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Nature and Ethics

I’m thinking about ethics at the moment. Today, something happened in my backyard that made me ponder the rightness of not doing something, that perhaps I should have done something about.

The ‘something’ was Lah Dee, our male Pharaoh Hound, grabbing a crested pigeon, killing it and then eating it. I know it’s perfectly natural for dogs, particularly hunting breeds, to catch and eat other creatures. If the bird had been a sparrow or starling, I wouldn’t have thought about it much at all, probably.

But crested pigeons are a native species of bird, and I like having native birds on our garden. Of course, the birds deserve to live their lives unmolested. Or do they? Do our dogs, who are fed daily and are certainly not hungry as such, deserve to be allowed to indulge in following their instinct to hunt? Lah Dee had eaten his dinner not long before he caught the bird, so he wouldn’t have still been hungry.

I’m still thinking about this, and I feel the need for input from other people on this one. Would it have been the most ethical thing for me to interfere and set the crested pigeon free? Or is it more ethical to simply let Nature take its course. 

I need feedback!

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7 thoughts on “Nature and Ethics

  1. Probably by the time you get the bird the dog will have hurt it too much anyway. Actually I’m impressed when our cats catch birds: it’s only in their nature, after all. And it shows they may be able to survive in the wild, if necessary.

    I guess judge on the individual circumstances; was the bird recently caught; and does it look seriously injured? You can’t always stop that sort of thing happening, but if you treat your pets well (as ours are and I’m sure yours are) they won’t do it every day.

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  2. johnlmalone says:

    what are your options, Carolyn? keep the dogs permanently inside? chase crested pigeons from your backyard each time they land? I don’t think you have any option but to let nature take its course

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  3. Thank you John, Easter’s been mostly good for me – I have a dark chocolate Lindt bunny waiting for me – yum!
    There’s been some sad news about a fatal car accident though teens, who are local. I don’t know if I know them, but I might know family and friends of theirs. Cars and kids don’t always go well together.

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