COLUMN: Killing two ‘birds’ with one stone?

Touch-typing has taken on new meaning with my right index finger currently partially numb and wrapped in a bandage, causing many a miscue.

Touch-typing has taken on new meaning with my right index finger currently partially numb and wrapped in a bandage, causing many a miscue in the locating of correct keys.

To explain: Sunday afternoon after fuelling truck, I reached back into the cab to grab something. Upon slamming the door with my left hand I neglected to fully retract the right.

After producing a drawn-out expletive as I wrenched free my painful finger I discovered the digit was split more than an inch, right down to some rather unpleasant looking stuff. It didn’t bleed at first, perhaps because I was already down a pint from donating blood on Saturday.

However, on inspection I determined it would take more than a bandage to close the wound so my next stop was a walk-in clinic.

Of course I was wearing my grubbiest clothes, my hair looking worse than the tear in my finger, when into the examining room walks a gorgeous doctor. Just my luck to look like a beast in the face of beauty!

However, out came the suture tools and four stitches later I was good to go. In the meantime, and with me obviously looking like a ‘country boy,’ the conversation led to her asking if I knew how to stop a flock of pigeons from using her roof as a toilet.

Funny you should ask, I said, because I was intending to write about people’s former pets becoming a scourge across the province, and for that matter throughout North America.

These include cats gone feral and unwanted bunnies released to breed like, well, like bunnies, and inundate parks, university campuses and hospital grounds.

What irks me about this is that while people don’t want these animals, have abandoned them to possible starvation, they suddenly get sentimental about solving the problems they helped create. Can’t kill the ‘poor little things,’ so literally millions of dollars are spent capturing them, neutering and spaying, shipping to far-flung rescue centres and feeding them for the rest of their long lives.

Would not the money be better spent feeding the human homeless, and could not the humane dispatching of these critters be turned into a nutritious food source for the needy?

Kootenay towns are already doing this to solve an overabundance of urbanized deer, their meat going to the food bank.

Think about rabbits … people have eaten them since the little lop-ears first began hopping about fields and forest. You can order coniglio in most Italian restaurants, and I’ve enjoyed the flavour of wild rabbit on many occasions.

Pigeons are raised commercially and sold as squab, and I’ll bet also now and then as ‘Cornish Game Hen.’ Then there are rooks (crows): think of the old rhyme about ‘four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie.’

What you do about feral cats is another thing, though I have heard rumours of certain restaurants substituting . . . we won’t go there!

The point is, through disinterest, convenience or simply the way we live, we have allowed former pets to become not only a nuisance, but a plague in our communities . . . including the indigenous but urbanized deer in the Interior, and Canada geese in our cities.

Let’s be rational about this: these animals should be euthanized, not eulogized, the resultant food products consumed and the money otherwise spent rescuing them going to help the human needy – another travesty we have allowed to happen through our indifference.

Would that not be more appropriate, and in the long run more humane, than allowing these animals to continue to run wild, to in the case of cats, decimate the songbird population, rabbits to undermine buildings, geese to defecate all over parks, deer to be hit on city streets, or pigeons to poop on public and private places?

markrushton@abbynews.com