Thursday, May 8, 2008

Big In Japan

The crows are big in Japan.

Japan Fights Crowds of Crows

Actually, the correct term is a murder of crows, but that would make an odd headline, wouldn't it? "Japan Fights Murders of Crows" -- in fact, they are actually murdering the crows, which have become a nuisance.

I have to give a lot of credit to the crows. Building dummy nests, attacking people for food, shutting down one of the most advanced train systems in the world... well done. Nature 1, humans 0.

But, as it says in another article recently, being smart may not be all that great. In the crows' case, it just makes humans want to exterminate them more, it seems. Poor little crows. It's the same story over and over: humans make a habitat that favors humans, but it also favors other species like crows. Crows multiply in expanded, favorable habitat, so people feel like they have to kill them, that they have no other choice. So sad.

The kicker, though, is here:
The crow explosion has created a moral quandary for Japan, a nation that prides itself on nonviolence and harmony with nature, because culling programs are the only truly effective method of population control.
Excuse me? Prides itself on nonviolence and harmony with nature? Oh, right, whales aren't part of nature, they're outside of it. Sure. To prove you're in harmony with nature, stop hunting whales. I think that's pretty straightforward.

Anyway, yes, it's true. Sometimes culling programs are the only effective way to deal with the situation, as in NJ we have to hunt the deer because they're overtaking the green spaces. But, it's also worth examining why we're having the problem. Is there a way to create habitat in which humans and crows can coexist? Perhaps having a more efficient garbage disposal system, so that there is less garbage sitting around? If culling is truly the only way, then it's the only way... but it's a shame, nonetheless. As intelligent creatures, crows deserve our respect.

1 comment:

Sharon said...

I saw this article too. I was mostly thinking about how ingenious the crows are - to build decoy nests to distract the Crow Patrol team? Brilliant. If the crows are a health threat, which they appear to be, it is important to try to control that. So, it's complicated.