Saturday, September 12, 2009

Haiku 091209

among boats
a toy helo hovers
lily pads


Recently, we read the following: “Man vs. Goose: Taking the Fight to the Unruly Flock” by Bryan Walsh

“Rikers island has held New York City's tough-guy prisoners for more than a century, but it is also populated by a much flightier group that stands accused of crimes against New Yorkers: Canada geese. Attracted by the vacant fields and easy access to water, thousands of geese have come to live on the fringes of the island, which is less than a mile from La Guardia Airport. But because the big birds have shown a propensity for colliding with jets… on June 11, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced a plan to remove up to 2,000 geese from city-owned properties like Rikers…

“Canada geese are also prolific poopers, and with excretions adding up to as much as 1 lb. a day per bird, the health hazards are serious. The birds have been blamed for fecal contamination that has led to beach closings…

“… [B]irds in many areas are being captured and gassed with carbon dioxide. Also, at some airports, workers are being trained to use shotguns, in case birds get too close to active runways…

“But animal lovers are livid over what they see as needless slaughter — a debate repeated almost everywhere Canada geese are being culled… ‘Are we going to extinguish every single bird in the sky?’ asks Edita Birnkrant, New York director of Friends of Animals.

“… There are believed to be some 25,000 resident Canada geese in the New York City area, way more than the 2,000 that officials are sending to permanent dreamland…

“Killing geese because they get in our way is a bit unfair… Canada geese aren't the best neighbors, but that doesn't mean they deserve the death penalty.”


And we thought:

… So where do people want New York City to land in this turf war between man and goose? Why is the culling of 10% of Canada geese in New York City “needless slaughter”, if it means lessening the risk of geese-plane collisions and potential death and injury to thousands of passengers each day? Or avoiding health-related risks caused by 25,000 pounds of geese excretions per day?

Should New York allocate money to find alternate plane routes or build another airport for the planes currently using La Guardia? Should it continue expending resources to clean up after the geese? Or should it instead use increasingly scarce city resources for more critical programs like affordable housing, health care, or similar human services?

Choosing between animal rights, on the one hand, and people’s safety and health, on the other, shouldn’t really be a tough call. Why isn't that a no-brainer?...

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