Last week, in the early morning, wildlife biologists descended on Prospect Park in Brooklyn, New York. There, working with officials from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, they herded hundreds of Canada Geese into a fenced area, packed them two or three to a crate and took them to a nearby building where they gassed them to death.
Not even the goslings were spared.
A spokeswoman from the Department of Agriculture said all this was “necessary.”
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This is the first I've heard of what the Humane Society of the United States calls “geese round ups." I find them to be despicable acts, especially because they are carried out during the birds’ annual molt, when they are growing new flight feathers and can’t fly — from mid-June through July.
And, why on Earth didn’t anyone call GeesePeace, an organization dedicated to building better communities though innovative, effective, and humane solutions to wildlife conflicts?
In the Gulf waterfowl are dying by the thousands in the wake of the BP Oil Spill and in the so-called “greatest city in the world,” waterfowl are being executed to ensure safer air travel for humans. It doesn't make sense and it's all about us and what we seem to need.
But, what about them?
I've always had a tremendous affinity for geese. I can only imagine the fear and panic they experienced, especially the goslings, separated from their mothers. The disregard for these innocent lives and the suffering they endured is more than egregious; it is a reflection of who we are and who we are becoming.
Like the great Albert Schweitzer I believe that "the only thing we are really sure of is that we live and want to go on living. This is something that we share with everything else that lives, from elephants to blades of grass – and, of course, every human being. So we are brothers and sisters to all living things, and owe to all of them the same care and respect, that we wish for ourselves."