By Teresa López-Lago, Pablo Ramos
No matter how much effort we make to show empathy and put ourselves in the place of the other, it is not possible to understand how you can spend a fun Sunday afternoon killing animals that due to their youth and little skill in flight cannot escape certain death.
There are human practices that bring us closer to our remote past and take us away from the culture acquired by humanity in centuries of civilization. One of them, obviously, is the "shot at the pigeon", a shot "not accurate", unfortunately in many cases, which causes the animal to struggle until its death in a long agony, full of totally useless and meaningless suffering. This occurs, when the shooter does not hit the first time, and the badly wounded pigeon must wait for one of the young workers at the shooting range (at most they can be eighteen years old), to go for him, sometimes two or more three hours, because you have to wait for the shooting to finish, then they are finished off with blows to the head on the hard concrete of the shooting range.
We do not tell it by hearsay, we witnessed this macabre vision in the Pichón Shooting Society of Badajoz, where we went on a Sunday to witness what they had told us and we could not believe this savage size.
There are sports worthy of admiration, where the human being tests himself his effort and resistance. There are sports where you compete for a goal, but no matter how much effort we make to show empathy and put ourselves in the place of the other, it is not possible to understand how you can spend a fun Sunday afternoon killing animals that due to your youth and little skill in the flight cannot escape certain death, since they are in a situation of inferiority of conditions compared to their opponent: they are put in cages on the ground, through a device, they are thrown into the air, where about fifty meters there is a hunter ready, ready, pointing to the exact place (which he knows in advance), there is no surprise, he is warned when he is going to leave. The hunter shoots, you have to be a very bad shooter not to hit, but some are, or they have a bad afternoon, and then they hit a bad shot, and the pigeon is left on the ground badly injured, trying to flee in long agony and listening as they continue ringing shots around him (like the one that hurt him) and without knowing that those are no longer for him.
In our country, there are Autonomous Communities such as Catalonia that have prohibited this type of savagery in their animal protection law. This is not the case in Extremadura, where this practice continues to be carried out on weekends in the "Pigeon Shooting" companies, with the approval of our competent authorities.
It can be argued that they are totally young birds, and that more chickens are killed on farms intended for human consumption. But gentlemen, there are ways and means to kill !!, or sacrifice if this sounds better, and of course this is one of the most uselessly sadistic.
And we could continue to tell macabre visions, like that of some children (between five and eight years old), children of hunters, who played next to the shooting range, with a dead pigeon, as if it were a teddy bear, the oldest of they carried the shotgun to the father, between shots, what an "education in values" that is being transmitted !!, in addition to the physical danger that these children ran.
Let's hope for the good of humanity, that they do not follow the example of their elders and learn to respect and love other living beings and not inflict useless suffering on them, because let's be clear about it, a pigeon, no matter how young, has a neurological system, that allows him to feel pain, anguish and fear, and not because he is a bird and is not of our species, does he stop feeling and suffering.
* Teresa López-Lago Viniegra
Pablo Ramos Duro
Ecologists in Action of Extremadura