Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Please Do NOT Feed the Ducks

Offering, 15 x 10" on Etsy.

My newest house piece. I haven't done one of these in a while. I don't know why I stopped. I love the house shape and its been quite popular. So, here's another.

I'm going to do a few more in the New Orleans series and then the plan is to do more house shapes. Perhaps I'll do a few smaller ones and integrate some paper bits.

I'm on "vacation" this week. My daughter has no camp and we are going to hang out and be lazy. We are off to lunch in a few minutes. A hot but pleasant day lies ahead. We will pack up some peanuts and bread and walk across the Penn State campus toward town. We will feed squirrels and ducks along the way.

The campus has a lovely duck pond and gardens. We have gone there for years and fed ducks and ducklings. And as I have been suspecting for years now, the "do not feed the ducks" signs have recently sprouted up around the pond. I'm sure a steady diet of bread is not the best thing for ducks. However, I suspect lawyers are involved somehow in these signs. Perhaps a child was nibbled a bit while feeding the ducks. Seconds later, lawyers rush in and lawsuits are drawn up. The university is terrified. In this "economic downturn" there is no cash lying around for the hungry and shallowly injured to gobble up, therefore the signs. Sigh.

So, is this a matter of healthy ducks or defense from lawsuits? I'm not a pate person. I don't believe in stuffing unwilling ducks just so we can harvest and munch on their distended livers. If I fed bread to the ducks and the next day saw them all floating feet up, I would feel bad. I would refrain from feeding them in the future. However, the pond is ringed by children holding out bread for the birds. The looks of joy on their faces as they nurture those ducks with child love and food is priceless. They feel they are doing good by taking care of the ducks. This is one of those exercises in learning compassion and empathy. I fully believe that a child that learns to nurture animals and people will grow up to be a loving person. This is what I will tell the annoying bureaucrat who waddles over with the ducks to remove the bread from our hands and shame us by not following the rules.


Fibra Artysta said...

Its not bureaucrats...feeding ducks bread is harmful to their health. If you feed them human food, they develop all kinds of health problems from heart disease to liver problems. Plus it makes them fat because their systems don't know how to process this type of food. And being fat makes it harder for them to escape from predators.

So its not a lawsuit thing, its a health of the duck thing.

Kim Hambric said...

It it were all for the health of the animals, there would be no such thing as paté. I did do some googling for info., and yes there are health concerns for the ducks. We do live in a country that thrives on bureaucracy, though, and also thrives food-wise on the mistreatment of animals. I'm still putting most of my money on lawsuits.

No, I do not approve of the mistreatment of animals. But I do disapprove of the ever increasing removal of people from animals. Years ago, people lived on farms, had animals for pets and for food, and generally lived alongside animals. Today, most of us buy our meat and other edibles wrapped in plastic. We are constantly told to keep away from animals as they are dirty and dangerous. This will only increase our fear and mistrust of animals.

My goal is not to harm ducks or other animals. I do want our children to be able to get close to animals and somehow involve ourselves in their world. Otherwise, we might just as well withdraw into our own little plastic covered worlds and live with less and less contact with any living thing.

Jo James said...

I don't know about duck health, but I do love that quilty house (or is it a housey quilt?).
Great work!

Robin Olsen said...

Thank you for the nice comment on my blog. I really like your work. Great color combos and use of patterns. This house especially jumped out at me!

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