies in resident goose populations reduce egg viability from 90 to 12 percent. Perhaps this kind of permanent solution for resident geese could be sustainable for decades.

Petitions circulating

For 15 years, geese management in King County has been a revolving door of human-goose conflicts. When agencies pay only $2,230 per year, it is not surprising that USDA-WS services are not sustainable and geese conflicts continue to occur. UW reports having to continually clean up geese feces at significant cost, but it continues to rely on USDA-WS.

A local group, Peace for Geese, is asking cities to stop killing geese and focus only on humane alternatives. As a matter of humane justice, taxpayer funds should be used for non-lethal, region-wide, sustainable, innovative solutions to geese population management. A petition is available asking cities to make this shift, and Peace for Geese is asking you to sign.

Hopefully, Puget Sound citizens will demand that our cities stop killing urban wildlife and implement long-term, humane measures for our resident geese.

To learn more, visit the Peace for Geese Project on Facebook and sign the petition at www.change.org/petitions/puget-sound-area-officials-stop-killing-canada-geese.

CHRISTIE LAGALLY is the editor of “Living Humane,” a news site on humane-conscious lifestyles at livinghumane.com. To comment on this column, write to CityLivingEditor@nwlink.com.

– See more at: http://citylivingseattle.com/Content/News/Urban-Dwellings/Article/AMONG-THE-ANIMALS—Peace-for-geese/22/169/90245#sthash.Y0HTvXPx.xTIlZ2P5.dpuf

All That Is Necessary for the Triumph of the Geese Killers is for Us to Do NOTHING

http://narn.org/blog/2014/08/all-that-is-necessary-for-the-triumph-of-the-geese-killers-is-for-us-to-do-nothing/

The public appears to  have entered an era of indifference to the plight of Canada geese trying to coexist with humans.  The major newspapers and news stations are utterly uninterested in running any geese stories.  Not “newsworthy enough”.  This kind of don’t-give-a-shit atmosphere is EXACTLY what communities and law enforcement and the USDA like best of all: prime goose-slaughter conditions.
The lone standouts: City Living Seattle will be running an article by Christie Lagally, it looks as if the Woodinville Weekly will do one, and you may also see letters to the editor by Diane Weinstein. Please, when you do, comment and write your own letters; let editors know this is a subject that still matters a LOT to a LOT of noisy, articulate, persistent people.  Allowing, by our apathy, the slaughter of Canada geese for reasons of selfishness and convenience is dangerous, not least because it allows an abusive mindset to grow. We do not need even ONE new USDA killer to be offered a job, one that will then need to be justified by more goose killing.
geese
The petition for the geese on Change.org, asking Puget Sound area officials to stop killing geese has 1,300 signatures and is growing very slowly.  1,300 people against gassing geese families??  Even Ms. Glass-All-Empty here knows THAT isn’t true.  Have you signed? Have your friends? Have your family members?  You know how the whole situation would change if half a million names were on that petition?! Please, share the link as widely as possible.
Silly you. Did you think you could take a nap? You can’t EVER nap. Because the Other Side never sleeps.

Please Sign Petition to Stop Wildlife “Services” From Killing Canada Geese

Photo copyright Jim Robertson

Photo copyright Jim Robertson

USDA Wildlife Services has been lethally removing Canada Geese from the Puget Sound area for 13 years under an interlocal agreement between several cities and entities within the region.  The geese are being rounded up in our parks and gassed to death or shot on Lake Washington, as well as elsewhere.  In 2013, nearly 1200 were killed by Wildlife Services in just King County alone.
Many humane solutions can be utilized to mitigate conflicts with geese in urban areas.  These include reduction of populations through egg addling, use of OvoControl-G (a proven oral birth control method for geese), and sterilization.  Various other measures to reduce conflicts include: landscape modifications, goose deterrent products and control techniques, automated devices to clean up goose droppings, and education and public outreach on the need to stop feeding waterfowl in our parks.

The members of the 2014 interlocal agreement to kill geese include Bellevue, Kent, Kirkland, Mountlake Terrace, Port of Seattle – Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Renton, Seattle Parks and Recreation, SeaTac, Tacoma Metro Parks, Tukwila, Woodinville, and the University of Washington.

Please sign the Change.org petition “Puget Sound Area Officials: Stop Killing Canada Geese” at
Also, please share the petition and like us on Facebook at
We must learn to share the earth with wildlife.

Ask New York Officials to Stop Massacring Geese!

Canadian gooseU.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) documents reveal that more than 3,650 geese in the vicinity of New York City airports were rounded up and killed by the agency in the past five years alone, yet it has not recommended humane controls to prevent more birds from flying in and taking up residence. Consequently, the city is caught in a vicious, expensive, and endless killing cycle (which guarantees continued funding for the USDA), and despite an intense public outcry, another annual massacre is apparently proceeding. Helpless molting and flightless birds will again be snatched up, forced into crates, and trucked to slaughter—a terrifying ordeal for any wild animal but especially for a sensitive “prey” species. Such measures also tear families apart and leave orphaned young at great risk. Your voice is desperately needed!

Please urge New York City officials to stop contracting with the USDA to have geese killed and instead employ tried-and-true humane control measures. And then forward this e-mail widely!

Polite comments can be directed to:

• Mindy Tarlow
Director, Mayor’s Office of Operations
New York City
mtarlow@cityhall.nyc.gov

• Patrick J. Foye
Executive Director
Port Authority of New York & New Jersey
pfoye@panynj.gov

Read more: http://www.peta.org/action/action-alerts/urgent-ask-new-york-officials-stop-massacring-geese/#ixzz34ag1rTXy

Petition: Don’t kill Cornwall’s Canada geese!

eTdqEikTXmVmnfQ-556x313-noPad

Sign Petition here: https://www.change.org/petitions/randy-clark-don-t-kill-cornwall-s-canada-geese

Don’t kill Cornwall’s Canada geese!

Last summer, USDA Wildlife Services contracted with Cornwall Town Board to kill local geese. They killed approximately 139 in the area – 14 at Rings Pond in Cornwall, 70 in Cornwall-on-Hudson, an adjoining village, and 55 in another Cornwall area.  Local residents and animal advocates were devastated and outraged.

As a result of pressure from animal advocates, the Town formed a “Geese Committee” to suggest non-lethal methods of geese control, yet astonishingly the Town Board recently dissolved the Committee with no explanation and no commitment to using non-lethal methods.  Local residents are VERY concerned that the Town will hire the USDA to kill the geese by brutally capturing them and sending them to a slaughterhouse as they did last year!  This is unacceptable!

PLEASE URGE THE BOARD NOT TO KILL THE GEESE!

Canada geese are beautiful, intelligent birds who mate for life, fiercely protect their eggs and young, and display loyalty for other members of their flock. The methods that USDA Wildlife Services uses to kill geese are controversial and widely understood to be grossly inhumane – during the hottest months of the year flightless geese and goslings are corralled, packed into turkey crates and transported to slaughterhouses or gas chambers.

Killing the geese is not effective – countless examples have demonstrated that roundups and slaughters only clear the area temporarily, as other geese eventually repopulate the vacant desirable habitat.

The unfortunate plan to slaughter geese can be avoided by making a commitment of simple steps, such as cleaning up the grass with machines that pick up goose droppings, and making landscape modifications which hamper access to the pond and prevent geese from colonizing the pond’s surrounding area.

There is no scientific basis that geese dropping pose a threat to human health. Killing the geese is counter to public opinion, not how the residents of Cornwall, NY want tax dollars spent, and a horrid example for children to whom we wish to teach tolerance and co-existence with wildlife.

Killing geese and other birds has proven to be an ineffective approach to preventing collisions with airplanes. “I have not seen where [culling] has been effective as a long-term solution,” said Jim Hall, chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board under the Clinton administration. Ron Merritt, a biologist and former Chief for the Air Force’s Bird Aircraft Strike Hazard Team agrees, adding, “Killing 1,000 geese really isn’t going to do anything. If you kill them, nature will fill that vacuum and a new species will pop up in its place.”

Feeding the goose meat to food pantries is not acceptable – it is a ruse designed to spin an act of needless killing into an act of charity, and doing so puts human health at risk. Meat from slaughtered geese has been delivered to food banks with a warning label from the NYS Health Department that it should not be consumed more than twice per month because it may have been exposed to environmental contaminants.

There is no scientific basis that geese dropping pose a threat to human health. Killing the geese is counter to public opinion, not how the residents of Cornwall want tax dollars spent, and a horrid example for children to whom we teach tolerance and co-existence with wildlife. Cleaning goose poop is more humane, and more effective.

PLEASE CONTACT THE TOWN BOARD IN CORNWALL  AND URGE THEM TO USE NON-LETHAL METHODS OF GEESE CONTROL. DO NOT LET THE GEESE BE KILLED BY THE USDA AS THEY WERE LAST YEAR DURING MOLTING SEASON. THE BOARD HAS BEEN PRESENTED WITH NUMEROUS WAYS TO CONTROL THE POPULATION – KILLING THEM IS NOT AN OPTION!

 

Randy Clark, Supervisor:  rclark@cornwallny.gov   (845) 534-3760

James McGee: mcgeeatlarge@gmail.com

Elizabeth Longinott:  elonginott@gmail.com

Helen Bunt:  hbunt1@verizon.net

Peter Russell: prussell556@gmail.com

J. Kerry McGuinness:  jkerrymcg@aol.com

 

Cornwall Town Hall Workshop Meeting:

 

TUES, JUNE 3 – 7pm

 

Cornwall Town Hall

183 Main St

Cornwall, NY 12518

 

For further info, contact

Elaine Sloan

elainesloan@nyc.rr.com

(917) 364-6904

 

In the Words of Farley Mowat

The world has suffered another great loss with the death of author, naturalist and avid animal advocate, Farley Mowat. I never had the opportunity to meet him, but I do feel extremely fortunate to have received an endorsement for my book from him, just two short years before his passing.

He didn’t use the internet, so I sent a manuscript to his assistant, who had to hand deliver it (presumably on snowshoes) to him at his place in eastern Canada. This is what he had her send back to me, which now holds a special place on the back cover of the book:

“Robertson’s new book could be titled The Big and Dirty Game, because that’s what it is about — the dirty, bloody business of killing other animals for sport and fun. Fun? Sure, that’s what the Sportsmen say . . but read about it for yourself . . .”   ~ Farley Mowat, Author of Never Cry Wolf and A Whale for the Killing

One of Farley Mowat’s many classic books, A Whale for the Killing, written in1972, was an autobiographical account of his moving to Newfoundland because of his love for the land and the sea, only to find himself at odds with herring fishermen who made sport of shooting at an 80-ton fin whale trapped in a lagoon by the tide. Although he had started off thinking folks around there were a quaint and pleasant lot, he grew increasingly bitter over the attitudes of so many of the locals who, in turn, resented him for “interfering” by trying to save the stranded leviathan.

Mr. Mowat writes, “My journal notes reflect my sense of bewilderment and loss. ‘…they’re essentially good people. I know that, but what sickens me is their simple failure to resist the impulse of savagery…they seem to be just as capable of being utterly loathsome as the bastards from the cities with their high-powered rifles and telescopic sights and their mindless compulsion to slaughter everything alive, from squirrels to elephants…I admired them so much because I saw them as a natural people, living in at least some degree of harmony with the natural world. Now they seem nauseatingly anxious to renounce all that and throw themselves into the stinking quagmire of our society which has perverted everything natural within itself, and is now busy destroying everything natural outside itself. How can they be so bloody stupid? How could I have been so bloody stupid?’”

Farley Mowat ends the chapter with another line I can well relate to: “I had withdrawn my compassion from them…now I bestowed it all upon the whale.”

And Farley Mowat writes here of the wrongheadedness of hunting intelligent animals, such as geese, in his foreword to Captain Paul Watson’s book Ocean Warrior:

“Almost all young children have a natural affinity for other animals, an attitude which seems to be endemic in young creatures of whatever species. I was no exception. As a child I fearlessly and happily consorted with frogs, snakes, chickens, squirrels and whatever else came my way.

“When I was a boy growing up on the Saskatchewan prairies, that feeling of affinity persisted—but it became perverted. Under my father’s tutelage I was taught to be a hunter; taught that “communion with nature” could be achieved over the barrel of a gun; taught that killing wild animals for sport establishes a mystic bond, “an ancient pact” between them and us.

“I learned first how to handle a BB gun, then a .22 rifle and finally a shotgun. With these I killed “vermin”—sparrows, gophers, crows and hawks. Having served that bloody apprenticeship, I began killing “game”—prairie chicken, ruffed grouse, and ducks. By the time I was fourteen, I had been fully indoctrinated with the sportsman’s view of wildlife as objects to be exploited for pleasure.

“Then I experienced a revelation.

“On a November day in 1935, my father and I were crouched in a muddy pit at the edge of a prairie slough, waiting for daybreak.

“The dawn, when it came at last, was grey and sombre. The sky lightened so imperceptibly that we could hardly detect the coming of the morning. We strained out eyes into swirling snow squalls. We flexed numb fingers in our shooting gloves.

“And then the dawn was pierced by the sonorous cries of seemingly endless flocks of geese that cam drifting, wraithlike, overhead. They were flying low that day. Snow Geese, startling white of breast, with jet-black wingtips, beat past while flocks of piebald wavies kept station at their flanks. An immense V of Canadas came close behind. As the rush of air through their great pinions sounded in our ears, we jumped up and fired. The sound of the shots seemed puny, and was lost at once in the immensity of wind and wings.

“One goose fell, appearing gigantic in the tenuous light as it spiralled sharply down. It struck the water a hundred yards from shore and I saw that it had only been winged. It swam off into the growing storm, its neck outstreched, calling…calling…calling after the fast-disappearing flock.

“Driving home to Saskatoon that night I felt a sick repugnance for what we had done, but what was of far greater import, I was experiencing a poignant but indefinable sense of loss. I felt, although I could not then have expressed it in words, as if I had glimpsed another and quite magical world—a world of oneness—and had been denied entry into it through my own stupidity.

“I never hunted for sport again.”

DSC_0254

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 591 other followers