Friday Rant: Airplanes > Living Creatures — An Alternate "Sourcing Solution" Conundrum

So: I'm the first person to say that I hate Canadian Geese. As a rower and rowing coach whose team launches from a dock in the south branch of the Chicago River, they're a constant hissing, honking, and excrement-leaving hindrance to our docking process. We've even rowed over a couple, on occasion. However -- annoying as they are -- do I want to kill them? Absolutely not. Yet New York City does.

The NYT reports that "A nine-page report put together by a variety of national, state and city agencies shows that officials hope to reduce the number of Canada geese in New York to 85,000 from 250,000. That means that roughly 170,000 geese -- two-thirds of the population -- will be killed."

Further, "The state of New York has close to 250,000 resident Canada geese, which is more than three times the state's population goal of 85,000," the report states. It is unknown how many have been killed so far. Besides the fact that it is actually someone's job to set the "goal population" of birds who are allowed to live in a certain state -- do they go capture the odd "New York" goose who enters Pennsylvania, or alert the authorities to add another six geese to the tally every time they fly into New Jersey? -- I think it's a terrible solution, and that an alternate action should be researched and implemented.

The geese do pose a legitimate threat to airplanes, however: "there have been 78 Canada goose strikes over 10 years in New York, and that those strikes caused more than $2.2 million in aircraft damage." Metropolitan New York airspace is a complete nightmare anyway, and I understand that with fewer geese, there's one less thing to worry about. The geese obviously have to go somewhere -- but does that somewhere have to be the Great Dock in the Sky??

Besides the obvious choice of trucking them Upstate New York or other less urban areas instead and letting them go instead of to "a secure location [to be] euthanized with methods approved by the American Veterinary Medical Association," what about...robotic bald eagles?? Or some other solution? I can see something else being much more effective than catching, crating, shipping, euthanizing, and then burying 170,000 geese every year.

It also seems ironic to me that we're throwing such a huge amount of time and effort into saving the birds down in the Gulf (most of whom are so traumatized and disoriented by "being saved" that they end up dying within a few days anyway), and yet killing perfectly healthy birds instead of spending a little extra time to find an alternate solution to the threat they pose.

If you come across a problem in your sourcing, i.e. tainted products, ignored regulations, etc. -- you don't kill anybody (or anything, for that matter). Except, perhaps, if you're the Chinese government and you decide to sentence a CEO to death (it's happened). More civil countries find an alternate solution and move on with it. I could go on into an existential ramble about Death now, but it's Friday, so I'll leave it at that. And I'll leave it to the others in the office to look forward to their fois gras this weekend (which is now, once again, legal in Chicago).

Sheena Moore

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