Good For the Goose?

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[Community News]

On any given day, Brooklyn’s Prospect Park is host to thousands. For some of us that live in the city, the 585 acre escape is our piece of good country life in the heart of the city. In fact, Prospect Park is Brooklyn ’s last and only forest and fresh water lake. It is home to a multitude of species of birds and other wildlife.

On any given day, runners, bikers, fishers and outdoor, grill chefs are company to the grand, picturesque green scenery. Trees of all kinds, ages and unique character, tell a synchronistical story in the landscape. While running in grassy or dirt paths, I can count on at least one chipmunk sprinting across my feet.

Perhaps, one of my favorite rituals is to end a rigorous run or stroll in the park at the lake with geese delicacies in tote. There is nothing I enjoy more than admiring the intriguing creatures that master air, glide on the water, and command the land. It is often a fierce competition amongst the assemblers at the lake to feed these harmless creatures that at times literally eat out of your palms.

What a sad day July 12th brought, when not one goose or gander could be found in Prospect Park . It seems the federal government decided that the geese, whose natural habitat is the sky at times, conflicted with the desire of man to fly in aircrafts. Hence, over 400 geese were rounded up, tied in plastic garbage tie nooses, and gassed to death with carbon dioxide in the name of commercial aviation passenger safety. The geese are all gone.

More unsettling than the inhumane, mass slaughter of these creatures, was the complete ignorance on part of all of the parties and agencies involved. In recent weeks, the geese have begun their annual molting, meaning they could not fly. Their capture was timed to the molting. In addition; the departed geese were residents to the park. As residents, there would have been no migration that would threaten the invasion of the inherent, flying creature’s airspace, as in the case of flight 1549 that successfully landed in the Hudson River.

According to a May 2007 statement made by Ahmed Djoghlaf, head of the U.N. Convention on Biological Diversity, it is estimated that every hour three species go extinct. Every day 150 species are lost. In addition to the morbid future of so many life forms that we know and don’t know, the ecological implications are proving to be our rapid man-made demise.

In the natural order of things, before man’s arrogance and greed dictated and rerouted the future of Divine Creation, everything in the universe was alive. The appreciation and comprehension of our connectedness fused our love and respect for everything under the sun. The time, seasons, and all participators in the grand circle of life, from the heavens, the earth to the deep seas kept the order that kept the balance.

Now with mass deforestation, grotesque air pollution, unconceivable and ongoing damage to the ocean, all for man’s gain and pleasure, disorder and destruction reign supreme. War and terror, crimes against innocent men, women and children all over the world are driven by the same machine.

Many reading this do not live near nor visit Prospect Park , so it all seems irrelevant. I do not live in Sudan , but understand that sex war crimes against the women and girls there are massively destroying my species by the millions annually. I wish I had an answer to what it will take for the mass majority to be more proactive about protecting this once sacred thing we call “Life”. Unfortunately it is usually like the quote ends with a similar scenario: “When the trees saw the ax enter the forest they said, oh, he’s one of us”.

R.I.P. Prospect Park Geese

Mocha Brown is a community activist in New York City.

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