back in the 70s there was an exterminator (bugs, rodents, etc.) in NYC that was lacking in biz, as NYC had recently prompted a program due to the mounting complaints of pests, to clean up the city/(garbage); …anyway, this very lost man (who was losing biz) created an ad campaign that pigeons were filthy, disease-ridden creatures – and that HE could help citizens as the only exterminator in the area to have expert knowledge of how to get rid of them. Well, this marketing campaign caused outraged concern of the self, not the outrage that should have been: he was trying to make a buck in a down market (for him). -the outrage targeted mostly at hotels and public buildings from concerned citizens due to their hearing all this crap over and over in ads on television, the radio, the newspapers- those who ran the city’s hotels/buildings were lambasted by possible patrons complaining (now), the pigeons’ poop, etc. and all the made up other stuff would certainly cause them to become very ill/perhaps deadly; if no action to get rid of the pigeons was taken, there would be lawsuits! So lost exterminator man didn’t lose anymore revenue. Yes, his biz was strong again(!) He saved the poor citizens from actual fear caused by untrue actuality by cleaning up the mess the pigeons made; i.e . killing them so that everyone was safe and pristine.
Truth is there isn’t one communicable disease that can be transmitted from pigeon to human – unless you want to eat their poop – then I guess, bacteria indigestion will follow; but that is same with any species… And, thus, another lie for gain becomes popular belief – and still stands today. Jeeze, I mean it is only killing pigeons; what’s the harm?
As a prior SF columnist was famous for calling pigeons over and over within his columns: “rats with wings” (brainwash, brainwash, brainwash), it made you wonder: was he receiving monies from the local govt? He was quite the popular syndicated read… cuz SF citizens had (back then) been a holdout re the national holocaust on pigeons (SF no longer is caring of these creatures either) – and thus, goes society as we remain. Start anything by telling people it’s so and with enough repetitiveness, it’s a done deal. But: I remember prior to the frenzy: feeding the pigeons with stale bread saved for them… never sickened, just fun. My point: as everyone since (now) gets sicker – it’s not the pigeons that are the cause.
one pigeon- Cervas we called him – we found him after some idiot had done horrible things to him; ultimately had to pay a vet to have his leg amputated re the infection the man caused. The (previous) caring SFSPCA does not include pigeons in their promise to protect all creatures, so finding a vet who’d do the operation was difficult/really expensive; just on that, I thought: my gosh – do not these veterinarians realize the bird isn’t our pet? instead, he just crossed our path and we are trying to do the right thing? Could one of them be a little more generous and volunteer to take at least a reduced fee for the procedure? Nope, cost over $800. Nonetheless, our little pigeon hero survived his operation and after a few weeks inside to recoup… he was fine, with a new nick-name: PegLeg. he stayed loyal and hung out with me/my dog on walks and would sit on the front stairs with us before we’d go in after those walks – and from then on, never had to eat human vomit or other nasties (actually human garbage does make pigeons and other wildlife sick/live shorter lives); no! he had a lovely organic diet – even with just one leg, PegLeg lived a very long lovely pigeon life – and made us smile so many times; (every evening, when I turned lights out before going to sleep, that was his signal – I’d hear this lovely cooing – saying goodnight to me; he’d made a nesting close to my bedroom’s window; luckily I had nice neighbors that enjoyed him too.) He will never be forgotten.
(to be continued)