Thursday, January 05, 2006

Passenger Pigeon


I know some of you think that the only things I write about are gorillas, bananas, and Elvis. Well, today, I'm going to surprise you. I'll bet you didn't know that I was a charter member of The Passenger Pigeon Society. As you know, the passenger pigeon species is extinct. There were once the most common birds in the world, and at one point, there may have been as many as 5 billion birds. Now, there are none. They were literally eaten into extinction by humans. You don't see pigeon pie on the menu much today, but before the 1900's, if you ate pigeon pie, you were probably eating passenger pigeon.

I am a vegetarian, but many other animals are not. Life subsists on life. However, when animals are hunted until they become endangered species (and then extinct) where is the interest for self-preservation? Humans shot all the passenger pigeons, and now there are no more passenger pigeons to shoot. If people were relying upon the meat from these birds for their livelihoods, then in essence, they killed the goose that laid the golden egg.

At one point, there were 5 billion passenger pigeons. Now, there are none.

What hope is there for the gorillas?

4 comments:

HitManJ said...

Very interesting. It made me just a bit sad. Of course, I can totally sypmathize. I make my living by eliminating problems. If I eliminate all problems, I'll be unemployed....

Lady K said...

That really IS sad. Any animal that becomes extinct is sad. Except for skunks. I wouldn't mind if they became extinct. I'd definitely miss you if gorillas became that way, Brad. Can we talk about Elvis now?

Yorkshire Pudding said...

In his excellent book, "Made in America", Bill Bryson says that early settlers in New England referred to flocks of carrier pigeons so dense that they blocked out the sun. Their going is at least as tragic as the passing of the dodo on Mauritius. When will human beings ever learn? Even today we are driving whales and tigers and polar bears to extinction. Sorry mate, there's no hope for gorillas in the long term unless they inhabit the equatorial jungles of Cascadia!

galetea said...

Making animals extinct sucks. In any other ecosystem, animals like human beings just might be called parasites.