Happy hunter: Landers eats up national exposure

dish-landers-lizardJackson Landers about to skin the tail of an invasive green iguana in the kitchenette of his pop-up camper on Big Pine Key, Florida.
PHOTO FROM LANDERS' BLOG

In July last year Jackson Landers wondered on his blog if anyone would be interested in a semi-formal class on how to hunt deer from a locavore’s perspective. Boy, was he on to something.

In short order, the local insurance broker and brother of Œber-blogger Waldo Jaquith (and son of Hook award-winning essayist Janis Jaquith) was the subject of a story in the New York Times, got a publishing contract for his book A Locavore's Guide to Deer Hunting, has partnered with New York City chefs to serve game, and he's hard at work on a new book called Eating Aliens, about hunting and consuming invasive species (lizards, frogs, and the like), for which he also has a reality TV proposal. (See the trailer here at rumur.com/aliens.)

Just recently, Landers was the subject of another New York Times article as he heads to the Big City to show folks how to cook Canada Geese, which, as recently happened in Charlottesville [Unfriendly skies: Forest Lakes, the Miracle on the Hudson, and Canada Geese, September 2, 2010], were slaughtered in Brooklyn's Prospect Park over the summer due to concerns about the dangers they present to commercial airplanes. Indeed, it was into the Hudson River that US Airways Flight 1549 landed in January 2009 after geese flew into its engines, and since then authorities have been thinning the population. Last summer, 1,235 geese were rounded up and killed at various sites around New York City, but the Prospect Park thinning was the single biggest, where 400 were removed in a few days.

However, Landers isn't in New York to save the geese or endorse their slaughtering for the sake of air safety, he's there to let people know that landfilling all those dead birds  is a big waste of food and that they actually make for good eatin'.

“When people taste a Canada goose and say ââ?¬Ë?this is terrible,’” Landers told the Times' Andy Newman, “usually when you track down the history of how the animal was taken and butchered, you might have an animal that’s gut shot and left to sit for a few hours in the back of a truck. If you handled a cow or a domestic chicken the way that a lot of hunters handle their meat, it would taste gamy and vile as well.”

Landers contends that Canada geese actually taste "better than most species of duck." To prove it, he'll be teaming up with a Brooklyn chef and Slow Food NYC to show New Yorkers how to cook geese in a two-hour workshop on October 30 called “The Locavore Hunter – Geese Gone Wild!”

Remarkably, Landers still managed to teach his Deer Hunting for Locavores class down here in Charlottesville over this past weekend, but he admits that the November and December courses are questionable. Indeed, his quest to hunt and eat strange animals has been keeping him on the road, including a trip to Georgia to hunt feral hogs.

"I'm mostly hunting at night with a night-vision scope on an AR-15 on this huge farm in the middle of nowhere," Landers tells the Hook in an email. "It's a very surreal expedition. I haven't had internet or cell phone access for more than a few minutes at a time in days."

"We just finished editing the pilot for the 'Eating Aliens' TV show and I'm working on the first half of the new book," writes Landers on his blog. "By November, I could be fully engaged in working on a full season of the TV show,  and if that is the case then I don't know that there will be any more deer hunting classes offered in the next year."

Read more on: deer huntinglocavore

52 comments

What is really "invasive" is someone like this Landers creep coming to New York to tell US what to do with OUR geese and other animals in our parks.

Landers may find this hard to believe, but there are many thousands of New Yorkers who go to local parks because we ENJOY seeing wildlife and being around what little is left of nature in our city.

It is not what was done or not done with the bodies of 400 gassed geese from Prospect Park that stirred people's outrage and protest.

It was the fact these animals were rounded up and gassed in the first place!

This barbaric massacre took place in the wee hours of a July morning WITHOUT community NOTIFICATION. Even three months later, we still do not know where the geese were actually taken to be gassed. USDA could not do the dirty deed in the park, because such would have been seen and reported by park goers. Officials fist lied about the gassings, telling park goers the (flightless) geese "flew away."

What does the young mother tell her children who question, "Mommy, where are the geese?"

What does the amateur photographer say to him or herself when realizing the pretty photos of geese taken four months ago were actually pre-execution photos?

Its painful to look at them now.

What is truly "alien" and "invasive" is people like Landers coming here with a personal agenda of selling books or gaining publicity and telling the rest of us how to think about our wildlife and what to do with it.

Too bad its illegal to cook up invasive humans with sick agendas.

Shame on "The Hook" for wasting valuable space in publishing this garbage. -- Ad nauseum.

Have you no respect whatsoever for what happened here in Brooklyn on July 8th to almost 400 geese and their goslings (BABIES) who were rounded up during a most vulnerable stage, feet bound and then thrown into a portable gassing chamber meeting a horrible death? Gassing is torture and was was banned for other animals her years ago.

I am Brooklyn born and bred. Creating this publicity stunt for yourself by taking advantage of the annihilation of these majestic birds is appalling. To many of us here who care about wildlife, including some terrific politicians such as Eric Adams and Letitia James and scores of others who care, this is a slap in the face.

To this "Chef of the Future" I suggest you go back from whence you came and leave NYC's wildlife alone.

Disgraceful beyond words and incredibly sad.

Why stop at geese? Let's eat mentally deficient people, they serve no purpose, so let's serve them as dinner! The homeless? Useless, noncontributing members of society - instead of feeding them FOR Thanksgiving, let's cook 'em and feed ON them for the holidays! Do you see what I mean? Just because you CAN cook and eat something doesn't mean you SHOULD.

The slaughter of NY's geese was an obscene and disgraceful act prompted by a mayor whose contempt for nature is exceeded only by his lack of ethics and compassion for animals AND people. You cannot make something good out of something that was inherently evil to begin with - to try to justify cooking and eating the geese - semi-tame geese that were considered as pets by the people who enjoyed them in Prospect Park - is not unlike the Nazi's making lampshades out of the skin of the exterminated Jews.

The REAL chef of the future will most likely be vegan - a far better and more responsible use of the resources of the world in feeding its people, and a FAR, FAR healthier diet. Jackson Landers is nothing more than a gun-crazy good ol' boy to whom animals are just something to eat, wear and shoot, instead of fascinating fellow creatures to enjoy and learn from. His way of life will eventually pass, since hunting holds less and less interest for most people today as they become better educated and more land gets developed for exploding populations of people, the REAL invasive species.

This man has nothing to interest me - except his departure. Leave our geese alone.

Looks like Landers officially has a stalker, now, huh, PattyA? I've seen you trolling every article about this guy I've read so far. I bet you have nothing whatsoever to say about all the animals killed by the combines that harvest your soy. I wish I had the energy to be such a hypocrite.

This guy may be a good cook, but he's just looking to promote himself with this insensitive behavior. He has to know that the USDA would never turn over the bodies of the geese to the public, since they consumed all sorts of contaminated plants and water, and then were killed with lethal gas. No way they were edible. If Mr. Landers wants to come to Brooklyn to learn about how we love our wildlife and want to protect it, fine. But he can leave the publicity stunts at home.

Hah ha� I live in New York and I've known Jackson for ten years or more. I'm four blocks from Prospect Park and I'd shoot a goose if Jackson showed me how.

I wonder what those nature lovin New Yorkers think about bedbugs. Geese in the parks are the same thing just bigger.

Pay no mind to the haters and their willful ignorance of the fact that Jackson had nothing to do with the killing of their (suddenly) beloved geese. Max, myself and so many other New Yorkers welcome him to our great city and are eager to learn from him.

@Patty, Mary & Arlene, I don't think you really understand this at all. If you have a problem with me then I suggest that you discuss it with me personally. You can contact me at jack.landers@gmail.com and I should be back in front of a computer on Thursday.

The question is not whether animals will die to feed humans. That is going to happen even to provide you with tofu. The question is how much suffering is involved and whether or not we confront that suffering as individuals. A caged chicken in a factory farm wants to live just as much as a goose in a park. A rabbit in a soy field, sliced in half by the combine harvester that makes tofu possible also wants to live just as much as the goose in the park.

So the goose is right in front of you. That makes it a holy cow? I'm guessing that you are willing to eat either chicken or tofu. The difference between eating the goose or the tofu is not a difference between killing or not killing. Its a question of whether or not to confront the reality of the killing. I've come to terms with that and I encourage you to do the same.

Jack and Friends:

No, we don't have to "troll" you. All we have to do is google "geese" and your name comes up repeatedly and not in any positive way for the geese.

The arguments you throw out to justify profiting and gaining publicity from a clandestine injustice so cruel in its actions that even the doers felt compelled to initially lie about it are as inane as the pointless cookbook you are trying to promote and sell. -- A cookbook born out of the seeds of secrecy, terror, injustice and massacre when referring to the geese gassed at Prospect Park.

The fact we slaughter 6 million chickens (and other animals) every day in this country for human appetite illustrates that we did not and do not need to kill more. There is no shortage of fowl and other animals for people to eat if so inclined.

Attacking the diets of those who attempt to defend what little wildlife remains in our public parks is pitifully transparent defense mechanism designed to try and divert the issue. It doesn't work as this is not a discussion about Weight Watchers, "veganism" or McDonalds.

If you have no respect for the animals living in our public parks (or elsewhere) we simply and respectfully request that you show some respect for the thousands of PEOPLE and CHILDREN who grew to love and appreciate these animals for the few short months or years the geese were part of the Prospect Park landscape and lake.

You don't believe there were that many people who cared about these geese?

Ask to see the names gathered on our petitions or the hundreds of photos we have of geese and the people and children who peacefully and lovingly interacting with them.

You might as well round up the dead dogs and cats "euthanized" in our shelters and advise your pals and the media on "how to cook" them.

Patty, I read your post on the NYT blog where you suggest that gassing the Prospect Park with carbon dioxide would make them unfit for consumption. You really are a little disconnected from your food if you don't know that you breath CO2 every time you open a bottle of beer, soda, sparkling water, etc. You ingest it when you drink those products

You are apparently not well informed about the threat that invasive exotics pose to enormous numbers of our wild animal populations either.

Mr. Landers is attempting to make people more aware of what they eat by connecting them to its source and reduce the number of harmful invasives at the same time. It's an admirable and nicely complimentary pair of goals and you seem like the perfect candidate for one of his classes.

Mr. Landers may not be particularly advocating for the killing of geese in order to tie-in with his book, but I find it uncomfortably curious that he is trying to drum up interest in cooking geese while NY in particular is desperately trying to get public support for their despicable extermination of these living creatures. The public is uneasy with the idea of killing the birds and dumping them in landfills rather than eating them. I personally find Mr. Landers timing oddly convenient with the city's nefarious goals and frankly, I deplore both - their alliance is a marriage made in Hell. And I will have no part of either.

Mr. Landers, GO HOME. NOW. Your cook is goosed.

Hit the road Jack!

Yes indeed Jack!! Hit the road to NYC and teach them folks about some good eating.

It ought to be fairly clear, but I meant to write "gassing the Prospect Park geese" and also mean to spell breathe correctly. Wish we had an edit function for comments.

You are apparently not too up on your history (or chemistry) either Patty. Google Zyklon B to read about the hydrogen cyanide used in Nazi gas chambers. They also used carbon monoxide, which is very different than carbon dioxide. It's all about concentrations anyway. Cherry pits produce cyanide if we swallow them, but a few won't do any harm. Geese killed by being gassed with CO2 would not be made inedible because of CO2.

Correcting your ignorance about how food is produced in this country would take far more space than I could reasonably use here. But, to keep it simple, those geese are essentially raised in a "free range" environment. Free range production of meat is considered to be one of the most humane methods.

The geese are not really "wildlife." They would not be in most of their current range if they were not provide artificial environments to live in and food sources that would not exist naturally. Canada geese are "naturally" migratory birds.

Cookie Jar: We breathe in oxygen and exhale CO2. Trees give off oxygen and that apparently is the reason for the city embarking on planting a million trees over the next few years to improve air quality and provide greater oxygen.

The geese gassed from Prospect Park were not killed by opening beer bottles or soda water.

They were taken to some "undisclosed location" and crammed into gas chambers.

Water fowl, by nature, are designed to hold their breaths longer than mammals and most other animals.

According to Carol Bannerman of the USDA, the geese can take "anywhere from a few minutes up to an hour to die by gassing with CO2."

Ms. Bannerman has never personally witnessed geese gassings, but relates the information "workers" have reported to her.

Co2 was the gas used to exterminate jews in nazi concentration camps during WW2.

All acccounts of these atrocities indicate that the people died horribe and excruciating deaths in the gas chambers.

Reports from some who have witnessed geese gassings indicate that the birds can be heard "thumping" frantically against the steel (windowless) walls of the chambers while they slowly die.

We have in fact, banned gas and decompression chambers for the killing of shelter cats and dogs in New York State because of the cruelty and the fact that younger animals can sometimes survive them.

You and Mr. Landers' other pals can try to make up all kinds of justifications for the profiting off of animal abuse and cruelty, but you cannot change the FACTS.

THE FACTS ARE:

368 GEESE AND GOSLINGS WERE ROUNDED UP INSIDE A PUBLIC PARK AND GASSED WITH NO USE OF NON-LETHAL ALTERNATIVES FIRST AND NO NOTICE THE COMMUNITY.

GASSING OF WATERFOWL WITH CO2 AND WITHOUT USE OF ANESTHESIA FIRST VIRTUALLY INSURES A STRESSFUL, PAINFUL AND PROLONGED DEATH.

THESE BIRDS WERE APPRECIATED AND EVEN LOVED BY MANY MEMBERS OF THE COMMUNITY, INCLUDING CHILDREN. THE CLANDESTINE ROUNDUP AND GASSING OF WILDLIFE IN A PUBLIC PARK IS AN AFFRONT TO THE NATURE AND BIRD LOVERS WHO VISIT THE PARK ON DAILY BASIS. IN ESSENCE, IT DISRESPECTS THE PEOPLE.

And finally, we kill 6 million animals in this country every DAY for human consumption. There was no justification to add more.

True, Mr. Landers did not personally go out and kill the geese. But, the fact he seeks to profit off the misery and massacres of wildlife in our city parks, demonstrates a real low for the human condition and human behavior.

As said yesterday, Landers might as well suggest ways to "cook" the cats and dogs being "euthanized' in shelters. After all, its a pity to let the bodies "go to waste," isn't it?

Oh, just to address the ludicrous charge that the geese somehow "threaten" other wildlife populations:

I have photos of mother ducks bringing their tiny ducklings at night to rest within a few feet of a Canada goose family. It wasn't something witnessed once or twice, but many times and with more than one duck mother.

Obviously, the ducks feel more secure and protected around the geese.

You can try to slap all kinds of denigrating labels on these peaceful, social, devoted and extremely intelligents birds with the hope that most people don't know anything about them.

But, I challenge anyone to actually go out there, spend some time around Canada geese, observe and even photograph them and the other birds in our parks. Study the REAL interactions between the geese and other animals.

That is, if you can still find any geese after the feds and people like Landers get through smearing, killing or "cooking" them.

PattyA,

While we welcome the opinions of our readers, your comments may be misplaced here. Mr. Landers is simply giving a class on cooking the birds if you so choose. He is not advocating or supporting their slaughter by the feds in New York City. That is not what this article is about. May I suggest you go to our story here, which better presents the issue that you are so passionate about:

http://www.readthehook.com/blog/index.php/2010/9/1/unfriendly-skies-mira...

Dave:

Thank you for the reference. I will look in to it later, but have to go to animal shelter shortly to rescue a cat and inquire about a dog.

I don't know that my comments are truly "misplaced" here as I was merely trying to address the rationalizations for "cooking" geese from a public park, as well as the denigrating and false labels attached to these animals.

It is very disappointing that the Hook gave publicity to this gentleman who obviously seeks to profit from something extremely controversial and upsetting to many people.

I and a couple of others may be the only ones addressing this disturbing article, but please know there are many hundreds if not thousands of PP community residents deeply troubled by this "invasion" and massacre of a big part of the park's wildlife.

We are in the process of gathering names on petitions and will present these to local and park leaders come the spring.

In the meantime, your publication might consider giving "equal time" to proponents for the wildlife in our parks, including Canada geese, as it has allotted time to someone advocating for destruction of geese and other animals for a recipe book.

Thank You

They make mention of the geese that flew into flight 1549 and how the city is thinning the goose population due to the Hudson incident, however they failed to mention that those geese were migratory geese that flew into the engines at 5,000 feet - not the resident city park geese who flew no more than perhaps a hundred feet in the air and not near the airports. Gassing these birds is horrific- as PattyA mentions it takes them almost 45 minutes to die. Perhaps folks need to see the videos of the feds rounding them up and stuffing them into these mobile gassing chambers.
I truly take offense at folks who promote themselves at another's expense. In this case, the population of 400 defenseless birds and their babies in a city park.

Invasive species, become invasive because of human intervention. Many do not realize that the Canada Goose is a conservation success story, having almost been driven to extinction in the early 1900’s and then after flocks were found, they were repopulated into areas and acclimated to areas that we then decided we would just like ourselves to inhabit (parks , golf courses, suburban areas).

I noticed there was an iguana tail in the photo of this article. We can thank the illegal pet trade for wandering pythons, iguanas, among others that are discarded after growing too large for an owner to be able to handle and care for. FYI- population numbers of iguanas in their native habitat are down due to the introduction of other invasive animals that prey on the eggs and hatchlings. What will happen to that recipe?

Perhaps we should just stop meddling.

All I ask is that you please keep your night-vision scope out of Prospect Park.

Here's some questions for you all:

If you had to make a choice (I know that some of you would prefer that all the geese be left alone, but indulge us), would you rather have the feds come in and gas the geese and throw them in a landfill? Or would you rather have them killed cleanly, dressed properly, and served for dinner? Which shows more respect for the animal?

The fact of the matter is that humans kill animals for food. How should the killing be done?

Dave McNair

quote: Officials fist lied about the gassings, telling park goers the (flightless) geese ââ?¬Å?flew away.”

This is the most disturbing thing I see in this entire thread so far. Once again, government agencies lying and denying when approached with an allegation of wrongdoing.

There is a big difference between doing something which is not popular, or more correctly which riles up a small very vocal group of opponents, and "wrongdoing." Nothing that I've read so far indicates in any way that laws were violated or that proper procedures were not followed. A New York TImes article on the subject says "City parks officials granted signed permission for the removal of the birds."

They were not flightless geese either, they were molting, but I doubt if many of the people who are complaining here would notice something like that or be aware of its impact on the birds' ability to fly.

Mr. Landers,

Actually, the USDA CANNOT just show up and do whatever they like with the geese - they must be ASKED by a municipality or city to come in. Much like vampires must be invited in to do their bloodletting. In NY's case, as a matter of fact, we heard that the USDA actually tried to discourage Mayor Bloomberg from his wide-spread killing program but the mayor insisted. Frankly, I'd be very happy to see a cookbook with recipes for fricaseeing certain parts of the mayor's anatomy.

The federal regulations were put in place to protect the geese, albeit from a hunting preservation perspective; however, the goal was to give them some measure of protection against being randomly wiped out. Which they almost had been.

I may not be the gatekeeper of NYC but I do speak for hundreds of geese lovers who don't eat their friends. I understand that you are not specifically advocating the gassing of the geese but by promoting the eating of the geese, you are nonetheless recommending something that makes their killing more palatable (forgive the pun) to the public. That connects you, however tangentially, with supporting the killing. Simply put, there are thousands of NY'er who don't support the killing and know that there are humane ways to manage geese populations. If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. Instead of being furious at the wanton waste of meat, perhaps you should be furious, as WE are, over the wanton waste of LIFE of these birds that we love and enjoy for the pleasure they give us.

I appreciate the gracious offer of putting my name on a list for a ticket to your workshop, but I assure you, there is no need - I won't be attending, nor will any fellow NY'ers that I know - we will be enjoying and working on behalf of the geese. Living geese.

Now, if you ever change from shooting geese with a gun to shooting them with a camera, THAT is a workshop I WOULD support!

PattyA,

You have completely failed to respond to the substance of what I wrote to you. Answer me in clear terms: is the life of a bird in a factory farm or the life of a rabbit sliced in half by a combine worth less than that of a Canada goose? YES OR NO.

If so, please tell us WHY - in specific terms. No more of this fuzzy logic and dodges. I dare you to approach these serious questions head on.

Incidentally, I have never once endorsed the gassing of Canada geese, nor have I ever agreed that all of the Prospect Park geese needed to be wiped out. Nor have I ever supported the idea of doing it on the sly.

Reducing bird strikes will depend more on an overall reduction in goose densities for many miles surrounding NYC. I advocate that individuals who wish to obtain animal protein from non-factory sources learn how to hunt for food safely and ethically. Either a shotgun or a bow and arrow with string tracker are more what I would tend to encourage rather than a gas chamber. But if they are going to gas the birds, we should at least use them as food. I am simply proving that they are edible.

The numbers of geese within NYC are tiny compared to what is within a 20 mile radius of the city and I do not think that it is necessary to take all of the geese out of Prospect Park in order to increase air traffic safety. I have been running into USDA's Wildlife Services again and again as I've been working on the Eating Aliens project and this is basically a typical example of how they work. Lots of money, not a whole lot of sense, and 5 years from now I guarantee you that there will still be almost as many geese and a lot of angry people.

Canada geese are not an invasive species in your area of NY. They are native. In other places they were introduced, but I have never claimed that the geese in NY are invasive.

I am not a chef. When I have done events like these in the past I have always worked with a local chef who does most of the actual cooking while I take care of obtaining and often butchering the main ingredient.

I am not making a penny from this event. In fact, it will cost me money and I really don't have much to spare since I am in fact a subsistence hunter. I am doing this because I was furious at hearing about the wanton waste of meat from animals that were losing their lives. This was initially planned back in July, long before the Times expressed any interest in covering it and before I had partnered with my Brooklyn-based production company to work on the TV show of 'Eating Aliens.'

You have said many rude things without knowing the first thing about me and I believe that you owe me an apology.

Mary,

The green iguana that the tail in the photo was from came from the Florida Keys, where they were introduced by having stowed away on fruit shipments from Central America.

I took that iguana about 2 miles away from Bahia Honda state park, which holds the last remaining population of the Miami blue butterfly. The Miami blue uses the nickernut plant as its primary food source. Green iguanas chow down on nickernut plants regularly.

What part of 'extinction' is it that appeals to you? We have, right there, an immediate situation that threatens this species that is on the cusp of total disappearance from the planet. Its the invasive iguanas or the native butterflies. Period.

The green iguana is not listed as 'endangered' in its native habitat and is not even remotely in danger of extinction. People have been eating the green iguana in Central and South America for thousands of years. They really don't need my recipe of encouragement to continue, although people in the US clearly do.

Your implied argument is that because humans introduced these invasive species as a form of 'meddling,' further 'meddling' is automatically just as bad and we should leave well enough alone. This is wishy-washy and I really don't believe that you can defend it in detail once you spend 5 minutes thinking about in a rigorous way. Your argument is tantamount to suggesting that a man who has accidentally dropped a lit match on the forest floor should 'stop meddling' rather than pouring some water over the growing flames.

Arlene,

Perhaps you missed the part where I am criticizing the wanton waste of the geese and am in no way allied with the city here. Not that any of this is really up to them, since geese are federally regulated as a migratory bird and ultimately USDA can pretty much just show up and do whatever they want regardless of NYC's opinion.

You, ma'am, are not the gatekeeper of New York City and I don't believe that you have the slightest say in whether I make a trip to Brooklyn for the weekend and talk to people about how to hunt for geese. I have made a habit of teaching workshops in NYC at the request of the hundreds of people from NYC (yes, hundreds) who have emailed me over the past year asking me to put on classes or events in their area rather than down here in VA. I was invited and I am graciously accepting the kind invitation of your fellow New Yorkers.

If you are having any trouble with getting a ticket, please let me know and I'll see if I can put you on the list or something.

Well now, Dave, that’s sort of a tricky question, Would I rather have them dead, and on a platter, with respect, or dead and in a landfill--but nevertheless, dead. So it has to be one way or another, eh? Dead is the key word, as in DEAD.

Okay, say the geese had to be killed, which has not been shown as being the case with the PP geese, but just for the sake of argument, say they had, then of course, unless I happened to be a viciously cruel crumb of humanity, I would want them to be killed cleanly, as in immediately, as in no pain, as in no stress, as in humanely. But since that did not happen with the PP geese, which were killed in an atrocious and truly awful manner, the question as far as it pertains to government thugs and Canada geese is moot. And since hunters have been known for losing wounded geese, (and other prey) thus leaving them to die a damnable death, the question as it pertains there, is again moot. As far as dressing, cooking and serving showing more respect for the animal, the animal is now dead; it doesn’t give a tinker’s dam whether it is tossed into a landfill or served for dinner. ââ?¬Å?Respect” can be highly overrated.

I once fed a wild turkey whom I grew to love dearly. The turkey was badly injured in an encounter with a clumsy horse who stumbled over it as it was hunkered down in the brush. I held the turkey in my arms and watched it die and buried it in the ground under a pine. I would not have eaten that turkey had I been on the brink of starvation. That turkey was a friend; I don’t eat my friends. Call it waste; call it by whatever name you want--I truly don’t give a red rat’s patootie--I don’t eat my friends, And, anyway, I don’t consider that serving them up to animals who have larger brains, no feathers, and stand upright is showing them any particular measure of respect. This goes as well for Canada geese, and other critters. How do I want them? Not dead; not cooked; but alive.

Just my take on the matter, Dave, I’m not trying to either start a fight or prolong one. But you asked. Yes indeed, you did.

To Dave McNair:

The question is not how the geese should be killed and what should be done with their bodies.

The question is, Why should they be killed at all?

The feds claim there are approximately 260,000 Canada geese in New York State. They want to bring the population down to 80,000.

260,000 may sound like a large number until we stop to consider that New York is one of the biggest states in the nation.

200,000 humans can attend a RAVE party. More than 100,000 people can fill a football stadium. A human being is at least 4 times the size of a Canada goose.

Lets remember that Canada geese almost went extinct in the middle of the last century due to over hunting and destruction of habitat. That was in SPITE of the fact that they were supposedly a "protected species" under the Migratory Bird Act Treaty passed in the earlier part of the last century.

Hunting seasons have recently been expanded on the geese, in some areas starting in September and lasting through February. Additionally, we "addle" goose eggs so they cannot hatch, and we employ all kinds of "harrasment" programs, from pyrotechnics, to Border Collies in order to "chase" geese from areas they might attempt to make temporary home.

Then of course, there are the roundups and gassings that take place durimg the summer when, yes, the geese are "FLIGHTLESS" (USDA's word, not mine)due to molting. (That is why the geese are easy to corral and grab. They are incapable of escape and flight.)

Question: If the geese almost went extinct in the 1950's when we DIDN'T have expanding hunting, harassment, egg addlings and gassings, who and what is to say they would NOT go extinct in less than a decade when we DO employ all of these destruction methods?

USDA? "Wildlife Services?" Dept.of Interior? "Wildlife Biologists?"

(Sure, the geese are smart, organized, prolific, very devoted to and protective of their mates and young, but even all of these qualities do not guarantee any species can ultimately survive such huge predatory and harassment onslaughts.)

Aren't these governmental bureaucrats the same people who allowed these "protected" birds to almost go extinct in the last century?

Aren't they the same "experts" who then caught and captively bred the few remaining geese and "released" the (non-migratory) descendents all along the East Coast (Mostly for hunters to shoot at)?

Are they not the same people who thus CAUSED the so-called "overpopulation of resident geese" that they claim needs to be "culled" now?

Mr. McNair, You and others may buy all the "fish and goose stories" that are being thrown out there about this so-called "invasive overpopulated species" but many of us don't.

Anymore than Anne-Katrin Titze and Ed Bhalman "bought" the lie that 368 flightless geese and baby goslings had suddenly "flew away to Jamaica Wildlife Estates" last July 8th. They found clumps of feathers and plastic ties near the lake at Prospect Park and called the New York Times. Had these two people not done that, we would not know to this day what really happened to all the geese at Prospect Park.

Mr. McNair, God gave you a good brain. Use it. You are a writer and jounalist. Good journalists ASK THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS and rarely "buy the hype."

The question to ask here is not how the geese should be killed and what to do with their bodies, but WHY SHOULD THE GEESE BE KILLED AT ALL?

We have yet to get a credible answer to that question.

- Patty A

PattyA - geez, you still miss the point. This story is not about whether the geese should be killed - that's a different story that has been referenced and linked for you.

Jesus Christ, get a life.

The better idea is to SAVE a life.

Yes, REALLY.

Indeed, that would be great! I can think of about a dozen more worthwhile causes other than geese in Prospect Park to support in NYC. Perhaps ones where you are actually helping people?

You New Yorkers are out of your minds with hypocrisy. You're the very caricature of effete liberal snobs. Christ, no wonder conservatives hate Democrats�we probably all look like this to them.

Really? -- And you are personally working on what human causes?

While it may seem that we are focused here on the unjustified massacre of 368 Canada geese in a public park, the real issues go beyond that.

The real issues are transparancy in government and trying to foster an attitude of respect towards life and doing the least harm to others as humanly possible.

If achieved, that would greatly benefit humans, don't you think?

What are some of the biggest cultural issues in our country today?

1-- Violence and hate

2-- Bullying in the schools.

3-- Domestic violence.

4-- Child abuse and neglect.

5--Divorce, infidelity, abandonment, broken homes, alcohol and drug addictions.

The creation of empathy, respect towards others, and adopting a credo of "doing the least harm" would go a long way in solving most human to human problems, as well as the human tendancy to dominate, "bully," control and wantonly kill animals.

Put your thinking cap on and figure that one out.

Jackson, I would love to taste that goose if it's anything like duck.

REALLY? ~

And I'm probably also working for a good many of those causes you deem as more worthwhile, although I think preventing an extermination of animals that shouldn't have been harmed in the first place is very worthwhile.

Since you don't know me, you wouldn't be in any position to know what causes I might be involved in. Most people I know who are involved with animal issues are involved with a variety of other causes as well. You also shouldn't assume that an animal cause is less worthwhile than a human cause. They are often interlinked and benefit or impact each other. Aside from the obvious abhorrence of killing, the geese in the city's parks are a source of pleasure for elderly people who often don't have much left in their lives, and they are a child's first contact with nature. They are also a wonderful opportunity for parents to teach their children to respect wildlife and appreciate it so that they will grow up to be the kind of people who will care about it enough to take care of it. Children who are abused often abuse something weaker than they are - usually animals - and can grow up to be sociopaths. On the other hand, abused children who are brought together with abused animals learn to associate the abuse they have shared, relate in a positive nurturing way to the animal and begin a healing process.

However, I personally don't think animal causes are less worthwhile than human causes. People often create their own problems and have the intelligence (well, SOME do!) to solve them; there are plenty of groups working for people, not as many for animals. Quite frankly, people are exclusively the cause of virtually every animal problem, one way or another, so to be blunt, we OWE the animals some help. And not to state the obvious, but this article is about geese, so that is the cause I am writing about here.

I am sure that the family of geese that was shoved into the gas chamber was as terrified and unwilling to die as my relatives who were shoved into the Nazi gas chambers. We are all interlinked and the sooner we understand that, the better this world will be.

We would like to know why at least three pro-geese posts sent in recent days have seemingly been blocked?

But, you will print, hateful, name-calling or inane one liners about eating the geese.

Do advocates for the geese have to resort to name-calling, insults and just plain dumbness in order to be heard here?

What happened to "freedom of speech" in this country or your so-called "news blog?" Your credo should be, "We Print Only The News and Views We Agree With."

That is NOT either free press or freedom of speech.

Add the meaning of "free press" and "freedom of speech" to the list of things that Patty is clueless about. Clueless and extremely vocal. Sadly, a proud American tradition.

Do advocates for the geese have to resort to name-calling, insults and just plain dumbness in order to be heard here?
***
No, but perhaps you should post your complaints at the relevant article that has been linked for you. Or read the actual disclaimer underneath, which states:

"... usually results in deletion of the comment and may get you blocked from further commenting. Ditto for posting unverified and/or potentially libelous allegations, and even off-topic digression."

re:"Aren’t these governmental bureaucrats the same people who allowed these ââ?¬Å?protected” birds to almost go extinct in the last century?"

Extremely doubtful. Most likely the governmental [sic] bureaucrats from the middle of last century are all either long retired or dead by now. I'd say that the chance that these are the "same people" as those that are executing this policy is next to nil.

Just thought I'd clear that up.

As for the non-posting of comments. I have found mine to be captured by the void from time to time but usually when I have some word that is a no-no.

To "Yes" -- With the exception of the comment about "liberal snobs" and "democrats" I believe all the posts here have been highly relative to the topic of Canada geese who, according the the article's subject, Jack Landers, should be "cooked" rather than dumped in a landfill.

There are many people who believe that not only should the geese not be "cooked," but nor should they be killed at all. That is relative to the story line of the article.

It is curious that the advocates for the geese were asked to answer a question by the author of the article. -- Is it better for the geese to be shot or gassed? (not exact quote, but the actual question).

What kind of question was that to those who are advocating for protection of the geese?

Its like asking a pro-lifer when and how abortions should be performed.

It is also odd that at least three pro-geese comments are still "awaiting moderation" days after they were submitted.

Journalists are supposed to maintain some semblance of "objectivity" and not take sides on issues reported about.

That doesn't appear the case here.

With Canada geese currently being "harassed," shot at, scapegoated for airline deficiencies and gassed all over the country, some people seek to defend and speak up for them.

We should be accorded that right respectfully without being asked loaded questions that would never be thrown at a pro-lifer or having some of our posts blocked. -- Especially when they are in reply to a pro-killing geese post.

To Meanwhile: I was referring to government agencies, such as Dept of Interior, Department of Envioronmental Conservation, Fish and Wildlife Services and USDA. I was not referring to specific individuals. Obviously, employees of these agencies during the middle of the last century would likely be dead now, though most of the policies remain.

All bizzarre aspects of this thread notwithstanding:

Aren't homo sapiens "alien" to North America? Seems to me that the "alien" tag is clever PR hook. (My mind boggles to think of a Venn diagram construct of Tea Baggers fearing Mexicanization of an imagined pristine WASP American history, and folks who know they've been drugged and sexually explored by extra-terrestial aliens, and native species gardeners/heirloom animal raisers/locavores.)

Back meagerly to my point: at what point do alien species become native? Should we homo sapiens start hunting ourselves?

deleted by moderator

Could you provided some evidence in support of your statement that it's a good thing there were no Landers folk hunting down your ancestors?

Can anyone explain why my comment from October 29 is still awaiting moderation? It seems to appropriately address the point raised by REALLY? and I would appreciate the opportunity to address his/her comment.

Thank you.

CookieJar ~

I do not find the comments of PattyA clueless at all - in fact, I find her to be remarkably in touch with the extremely distasteful and legally questionable events around the Prospect Park massacre of the geese and rightly vocal about things that should NOT be swept under the proverbial rug. Sadly, not enough people in this country speak out about wrongful things and that is why we are in the shape we are in. Like the old expression goes: None so blind as he who will not see.

Others here seem to be more in love with the sound of their own voice to say anything of real value. They clearly know absolutely nothing about geese except as just another animal to kill, nor have they the slightest concept of how horrific what happened at Prospect Park was and still is to the people in that neighborhood who care about wildlife and who were frankly LIED TO by city government and park officials - and THAT is the real issue with that.

I suggest if the shoe - or the Cookie Jar - fits, wear it.

I took the class last year and it was amazing. I highly recommend anyone who has the opportunity to take it. Jackson is a great teacher who really understands hunting and preparing game on a different level then anyone I have ever met. I walked away from the class not only with what, how and why I should be hunting, butchering and preparing deer, but the scientific reasons behind what I was doing.

I am itching to get my hands on his book as soon as it comes out.

I am getting a bit bored with my goat. They're not a native species, are they?

Goats are fine eatins in some countries. When I was down in Laredo they would be in the butcher shop windows.

Have you thought of ants and grasshoppers ? My father must have been ahead of his time; we ate these every New Year's Eve- covered with chocolate, as a delicacy.