Recently I learned from the Humane Society's Heidi Prescott that Pennsylvania's infamous pigeon shoots remain legal--this, despite the fact that Ms. Prescott had once again been assured they would finally be ended. As they should be.
I was heartened to learn that my own State Representative, Joe Brennan, had led the charge against them; and that my own State Senator, Lisa Boscola. had been against them as well. But when losing means a world of suffering inflicted on innocent beings, having some great people on your side is not as consoling as it might otherwise be.
I have noticed that the big block was on the State Senate side. This appears to be so more often than not; and it suggests that Pennsylvanians need to keep an eye, not only on their legislature, but on the upper house in particular.
It could be argued that the legislature has more important things to concern itself with the fate of a lot of non-voting birds. But how much time--how many minutes--can it take to vote for a measure granting an inoffensive species some peace and safety? And besides, evidence suggests that legislators often procrastinate on matters of policy they themselves presumably consider far more vital than the well-being of pigeons.
ARE the pigeons less important than the often--neglected votes on budgets and policy? I am not sure that is so. If we will not take a few minutes, reach out our hands, speak up to end a bloody cruelty we could prevent, what does it say about our hearts? What does it say about our capacity to serve our society as a whole? What larger task can we be entrusted with?