Activist says feeding homeless with geese 'ethical'
Published Friday, June 24, 2011 9:55AM EDT
A Virginia-based locavore activist says New York City is doing the "ethical thing" by sending its culled Canada Geese to a slaughterhouse to feed the homeless.
Jackson Landers, a self-professed conservationist who hunts for his own food, told CTV's Canada AM on Friday that the city's decision to capture the birds and send them to food banks in Pennsylvania "gives some sort of meaning to (their) deaths."
Landers, who was the first to pose the idea last year, added that geese in many parts of the world are considered high cuisine. He said people who are skeptical of the fowl's taste should give it a try before making judgment.
Last summer, Landers joined local residents and activists to protest NYC officials' decision to gas 368 geese with carbon dioxide. The birds were subsequently left in landfill sites to rot.
Landers, who teaches adults how to hunt, wrote in his blog in response to last year's gassing that "poisoning the geese to death by gas or injection and burying the corpses is a despicable and unethical waste of food."
The birds, which are considered a nuisance in NYC and are a safety concern for airlines, have been an ongoing problem in the state.
In 2009, a gaggle of geese forced U.S. Airways Flight 1549 to land into New York's Hudson River. Miraculously, no one was injured but the incident forced city officials to take a proactive approach to the pesky fowl problem.
In a press release published in 2010 on the New York City website, the city's environmental protection commissioner wrote in response to the Flight 1549 incident, saying that the emergency landing "demonstrated the potential danger that Canada geese pose to aviation within New York City."
This year's goose reduction effort is part of a long-term plan to reduce the goose population to 4,000 from 25,000.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's website, pilots have reported seeing Canada Geese flying at altitudes of 9,000 feet. And between 1991 and 1997, the USDA reported that 16,949 civilian aircrafts were struck by the popular waterfowl.