The Q at Parkside

(for those for whom the Parkside Q is their hometrain)

News and Nonsense from the Brooklyn neighborhood of Lefferts and environs, or more specifically a neighborhood once known as Melrose Park. Sometimes called Lefferts Gardens. Or Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. Or PLG. Or North Flatbush. Or Caledonia (west of Ocean). Or West Pigtown. Across From Park Slope. Under Crown Heights. Near Drummer's Grove. The Side of the Park With the McDonalds. Jackie Robinson Town. Home of Lefferts Manor. West Wingate. Near Kings County Hospital. Or if you're coming from the airport in taxi, maybe just Flatbush is best.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Trapping Pigeons in PLG

Today a reader wrote in with a story too bizarre to be untrue. Here's what he said:

I just saw something this morning that I thought strange and was wondering if you or anyone in the hood has witnessed something similar:

Saturday 11:15 am, my son and I were walking out of the Western Beef parking lot and see a middle aged Latino man walk from his van and toss a handful of seed down in a pile and a bunch of pigeons descend and start pecking away. As we walk by the feeding frenzy, I'm thinking to myself, 'oh great, someone is helping to feed our flying rat population'! I turn the corner and I'm on my way down Sterling Street and I hear a bit of commotion so I turn around and see the tail end of the guy walking back to his van after casting down a huge giant net over the birds and shaking the net around with the birds in it, stuffs them in the side door of his mini van and hops in with his buddy quickly and takes off.
Together we wondered what on earth could compel a private citizen to take on such a macabre undertaking. Having friends over for Jerk Pigeon? An anti-PETA zealot? Terrorism? Pigeilantes?

Turns out that pigeon trappings like this are old news, and while some pigeons most certainly do end up as food, the likely explanation has more to do with simple economics. What if I told you there was someone who would buy these pigeons for $2 a head? For what purpose, you might ask?

Target practice. That's right, pigeons are regularly rounded up and thrown into vans and trucks to be transported to places like rural Pennsylvania to be used as "live" non-clay pigeons. You learn something new every day. And sometimes, what you learn is just plain despicable.

Wall St Journal Pigeon Article

To see what it might look like to do such a dastardly deed, here's a vid. Not for the squeamish bird lover:

Of course scenes of such cruelty are commonplace in the industrial food business. I can't pretend I haven't been party to such depravity. Still, pretty useful info to know, no?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It might be legal in PA to use these birds in canned hunts in PA but I wonder if it's legal to trap and transport them inhumanely in NY State and across state lines. I doubt it. If anybody sees this ever again snap a picture of the van license plate. I will. This makes me sick to my stomach, reading the NYT article.