October 07, 2009
Chad Love: Steel Shot or Counseling for "Murderous" Swans?
By Chad Love
From the article "Swans of Prospect Park Go From Elegant to Murderous:"
At 60 acres, Prospect Park Lake in Brooklyn would seem to be big enough for two pairs of swans. And for a while, it was. One pair kept happily to the south end, and the other struck around the northern half, their white feathers contrasting with the greens and browns of the park, to the delight of picnickers and wedding parties.
But this year, both pairs had families, and that neighborly dynamic came to a fast — and surprisingly violent — halt.
The couple in the southern end of the lake, raising four brown cygnets, are trying to drive out the other family, which has one cygnet. The southern father — wings beating, back hunched and neck extended — streaks across the lake with a wake behind him and repeatedly jumps on members of the other family.
...Shocked to see the serene, gliding, elegant creatures suddenly turned into apparent would-be killers, Brooklyn residents, from neighboring Park Slope to Sunset Park, have stepped in, trying to stop the swan-on-swan violence and even calling city and state agencies for help. But officials and animal experts say the residents’ concern is misplaced. After all, this is how nature sometimes plays out. They are refusing to take action.
Now this raises some interesting philosophical conundrums for your average animal-rights supporter. We all know how committed the animal rights movement is to eliminating all forms of human-caused "violence" toward animals. It's evil and unnatural, you see. But what about this animal-on-animal mayhem? Is that evil and unnatural, too? Just how the hell do you convince animals to be the mellow, vegan, peace-loving sentient beings you know they long to be? Lectures? Sensitivity Training? Guidance counselors?
I would truly love to know how PETA would handle this delicate situation.
However, since the swans in question are mute swans click here to find out how any waterfowl hunter along the shores of Chesapeake Bay would handle the situation, and it certainly wouldn't be a question of lectures, training or counselors. More like steel, tungsten or bismuth?