We spotted it in my mum’s garden. It had shiny green tinted feathers around its neck area, a grey and white head. Beautiful, as pigeons go.  It was drinking from a dripping tap and having a bit of an impromptu shower. A little odd, we thought. Then it started to walk away and we noticed the dragging wing.

How could I leave it? It would be taken by a cat, or dog, or worse. We found a box, punched some holes in it. It was easy to catch, too easy, never a good sign. It didn’t run away from me or put up a fight. I rang a nearby emergency vet and asked if we could bring it in.

They would have to put it down, of course. A wild pigeon with a broken wing? What else could they do? A pigeon is not a native, and is usually considered a pest species. No one’s going to try to save a pigeon.

I am left wondering, however, what kind of world we live in, where the only mercy left to show one of God’s creatures is a pain-free passing? Living in a small flat with two cats, I could not exactly nurse the bird myself, and I would not know what to do anyway. The local RSPCA would not stir themselves for a pigeon. It would not be considered important.

Aren’t all lives important? Should they not be valued above cost and convenience? How often do we see a dead animal on the road, and not think about if the driver of the car that hit it could have avoided it but decided it didn’t matter? How many people do we know who would scoff at any effort to merely take an injured animal somewhere for help? It’s just a pigeon, it’s just a mouse, it doesn’t matter. It’s just nature, it happens all the time, why bother?

We are supposed to have minds and hearts and consciences for a reason. There is suffering and death all around us every day, where we don’t see it. But if we see it, shouldn’t we do something? Maybe we should try to drive more carefully, walk more softly, be mindful and aware. Otherwise, what use are we?

Food for thought.

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