Flying rats – Are you underrating them?

Dirty, boring, unpleasant, hungry and always in your way – those are characteristics one might associate with pigeons. What do they do? Seriously, what is their purpose? I do not know one person that adores them or is not annoyed by their behavior. They disturb the peace of eating outside or scare the hell out of us while walking on the streets by flying towards us. They create round about 11kg shit per year – on roofs, pipes, streets, tables et cetera. Gross!

But, let’s be honest: We treat pigeons disrespectfully, or even worse.

I think that is wrong. Pigeons actually got importance!

In the past decades pigeons were flying, intelligent postmen for people. Not only they quickly delivered messages and thus built up one of the first communication systems. They as well saved lives and provided power. Take the Rothschild family as an example. Their system of pigeons flying across Europe was a huge success in terms of effectiveness.

What happened? Well, Internet was developed and Email, What’s App, KakaoTalk, Snapchat et cetera spread out. Therefore the ability of pigeons as deliverers got unnecessary and our perception about them changed 180 degrees.

In the past we were dependent among them, today most of us simply want them gone. First friend, then foe.

I do understand that the population of pigeons is too high and is damaging for our infrastructure. But instead of hunting or kicking them we should think about how to make it good for both sides.

What could a city do as major place for pigeons to live? How can we again become friends?

My suggestions for a first step would be to show a little respect to pigeons. I mean: We used them and their skills for our own interests and advantages. And now just because (we think) we have better technologies or more effective systems we threat pigeons like sh**. That is not pc.

Maybe there should be a big dove coat in each city where pigeons could have their home and space. Or we could try to use the skills of pigeons again. Studies have shown that pigeon are clever in terms of observation. They are able to find a person struggling for life in the middle of the sea more effectively than humans could.

Just try to image: How would you feel? First somebody exploited your skills and gave you importance. But suddenly you are redundant and replaced by machines. So you end up…on the streets…unemployed… eating food garbage and being kicked or ignored by humans. What would you want to be change from that perspective?

Please leave a comment below if you got any idea or thoughts.

About the author


Hi there, I am Jo. Currently, I am a blogger and student, based in London, UK. Living in urban settings with a passion for sustainability inspired me to create this blog. Here, I want to capture and share some of my urban explorations, experiences and thoughts. Feel free to click around, give feedback, share the blog or connect with me. Cheers!

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