Prospect Park Hobos Eat the Ducks

08/02/2011 12:10 PM |

Cygnets in May, probably since killed and eaten
  • Cygnets in May, probably since killed and eaten

While wildlife advocates fought to protect Prospect Park’s animal population from a homicidal government, a small group of ultimate locavores has been undermining them all summer. A dozen possibly homeless men and women have spent the last two months camped out on the south shore of Prospect Park’s lake, using crude hardware to trap ducks, swans and squirrels for consumption, the Post reports. They have littered the area with beer cans and discarded nets. “They used crude tactics to hunt their prey, including barbed fishing hooks that ripped off the top half of one poor gosling’s beak,” the paper writes (after taking a cheap shot at Alabamans). “They then cooked the meat over illegal fires. Some of the animals were eaten raw.”

Police have issued summonses to them totaling more than $2,000, a likely ineffective response since the offenders appear to be people without means.

“It’s disgusting,” one advocate told the tabloid. “The city doesn’t care, because it’s the poor side of the park. This wouldn’t happen on the Park Slope side or by Grand Army Plaza.”

Is that because people on the east side of the park have a more permissive attitude? “Seen these folks in PP many times,” one commenter writes. “I guess some of the nosy buggy pushers with their adorable toddlers (heavy sarcasm) snitched these folks out. Park Slope folks look for any opportunity to make themselves feel superior to well, just about anyone; and what an easy opportunity this must have afforded.”

Unexpectedly, the comments on the Post website are overwhelmingly in support of the homeless, apparently because if the issue is “Neanderthals vs. Animal Rights crazies,” as one commenter puts it, the paper’s readership comes down hard on the side of neanderthals. “How dare they attempt to survive!” writes one sarcastically. Sure, why don’t we encourage the homeless to break into zoos and eat the lions?

6 Comment

  • If you wander down from park slope to Columbia St., there’s a live poultry market. The animals there aren’t as cute and photogenic as the wild geese & swans in prospect park because they’ve spent their entire lives in tiny cages in a dark warehouse that you can smell from a block away. I just don’t see how you can get so worked up about people eating animals that until the point of slaughter have lived free and healthy lives, while apparently being entirely indifferent to the poultry nearby who are also slaughtered for food, but after first enduring a lifetime of suffering as well. I think this kind of double standard provides an easy target for people who want to dismiss animal rights people as “crazies.” Personally I’d much rather people ate wild animals than factory farmed ones. Just because the wild ones are cuter doesn’t mean their lives are more valuable.

  • @factory farms: Henry is a vegan.

  • My point has nothing to do with what Henry eats. It’s about what he chooses to use his public forum to express outrage over.

  • i hate to sound all republican, but if these people put forth half the effort they’ve spent trapping and killing wild animals, they probably could have landed a job.

  • hey, let’s all start a list of things we think Henry should be writing about instead of what he is writing about. Or better yet, take advantage of the unlimited space that is the internet and write it your damn self.

  • aside from coolly regurgitating news reported elsewhere, the only point I tried to make here is that animals living in a city park should not be treated as “wildlife” ready to be hunted for food, as many Post readers believe, because parks aren’t wild spaces any more than a zoo is. In this narrow context, a discussion of factory farming or meat eating in general seemed to me extraneous.