Journal archives for November 2016

November 25, 2016

Is it wrong to feed wild animals?

I suppose one easy answer is, yes it is wrong because the animals may come to rely on hand-outs, and may cease to be able to support themselves via natural foraging.

But of course, many of the animals that we tend to want to feed, such as pigeons, sparrows and squirrels, are living in the cities as a loose part of what I like to call the human ecosystem, a system that we seem to take with us wherever we go in the world, and which often consists of animals and plants that we ourselves have introduced to areas, either accidentally or deliberately.

In and around the cities, many animals are reliant on human scraps or human trash for survival.

I do not do any wholesale or regular feeding of "wild" animals, but I have occasionally fed birds, or fish, or even mammals that are not pets.

Is this reprehensible?

I personally think in my case (which is not egregious) the joy that comes from the simple act of generosity of occasionally sharing your food, outweighs the possible harm to the wildlife. And I think it is important for people a few times in their life, one way or another, to experience some sort of direct personal connection with the wild, so that they come to feel a real kinship with the rest of nature.

Also see this observation:

http://www.inaturalist.org/observations/4631137

I would be interested to hear other people's comment on these ideas.

Posted on November 25, 2016 13:58 by susanhewitt susanhewitt | 1 observation | 7 comments | Leave a comment