Dear Father Joe:

I received information that at the 5:15 PM Mass on a Saturday, you made a statement extolling the beauty of Lake Gleneida, adding a but – “that the geese must be removed.”   The following remarks are not meant to condemn but to provide some alternative perspective, which I hope you will consider and for us to further discuss.

You privately told me that killing geese is not what you meant, however, the word “removal” is a synonym for extermination, and unintentionally you are aiding and abetting those who seek the cover of authority, (religious authority no less) and are providing euphemisms to rationalize what the Pope has condemned: “the wanton destruction of wildlife.”  The Canada Geese have been a fixture of Lake Gleneida long before you or I ever inhabited this county and they will remain so.  They grace the sunrises and sail into the sunsets and their care of their young is a joy to children and seniors alike and a model for parents.  That our only response to concerns about geese is “removal,” says more about us than them. The “accidents waiting to happen” – are not from the geese but from the speeders careening down the street.

In his wisdom, God ordained that “man should not be alone” not only in granting a mate but gracing our world with the handiwork of His hands.  What would a lake or any water body be without its waterfowl? Even in Biblical times, it was of great comfort to Noah when he and his family sighted the fowl of the air and also in the 20th century when I crossed the Atlantic ocean – the endless desolation of water never once broken by any living thing, until we reached the Azores and knew we were not alone. The feeling remains with me even as I write.

I hope you will join me in a non-lethal program of goose reduction.   The object is not extermination, eradication, or removal, but reduction through dissuasion.

I am enclosing an article concerning the torture of Canada goose from New Jersey.  We have countless examples of this and other forms of ghastly horrors against both wild and tame animals. Violence against animals is the precursor of adult violence against humans. Pediatric psychologists and criminologists have tracked this deplorable correlation.  In this little corner of the world, Putnam County, we can model an alternative for our children and that is humane. Yours is a powerful, influential voice, and the example you set will be followed.

Ann Fanizzi


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Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting / C.A.S.H.
P.O. Box 562
New Paltz, NY 12561