Animals Britain

11 Reasons We Should Stop Hating Pigeons

13:58Ciaran McCormick

Many people call themselves animal lovers, embracing the warm fuzziness of cats, dogs, cows and dolphins. Yet one of the most common animals is regularly abused, smeared and exterminated by humans. Pigeons expose the hypocritical attitude of people towards their fellow animals and there are many good reasons we should stop hating on them.

1) Teach children respect




















Visit any town centre and you can watch children chasing pigeons and treating them as a game rather than living creatures. Would you let a child try to stamp on a pet? This is the perfect opportunity to teach children about respect for animals rather than encourage a low-level insidious form of violent behaviour.

2) They aren't carriers of disease




















The idea that pigeons are major carriers of disease is one of the reasons people are afraid of them, but this is actually an urban myth. The interesting article 'How Pigeons Became Rats' by Colin Jerolmack exposed the origins of this myth down to 1960s New York. Even if they do carry diseases, that does not mean we are justified in killing or demonising the animals.

3) Beauty




















Pigeons come in so many different shapes and can be pretty cute and colourful.


4)  Pigeons share our space




















They live in the spaces that humans have colonised, so we should learn to get along and accept that we don't own the space we designate as human. Nature cannot be divided neatly into segregated spaces like zoos.


5)  They aren't 'rats with wings'



This is cruel sloganeering. We should also stop hating on rats.

6) They are as valuable as pets






















We treat pets so well they have their own billion dollar industries. However, because we haven't domesticated pigeons, they get mistreated instead.


7) Monogamous and mate for life



















Even if you don't accept that they have their own intrinsic value, they are closer to humans than you might imagine. For example, they mate for life, which is very sweet.


8) Revered throughout history

















Hate for pigeons is a relatively new thing in the last century. In history, pigeons have been celebrated in cultures such as Ancient Greece, and have proved their worth in war as carriers of messages.


9)  No difference to doves




























There is no biological division between doves and pigeons. That one is a symbol of peace and the other a pest is absurd.


10) Cruelty eg spikes




The cruel ways we treat our feathered friends reveal how we treat other humans. People often put up spikes to deter pigeons, with grotesque results. Recently, reports have revealed that spikes have been laid down to chase away vulnerable homeless people.



11) Intelligence





Pigeons are actually really smart and have been known to learn the alphabet and mathematics. You can even watch one playing ping pong.

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