Thursday, 9 February 2017

Nothing to crow about

And so it was that within the first week of the Year of the Rooster, the AVA acted to put down "wild" chickens roaming Sin Ming Ave because of complaints from about 20 residents that the birds' crowing were annoyances.

And the irony was not lost on readers who commented mercilessly on a) the pettiness of the residents, and b) the draconian measure of culling the chickens by AVA instead of say, relocating them to the Botanic Garden, Ubin, Central Catchment area, etc.
Yes, I thought the complaints were also petty. But comments by "visitors" who said how cute it was to see hens leading their brood of chicks, are not there at 4 am to hear the crowing. One comment mentioned lightheartedly how her husband had to "fight" a rooster up a tree just outside their bedroom window in the wee hours of the morning.

I'm sure there are many who may not take a rooster crowing outside their bedroom window with such good humour (well, she found it funny. We should hear from the husband, no?)

Another thoughtful comment pointed out that many people had started feeding the wild chickens as well as the jungle fowl, and this had led to a population explosion of the birds... which led to their culling. (No good deed goes unpunished).

Also, like with inconsiderate cat-feeders, the left-over food attracts pests like rats, cockroaches, and crows.

It is a clash of humanity (or human civilisation) and nature.

Defenders of nature of course pointed out (quite irrelevantly in this case) that humans have encroached on nature, pushing nature to the edge and in such a confrontation between crowing roosters and human domicile, it is as much the fault of the humans for encroaching on nature bringing them to conflict with nature.

Which is ridiculous and the wrong or false narrative. The chickens are wild. They are domesticated chickens which have been released, are "wild" in the sense that they are not owned by anyone, and survive in the wild by foraging for food. Or when they are fed by well-meaning but short-sighted "animal lovers". So there is no question of humans encroaching or invading the natural habitat of feral (is that the proper use in this context?) chickens.

And I really can't bring myself to care very much more about this insignificant event.

I was going to juxtapose the disappearance of a few chickens with the disappearance of a billionaire in HK (taken by the Chinese security agency):
In HK, a billionaire disappears. Residents uneasy. Talk of Chinese Govt over-reach. In SG, 24 chickens disappear from Sin Ming Avenue. Residents uneasy. Talk of govt over-reaction.
But really, now that just seems silly.

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