Photograph by Stephen St. John
A week ago Sunday eve I got a call from the Gardener that I work with that I had better call my “animal” rescue friends to move the geese off the lawns. The death call had been put out for the Geese that dwell on the lawn by the lake -by one of the restaurant owners.
The wedding season was open at ***** *****s – and Brides would be upset that there was goose pooh on the lawn! No matter that the Gardener and the crew always cleaned up the lawn before weddings the owner was in a snit-She was going to find someone to shoot them.
This call caused all else to fall off my creative plate. My Plight of a Plushie blog would have to wait.
I have been consumed with the history, the arrogance, possible solutions and the lack of tolerance towards a resident Canada Goose problem that has been in the making since at least the 1950’s. Not just on Lake *********- but on many of the Mid -Atlantic States lakes and ponds. A problem that started with the over hunting of the migrating Geese, the hand-raising of eggs taken from nests by the over hunters and the realization that Migration is a mentored behavior.
The Geese are a problem because they are just doing what geese do. Hanging out where they live. The notion that man is better than the animals on this Earth is a curious prejudice. That Animals are less than because they walk different, talk different, eat and dress different are the same prejudice templates that some humans place over ethnic and social groups where open prejudices do exist.
The letter below is the one I want to send. A cryptic inner office shoot from the hip straight to the other owner’s heart! A PLEASEEEEEE wake up!!! Do you hear what you are saying?
I have sent no letter yet.
I have instead been gathering information from Geese Peace.org to find a gentler way to do what the bosses want. In dribs and drabs of little benign emails I have been trying to show them a different way.
It is Not what I want…for what I want is to be accepting and deal with what presents. Put up a fence, teach the brides to reconnect and realize there is “stuff” in the grass and it is not a failure on any ones part it is just NATURE!
Dear Boss.. I have copied and pasted the last paragraph from the email you wrote responding to the Canada Goose information I sent you -into this letter..
and I preface this all by saying –
it is your restaurant…
and you will do as you wish..
But my hopes are you will re- read the words in your last paragraph & start to look at this Goose situation differently..
HOW can you call the journey you are now attempting to embark upon – calling the organic gardens sustainable –
When words like burden, profitability, inconvenience are used in reference to another living being?
This way of thinking is far from on going and sustainable!
The geese are a particular problem for ***** because of the importance of weddings to our business model. Brides and grooms love to be outside enjoying *****’s setting when the weather permits; the outdoor campus is a big part of the attraction to the place. When we continually receive complaints about the goose dung, we continually have to clean up the dung (and then deter the geese from returning to the lawn). The cost tending to the geese is high and it is a burden to *****, one that threatens the profitability of weddings.
Please keep this in mind.—-the Boss
-I do have this in mind and it makes me sad.
You have been given such a wonderful piece of Mother Earth to be a steward of… it is sad to see how the wildlife which is KEY to the ambiance of the property and all of Earth is viewed as an inconvenience.
A sustainable biodynamic environment does not include labeling living creatures that play a role in that environment (one that is constantly being thrown out of balance by man-) a burden..
We are at a juncture on this journey on Earth where we MUST work with whatever it is that presents itself due to the imbalances WE keep creating……and CREATE balance and harmony and co- existence with all living things.
Eradicating a Sentient being because it is labeled a “problem” or an inconvenience for the sake of making money is not a healthy balanced way to look a things..it keeps perpetuating the imbalances.
The sustainable movement which is what you want to promote for the Kitchen Garden ,is about re-educating people to see that co-existence is possible, honorable, and necessary ! Wanting something gone that does not fit in with your agenda does not promote co existence!
There is still such a big disconnect from people to nature -that Humans trump other living beings.
Geese live near and in water.
People like to go see water
Some places where there is water there are geese
And people need to understand sometimes there is goose poop on the lawn by the water because geese live there…!!
it is real simple
it is real life…
and to MAKE it seem like there is something wrong..
Because there is goose poop on the lawn- perpetuates the imbalances…
this un-acceptance of other living things- as less than humans bleeds into everyday living.. and actually sets the tone of un-acceptance towards each other as humans
We have a responsibility -a stewardship -to show people and remind them that is OK to care about animals..
We need to teach the brides and grooms about the reality of the lawns and you need to be brave enough to know that there are people out there that will get married on the lawn walking around the poo!
And a real simple solution is being mindful-
I work around all kinds of pooh- horse cow dog ..
I WATCH where I walk-No worries and oh well if I do step in it
Our busy hurry up society just needs to watch where they walk…
The lawn by the lake is a living place- That is WHY people are drawn to it… and the geese are part of that living dynamic environment-
Interesting how ********* lake used to be a meandering stream through the woods until man cut down the trees and made it cow pasture with a stream
and then man created a dam to make a lake…
and then the birds came
and now man does not want birds on the lake he created for birds?
And now what? Maybe they want it back to a stream?
There are solutions..
But not until words like burden.. Inconvenience. Costs and profits – go away- your eyes must be soft and open to see ALL the possibilities…
I hope you consider Geese Peace.org as your solution- or better yet- just leave the geese alone!
Thank you for your time…. Beverly
The greatness of a nation and its moral progress
Can be judged by the way its animals are treated’
“Not to hurt our humble brethren (the animals) is our first duty to them, but to stop there is not enough. We have a higher mission – to be of service to them whenever they require it.
If you have men who will exclude any of God’s creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men.”
Saint Francis of Assisi