The planet is our home; we need to be more responsible. Here's what I do.
Multiple choice question coming up.
Which do you prefer?
Let me guess? Squirrel, right?
On a visit to the UK we went down to the seashore and within a few moments I saw a pigeon, a squirrel and a rat.
But no photos were possible at all.
Shortly after that I saw this.
This fella may have been behaving in a way we don’t approve of but his tenacity was impressive.
This tasty morsel was the first reward he was successful in getting hold of.
He persevered for quite a time. And meanwhile I got to thinking.
The seagull was committed to stealing that rubbish, yet we’ve thrown it away.
The seagull is the ‘perceived’ nuisance. A coastal ‘flying rat’ causing a mess, disturbing the rubbish, tearing the sacks, strewing debris all over the place.
Yet the bird didn’t put the rubbish there in the first place. It was on top of a large communal bin; not inside it where the seagull would not have found it.
So why do we so often become agitated by animals that follow our municipal waste so negatively?
Shouldn’t we be frustrated by the creation of the waste in the first place?
We spend so much time creating waste. Waste food in particularly. Apparently up to forty percent of the food we buy ends up
in on the bin.
The poor bird has a much criticised scavenging instinct, similarly so does the rat, the pigeon…. and the squirrel. Yet their behaviour, which is viewed so negatively by us, was stimulated by our habits in the first place.
Funnily enough, the squirrel, let’s face it, wouldn’t get the same reaction as the rat or the seagull or say a pigeon. Yet it’s still a scavenger. The one I saw was attracted by nuts left out for the birds.
Funny that, we feed the birds. Oh yes, but really only the cute ones. The ones we don’t want to loose. But then there’s the crows, the pigeons, the jackdaws, the magpies…. The seagulls!
And the scavengers eat our mess. Then they multiply, then they become a nuisance, that interferes with the city, the city will attempt to poison them or shoot them or reduce their numbers in other ways.
Why not just reduce the waste? just saying.
So the message for seagulls*: please don’t eat the food we leave out as rubbish. For other food only eat the stuff that the cute birds have finished with.
*For seagulls please feel free to substitute pigeons or rats, but not cute squirrels!
a blog by a multilingual expat-since-birth, linguist, researcher, mum of three, living in the Netherlands and writing about bilingualism, multiculturalism, parenting abroad, international life...