Complaint Box: Person Writes About Dismembering Lovely Birds


Today’s Times’s “Complaint Box” is given over to one Louise Dreier, the recent beneficiary of a master’s degree in urban planning from Columbia. Her topic? “It’s time New York regarded pigeons as the major nuisance they are-they’re simply rats with wings.” 1. Okay, I guess they already did airplane food? And 2. Yes I know we are at war with the birds, but the pigeons were not a combatant-they were an ally. And: 3. This weird bias against Columbidae must stop. Those of us who have read Pigeons: The Fascinating Saga of the World’s Most Revered and Reviled Bird know that this trash-talking and, yup, CASUAL RACISM about the feral rock dove results not only in terrible cliches but also in anti-bird violence and, sure, I know I am sounding awfully PETA-crazy right now. But, c’mon. Live a little! That this person (whose Columbia work, nobly investigating street harassment, uncovered the shocking results that “a male companion makes women feel safest” on the street) gets to write about throwing water balloons at pigeon nests and how she contemplates tearing off pigeon legs? Petty, crude and bizarre. I’d love to see her boring, birdless, Sim City plans for her urban-planned version of New York. Then I will have some awesome birds take a crap on them. (Photo by ZeroOne from Flickr.)