Hate Pigeons? You Might Be A Racist.
So much hate.
We control where they live.
We force them into the dingiest parts of the city by putting spikes on the places we don’t want them to go.
We tell jokes about kicking them (And some do, in fact, kick them).
Many of us say we hate them.
What living thing could possibly deserve such abuse? Pigeons. And it’s because of the color of their feathers.
But...we love doves?
The next time you're standing on the train platform observing drunk college kids kicking pigeons (I've seen it in real life, it's horrifying), think about this.
Somewhere else, gooey-eyed brides are shelling out hundreds of dollars to release doves into the air on their wedding days.
Why? Beautiful white birds flocking to the skies. It makes for a picturesque celebration of the happiest day of their life.
The only difference is feather color.
Okay, there might be some complex biology here, but pigeons and doves are almost the exact same bird, except for their feathers.
What this means: A pigeon is a dark-colored dove.
Many of us chastise and abuse one, while we covet and adore the other. Pigeons live in harsher urban environments, while doves are so valuable they are part of an industry supporting people’s happily ever afters.
A flock of pigeons on a city street
The nuisance of pigeons is real.
Now, I want to be clear. Identifying our discrimination against pigeons doesn't mean I support all of the things every pigeon does. (I'm sure I wouldn't support all of the things a dove does, either.)
Of course we all find pigeon droppings from the heavens above to be less than enjoyable.
I'm not here to support human contact with pigeon waste and the carrying of urban disease. But then again, just because someone is opposed to the death penalty, it doesn't mean they support murder, right?
Pigeons don't get to choose their feather color.
It isn’t fair that a bird can be unlucky enough to be born a pigeon, inheriting a legacy of abuse based on feather color.
He or she faces a life of starvation, 'homelessness,' and abuse, while his or her lighter-feathered brothers and sisters are worshipped as an angels-in-flight.
Can you imagine if people were born into lives of dehumanizing treatment, simply because of the color of their…wait a minute.
The bottom line.
Next time you look at a pigeon with disgust, imagine it as a dove and get curious about whether you'd have the same reaction.
If there's anything we need more of, it's love and acceptance of all species from across the spectrum(s) of color, shape, and creed.
And maybe, just maybe, recognize that “darker” species (both bird and human alike) who are born into harsher environments could use more compassion and less kicking while they're down.