One of my fondest memories as a child is when my parents would take me to the park to see the ducks. It was a relaxing way to spend quality family time together. Moreover, it was also a wonderful way to bond with nature. Nowadays, in this fast paced world in which we live, our connection with nature is more important than ever. Unfortunately, enjoying nature is not as easy as when I was a kid as a result of over development and other human causes.
Being an animal lover, I was absolutely shocked and horrified when I heard the news that the city of Ocala, Florida is planning to kill about 110 ducks that are living in several of the city’s parks. Specifically, the city plans to pay the USDA over $8,000 to euthanize the ducks. First, the ducks will be sedated. After sedation, they will be driven to another county that is located hours away. The reason for the long drive is that is where the gas chamber is located. The ducks will be placed in the gas chamber and killed.
Why the death sentence for the ducks? According to city officials, the ducks are contaminating the ponds and recreation areas. In other words, the city sees the ducks as a nuisance to area parks. Needless to say, there has been a huge public outrage as a result of the city’s decision. Specifically, there have been protests and petitions in an effort to save the ducks. As a matter of fact, there have been organizations that have offered to take the ducks, but so far negotiations have been unsuccessful. According to city officials, federal law has made relocating the ducks difficult. At the end of this post, I will leave a couple of links for those who would like to get involved by signing a petition to help save the ducks.
Some of us are animal lovers–and some are not. No doubt, we all have different passions in life. After all, that is what is so beautiful about life. We are all uniquely different, but most of us share a common bond. That is, we want to make a difference. We want to make the world a better place before we leave this world. We want to live our lives with purpose. That being said, what gives us the right to take another life because we simply view that life as a nuisance? Moreover, do elected city officials have that right? Morally speaking, does anyone have that right?
Before long, at the pace we are going, will there be any wildlife left? Interestingly enough, our own human population is growing at a rapid pace, but have we addressed the issues involved with that? Do we want a planet that is void of nature? Are we just going to build parks for baseball diamonds and snack bars? Are we so focused on ourselves that we have lost our way?
Being an optimist, I believe that most people are compassionate. However, not all of us share a compassion for animals, but I do believe that as our society evolves that people will have more empathy. As for ducks, often times people will minimize their significance by arguing that they are just plain stupid. I personally disagree with that, but let’s say that they are stupid for the sake of discussion. Does having less intelligence give people the right to kill? If anything, we should have more empathy for a life that has less intelligence than we do. In other words, if we are truly the “smart ones,” then shouldn’t we understand right from wrong?
As for the ducks, I personally believe that they deserve to be here as much as we do. If for whatever reason the ducks cannot be relocated, why consider killing them as an option anyway? It doesn’t sound at all humane to me. Besides, we need to learn how to coexist together. And if we can’t learn to coexist, perhaps it might be time to look in the mirror. After all, when people actually start thinking that killing innocent ducks is acceptable behavior then perhaps the real problem here has nothing at all to do with ducks. In my opinion, we cannot say that we are compassionate if we don’t have compassion for animals too. How we treat our animals (ducks included) says a lot about who we are.
By the way, I have just heard some hopeful news on this story. According to a city official, there may be some revisions to the federal law that would make relocating the ducks easier. Yet, it is not clear as to what those revisions will be. So, let’s be hopeful, but let’s also be “involved” in helping to make a difference. It’s all of us working together that can raise awareness to bring about change.
Here are the links for those who want to sign the petitions to help save the ducks: