A few weeks ago a brave pilot did the unimaginable act of landing US Airways flight 1549 on to the Hudson River in New York. The miracle on Hudson was one of the greatest acts of heroism this country has ever seen; the pilot Sullenberger deserves endless praise. But as Americans we do not simply praise the hero we must also take avenge on the villain. The villain in the case being the wild geese that flew in to the pilot’s engine like “a flock of bowling balls.” Since the heroic act of Sullenberger and his fellow crew members: government, animal activists and civilians have been debating what should be done with the “Geese problem”.
The one answer most organizations and civilians have come to “kill ‘em”. David Feld the founder of GeesePeace, an organization devoted to the welfare and treatment of wild geese has suggested using a process of covering the geese’s eggs with corn oil which in essence kills the embryo, in other words an abortion for geese. This method is also supported by PETA and other animal “activists”. But let’s be clear this is the nicer of the solutions, the USDA Wildlife services handle geese “infestations” through gassing. At least the animal activist suggest a kinder way of killing them.
Being and animal lover myself I beg for a different perspective. Geese air strikes have sprang from 1,750 to 7,600 in the pass ten years. Begging the question, Are the geese simply becoming more violent? As with most changes in nature the answer is no, we are a direct cause of the geese’s behavior. In a recent Newsweek article Sharon Pawlak, from the Coalition to Prevent the Destruction of Canada Geese gives a bit of background to our present geese dilemma, “We build airports near wetlands… and homes near lakes… then blame the geese for getting in our way… Where do we want them to go?”
Our attitude towards forms of life we deem unworthy of respect goes beyond geese. Maybe many people believe geese to be irrelevant unimportant useless animals. This philosophy towards geese who “get in our way” extends to our behavior towards other cultures, races, and religion -anyone who we perceive as different or less then in any way.
We grow wary of anyone unlike us; we perceive them –wrongly, as threats and pursue them until they want to attack us. We scorn at women who chose to wear veils over there face. We laugh at cultures that are different from us, and we demonize others who hold different beliefs from ours. One major theme in all abuse is the diminishing of value to the abused party. During Japan’s conquering of China they referred to the Chinese as filthy dogs. When Europe conquered Africans, they called the Africans subhuman. During Darfur’s conflict in Sudan the Hutus constantly referred to the Tutsis as cockroaches.
When we diminish the role that every living organism –humans, nature, and animals, have on this earth we are subject to abuse not only of them but of ourselves. Killing the wild geese –which we almost did when they were driven to near extinction through hunting in1960, will have an effect on us in some form. We are so disconnected that we pollute our only home (earth) and somehow believe we won’t be affected. The waters may not rise and drive us to global warming. But if nothing else it questions who have become, our humanity becomes in danger of extinction. We have such great power over animals, with that power we must become there care takers. Why not look at them as if it was our baby brother who keeps coming in the kitchen we don’t treat them as if there in our way rather we find a way to keep them out of danger. We need to find a way to keep the wild geese out of danger. Use something on the plane engines to deflect the geese or some sort of preventative mesh to keep the geese from hurting us and themselves. And we have to stop impeding on there space. There’s more at stake then an airplane crash without our compassion and nurture we might as well be animals ourselves.