Friday, 1 July 2016

Beauty in the Eye of the Beholder

by Michaela Clancy


There is a bird somewhere in the world that can fly at an average speed of 77.6 mph and can cover a distance of 600-700 miles in a single day, the record been a 55 day flight between Africa and England ( a total distance of 7000 miles). This is an extraordinary bird. To witness the velvet like grey, fading into black upon its tail. The emerald like shimmer reflecting off its neck. To hold ones gaze and stare deeply into its wise eyes that share knowledge of our skies, is a privilege for myself, for this bird has ventured into parts of our world that I shall never experience.   

You may not have guessed what magical bird I am describing yet, but I am sure if you look outside of a window you will most likely spot it. I was describing the common pigeon.

It may seem like an odd way to begin an article. Especially given the common status of the pigeon: a pest, a rodent with wings, these are all names that we have given them. After hearing on the radio that yet another culling of pigeons was to take place in this country I was mortified at the thought of so many lives been ended as a result of our doing. I understand that not many see their lives as valuable and that by ending theirs it will be improving ours and other species lives. But who are we to condemn them to such a fate?  All because they have been too successful in their breeding; I find this hypocrisy hard to digest as I watch the human population figures rise by the second until I close the tab at 7,334,727,295 people. We have grown to such numbers that we dominate the habitats of nearly every species on earth, we are responsible for the extinction of thousands and yet we are still the ones who continue to rise whilst minimising the success of others. Is it fair? In my opinion, no.

image by Seb Algieri
 I am a strong believer in survival of the fittest and if a species is thriving, let it thrive and watch as yet another beautiful creature expands in population, because the more of the them that live, the more often we can admire the nature that surrounds us and the beauty that we live in. Instead, we are killing the survivors, fighting to save the unsuccessful and ignoring the ones in between. In a few years’ time the pigeon may have been brought close to extinction due to a disease or even our actions and we will be fighting to save a ‘rare and beautiful’ species that right now we are killing.


I understand the reasons behind why we cull pigeons and other species alike but it isn’t necessary. If we cannot live together with another successful animal without killing it in mass, is it natures intention for us to survive? This is not a question that I can answer but it is one worth dwelling upon. I am a nature lover and I can’t imagine anything better than looking out of a window or even walking through the country and witnessing every creature, because every animal is beautiful in its own right. Survival is beautiful and I believe it is something that we humans have to accept rather than repel. 

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