Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Pigeons Deserve Dignity and Quality of Life

The story does not come from The Daily Mail. It does not even come from The Onion. Hold on to your hats, this story was reported by the Wall Street Journal.

It’s about Lisbon, Portugal’s war against its indigenous pigeon population. Apparently, the situation is so completely out of control that a small group of pigeon lovers has tried something new and more humane. Instead of gassing the pigeons or feeding them to the reptiles at the zoo, this group has created a pigeon hotel, a facility where pigeons can feel good about themselves, where they are treated with respect and dignity. If they lay their eggs in the pigeon hotel, the volunteers remove all but one egg… apparently, to make omelets. They believe that this will control the pigeon population... without even using contraception.

As I said, this is from the Wall Street Journal. The report begins thusly: 

In Lisbon, where city officials say the bird population is above the normal level of five for every human, pigeons swarm cafes in search of table scraps. Their droppings crown the city’s statues and coat its antique architecture.

One Lisbon resident spoke for many:

Cristina Saiago, who is fighting a losing battle to keep bird feces off the flowers hanging from her balcony, is one of many Lisboners whose view of the birds is considerably less munificent.

“Pigeons are flying rats,” she said.

How are things working out in the pigeon hotel? The Journal explains:

The obvious question, of course, is whether coddling pigeons is an effective way to hold down the population. So far, only a dozen pigeons have moved into the house, and Mr. Vieira, the hygiene director, said his office still gets 300 to 400 calls a month from citizens whose homes, cars and clothing have been slathered in droppings.

“We want to give the pigeons security and a space that is only theirs,” says Joana Antunes, a 28-year-old lawyer who oversees the house with five other volunteers.

“Pigeons deserve and need dignity and quality of life,” she says.

After all, pigeons have rights too. But, dignity and quality of life. Offering dignity and quality of life by using a cheap trick to turn their progeny into omelets. Someone has completely lost her mind. You knew it would be a lawyer.

How is the new plan working out? Glad you asked:

Since the shelter opened in May, the birds haven’t exactly flocked to it. A dozen of the house’s 63 total nests are occupied. As a result, only 111 eggs—including some found outside the house—have been confiscated. The city continues to catch and gas the birds, killing anywhere between 20 and 400 on a given day for a cost of €500.

One would like to say that the pigeons were smart enough to see through the ruse. But, truth be told, they are not smart enough to avoid being gassed by the municipal authorities.

9 comments:

Sam L. said...

It makes the hoteliers feel good about themselves; which, after all, it what this is all about.

James said...

Jake "The Raging Bull" LaMotta is dead. He was no pigeon.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

You can count on pigeons to defend your dignity and quality of life.

James said...

IAC,
"You can count on pigeons to defend your dignity and quality of life." Amen IAC. Also statues, you always find them there.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

James, We must get rid of all the statues. Every one of them. Because it is horrifying to find that all men have positive qualities and negative qualities. They must all come down, lest people be offended.

No justice, no peace.

No statues, no pigeons.

We are destroying precious pigeon habitat. Where are the protesters?

James said...

IAC,
Something must be done! Even if it saves the life of one pigeon well..............it's worth it.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Indeed. That's why we have to get rid of the windmills, too. Windmills are PIGEON KILLERS.

James said...

IAC,
I wonder if Nelson realized that after all these years later he would have a bodyguard of pigeons?