Mourning the Birds and the Bees

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Recently, there were memorial services for 50,000 dead bumblebees in Oregon and 144 euthanized Canadian geese in North Carolina.  County workers purposely destroyed the Canadian geese, which, in some places in America, have become as bothersome as squirrels.  The geese were killed when they inhaled poisonous vapors. In response, a group of grief-stricken locals held a vigil that included 144 fresh-cut daisies, carnations, and a lot of singing.

That’s right: dozens of goose-stepping, er, I mean goose-loving, PETA types gathered in Gaston County Park in Dallas, North Carolina to mourn the untimely passing of bothersome, honking, pooping geese.  Ironically, after the mass execution, and seeing as how the Gaston County Park is now largely free of goose droppings, it was easy to hold the memorial and sit on the grass hugging, swaying, and singing hymns in honor of Mother Goose.

The cruelty is unconscionable, especially because everybody who’s anybody knows there are alternatives to goose murder. For instance, GeesePeace encourages people to “Start or continue a GeesePeace program in your community this year …You will resolve conflicts with Canada geese, economically, humanely and without controversy.”

Okay, but geese weren’t the only ones being honored at commemorative services.  In Wilsonville, Oregon, 50,000 bees were mistakenly eradicated from a local Target store parking lot with a pesticide named Safari.  The Safari was ‘targeted’ for tree aphids, which were causing sap to fall on parked cars.  The problem is, the pesticide ended up killing innocent, pollinating bees; so, on June 30th, sixty people paid homage to the departed bees.

The Wilsonville Bee Memorial’s Facebook page, designed by group leader Rozzell Medina, urged other bee lovers to join the bee-utiful organizers in their “efforts to memorialize…fallen lifeforms [sic] and to draw attention to the plight of bees at this time and their importance to life on Earth.”

According to Rozzell, the purpose of the event was to make an “ecological catastrophe seem less abstract.” The organizer, Mr. Medina, is an avid member of Occupy Portland and evidently the sole person on Facebook showing interest in the “Deconstruction of Dominant Paradigms” page.

Nonetheless, Rozzell’s Facebook bee memorial group does have some true bee-lievers.  There’s a feminist pornographer; a person who identifies himself as a “revolutionary catalyst”; a green space specialist at “Friends of Trees”; and someone from “Forest Voices” and “Mountain Justice.”

Memorial attendee Barbara Robins said, “When I heard that 50,000 bumblebees had been killed here, I felt helpless and I felt so hurt.” Robins was so distraught about the bumble bees being accidentally annihilated with insecticide that while taking a break from praying, Ms. Robins shared that she has committed herself to writing a letter to the White House every day imploring President Obama to institute stronger pesticide regulations.

Regulations!  Did somebody say “regulations?”  Fret not little bee lady, for when it comes to regulations, Obama has rarely met one he didn’t like.

Either way, Ms. Robins was not alone; Bobo Bernstein was there and he wrote two songs for the occasion.  One tune was a Bobo adaptation of Bill Withers’ “Ain’t No Sunshine.” The somber group joined in singing and improvised by changing up Withers’ lyrics to include edible foods pollinated by bees:

Ain’t no honey when they’re gone… Ain’t no honey when they’re gone… Better put that spray away.

Bee-less flowers when they’re gone. Bee-less birdsong when they’re gone. Bee-less apples when they’re gone. Bee-less peaches when they’re gon[e].

Quite frankly, the whole dead goose/bee thing is a tad un-bee-lievable.  Yet, if memorializing wildlife is your thing, this is America (or at least it used to be), so memorializzzzing dead bees and gassed geese remains your right as a free American.

Still, aside from bee-loving urban farmers and mother’s milk bank workers, one can’t help but wonder what kinds of people commemorate “beneficial insects” and offer up prayers such as: “Dear living beings in bee bodies, please forgive our greed.”

The reason this question is pertinent is because, to date, in America, 60 million human beings have been killed in utero.  Speaking of the birds and the bees, here’s an idea: instead of banning the exterminator from exterminating the birds and the bees, how about we ban the extermination of unborn babies?

And while Rozzell Medina lamented bees still dying in the nets surrounding linden trees in the parking lot of Target, Rozzell’s time, as well as those goose-mourners in North Carolina, would have been better spent rallying together to address the ongoing mass slaughter of America’s children.

 

Polite comments encouraged.