Today I travelled to work like any other day. It was cold, it was wintery, it was windy and dark. It was 6 am and I noticed a pigeon huddled on the floor in the train station, very still, very fragile, not flinching from those who stepped over it. I noticed how it didn't move, I noticed how people didn't even pay it attention or glance at it. I'd had four hours sleep and was working back to back long shifts and I still SAW it and realised something was amiss. Now pigeons are frequently called 'sky rats' and 'vermin', more often than not by idiots who don't care to understand them, much less appreciate that they're extremely intelligent birds who are forced to live in our urban environments every day. They're normally the people who let their children chase the pigeons, drop their hideous litter and force these birds to scrape a living from scraps of McDonalds burgers and Greggs' sausage roll pieces. They're the people who don't think outside the box. I digress.
Something urgent startled me by this pigeon. Most pigeons run out of the way when humans plunder towards them. He/she stayed deadly still. I knelt down to see if I could see any noticeable injuries, apart from some green bird poo, there was nothing. So I looked at him a little more, he cocked his head to one side in some strange form of understanding. Then I had to get my train. I could have hung myself for being so selfish and not helping him further. I rang my mum and burst into tears on the train because I was so guilty. I then proceeded to ring the RSPCA and tell them about it. As I was nearly at work and not at the scene, the woman I spoke to explained she couldn't send anyone out but they would monitor and listen for more calls and I should check the area on my way home (which was another 12 hours later). I did check, he/she had gone.
At work I was greeted by the fact that foxes and pigeons are 'vermin'. I could have screamed.
I feel like the people who call them this must have some bigger part of their soul missing. To not feel for a creature on the basis that ignorance and peer pressure and media attention has given you reason to hate them, it's ridiculous. I read an article the other day in the Guardian that basically said, we don't understand animals, they're not any less intelligent than we are, we just don't UNDERSTAND them. Or we don't try to. I sometimes think it's the latter.
I'm trying desperately not to get bogged down by the terrible things that happen in this world. Even normal, every day people can come out with such crap! My point in the pigeon story was how terrible I felt, how I just walked away. Animals are our friends. They have a natural order, a circle, a beginning and end that doesn't involve prolonging life to extreme states. It doesn't involve families have more and more children whilst those in third world countries struggle to grasp onto their lives. We're destroying this planet, we're blundering through resources and fuels like there's no tomorrow. Even more cures for cancer? More children? Where will these people fit, how will we support them? The prospect of life and a life well lived isn't of value, it's how much we can prolong and extend it, irrespective of quality or what happens to the generations after it. A certain proportion of people need to die for population control. It's not cruel, it's fact, it's natural selection, it's a means to stop the whole world suffering.
Now tell me that fox or that pigeon is vermin. They're far more intelligent than us.