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The Pelican and Me





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I know I should call this piece The Pelican and Us because I don’t own the rights to the feelings of horror, anger, outrage and repulsion at the sight of the great bird covered in oily slime, doomed to suffocation and death, pictures that have come to symbolize the horrors of the BP oil spill. I know that eleven men have died as a result of that tragic event, but men who do dangerous work know the risks they undertake, although some might argue that they are forced to do so given the limited opportunities to make a decent living in hard times. But these birds are the innocent victims of this “spill” and stand forever as the symbol of a culture which placed greed above nature, and the death of those birds seems to be the direct result of that greed. The child in me feels as if Big Bird had been killed, and all Sesame Street is in mourning.

These real birds, and the many species that inhabit the gulf area; turtles, dolphins, and the fish they live on, are in military terms collateral damage like the armless child who is mutilated or destroyed by the missile meant for the terrorist. BP – no – not the British people, is a multi-national company driven by greed and ruled by dividends; for them the endangered pelicans are not amazing creatures with which we share our finite world, but really bad PR, a public relations nightmare making viewers of the birds destruction cringe in horror and dismay.  Continued...






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