This morning I witnessed a hit and run. The victim was a seagull, but that doesn’t make it any less upsetting for me.
Thankfully the seagull flew away, stunned but seemingly unharmed.
It had been among its flock which were picking at a large animal carcass in the middle of the road. One or two cars came by and slowed down and the seagulls mostly dispersed but one or two were too obsessed with the bone to worry about the cars.
As I was watching and waiting for a moment to go into the road and remove the bone, a car drove along with no intent to slow down and very deliberately drove at the flock; most got out of the way, one did not and hit the bumper with a thud. By some miracle it then flew off.
At this point I shot into the road and moved the carcass to a safer place while the seagulls watched, no doubt wondering what I was doing with their treasure.
The incident left me shaking and upset. Is a seagull’s life worth nothing to some people? Maybe the driver decided it was the seagulls ‘fault’ for being in the road in the first place. Would he say the same about a small child?
I find the lack of basic compassion really hard to deal with. I know that’s part n parcel of living in this world. I know many people don’t have empathy for birds, especially ones they deem a nuisance, such as seagulls. I’m not ignorant of those facts. I just find it really difficult to wrap my head around the intentional desire to hurt a living being and cause it suffering and pain. We live in a hurting world, I know. Hurt people hurt people (or animals. Or birds). It’s just…very painful to witness.
Patience and compassion are two wonderful virtues that are much needed in this world. No creature is less deserving than any other. No being deserves to suffer simply for going about its business finding food. I know some really ARE a nuisance and need to be killed for our own sake, but we can kill humanely. We do not have to inflict suffering. The intention to do so says nothing about the creature and everything about the person.
God bless every creature, including humans, who suffers and/or fallen victim to any one else’s suffering. Which, lets face it, is probably most.