The Deadly Fallout of Animal Ignorance
“Until he extends his circle of compassion to include all living things, man will not himself find peace.”
This quote by Albert Schweitzer came to mind as I heard the story about the dead blackbirds in Beebe, Arkansas by fireworks. It astounds me that for a second year in a row, an area that has been blessed with these beautiful birds, couldn't find a way to protect their habitat.
What will happen to the idiots that set the fireworks off? Is there any investigation? If they find the person's responsible, do they pay a fine? Do community service at an animal shelter? Do they participate in the clean up of the dead bodies?
Part of the problem, I have found, is people's complete lack of education about animals in general. In trips recently to three different states, as an example, I couldn't believe how many times I listened to parents providing the wrong description/name of even the most common bird or animal to their child. They had no clue! Then there is the absolute crazy reactions to defenseless animals that results in disturbing behaviour.
I watched a woman scream bloody murder when a bird landed on the top of her husband's head as it was trying to get to the other side of the pool. It was clearly not well and was simply trying to reach the other side as its mate had been continuing to call. It's last gasp and flight was sealed when the woman freaked out, screaming, "It's attacking my husband!", waving her hands around, she subsequently drowned the bird.
The husband was not as phased, somewhat embarrassed and seemed surprised by his wife's reaction. The other bird, who had been calling its ailing companion realized, as my friend and I placed the body under the tree, that its mate was dead. After a look to confirm, it then flew away.
I saw a comment on a site by a person from Virginia who contemplated whether the death of these blackbirds "could have been caused by them eating bad fish or whatever they eat."...WHAT? OMG, at least do some research before commenting.
My sister started a wildlife rescue association back in the 1970's, it has since grown to be an extremely valued and utilized society. What we saw at the hands of man was something, even though I was a child, I remember vividly. Raccoons rescued because people had boarded up their dens, with babies inside. Birds shot with pellet guns, left injured and in need of treatment. Beaver dams destroyed with beaver inside. Nest's bashed out of trees for fun, household poisons drained into waterways or left improperly stored and other examples of human insensitivity and cruelty.
There are plenty of examples I could give of how little people either know or care about the critters that inhabit our local areas; let alone the rare species we are gifted. In the case of the blackbirds it is not rocket science, fireworks disturb nature. It seems only fitting that if local agencies can't protect the birds from stupid people maybe families can have a discussion with their members about the importance of compassion to living things.
This made me very angry and the citizen's of Beebe should figure out a way to stop this from happening in the future. This wasn't an accident and that makes it particularly shameful.