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7 Reasons to Hate Pigeons

Posted on December 11, 2009 in Posts | 8 comments

A black and white lomograph of pigeons eating in Venice

1.  Impudence. Pigeons poo on statues.  This is disrespectful.  They poo on Churchill, they poo on Nelson, they poo on Eros.  Pigeons poo on all of the nice statues of people and gods that we like.  Pigeons don’t poo on statues of Michael Winner or Margaret Thatcher.  This may be because we don’t have any, but if we did, pigeons probably wouldn’t poo on them, because pigeons are horrid and annoying.

2.  Freeloading. We regularly hear stories (some of us have even witnessed this) of pigeons using London Underground trains to get across London.  Do they pay for this?  No.  These sponging vermin are using our transport system at our expense.  They didn’t help build it and they don’t contribute anything to its maintenance or running costs.  I have to carry an Oyster Card, so should they.  Let’s staple Oyster Cards to them.

3.  Imagery. Pigeons are oft described as “winged rats.”  That’s “rats,” terrifying pointy-faced, sharp-toothed creatures.  That’s “winged,” which is one of the scariest words in the English language when pronounced as a word of two syllables, “wing-ed.”  “Wing-ed rats.”  It makes me shudder.

A black and white lomograph of a flock of pigeons in the Piazza San Marco, Venice

4.  Idiots. Pigeons attract idiots.  Look at this American woman in the Piazza San Marco, Venice.  She’s in one of the most beautiful parts of one of the world’s loveliest cities and she’s fascinated by the pigeons.  She’s clearly an idiot.  She could be looking at the Basilica, she could be looking at the Doge’s Palace, she could be looking at the Procuratie Vecchie but no, she’s looking at pigeons.  Stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid bloody pigeon-woman.

5.  War. Pigeon excrement was the only known source of saltpetre (potassium nitrate) in 16th century England.  Saltpetre is an essential ingredient in gunpowder, so if your Tudor house was damaged by canon-balls or if your copotain hat was knocked from your head by musket-shot five-hundred years ago, you can blame pigeons.

6.  Emasculation. Wood pigeons are the larger, nobler cousins of the urban pigeon.  Historically these creatures, with their quite pleasant and distinctive call, have been content to live in trees far away from people (who do not live in trees).  Recently though, a pair of these creatures have moved in near to a house belonging to a friend of mine.  Their favourite game is to poo on the love of his life (his shiny, expensive German car) and then to sit on his garden fence cooing at him.  They do this every day.  Not unnaturally, this makes him very cross.  If he could get hold of them, he would probably tear their heads off in a murderous rage, but every time he approaches, they casually retreat to a safe distance and continue taunting him.  It is because of this that he is now known as The Pigeons’ Bitch.  And because of me, obviously.  He should never have told me.

7.  Profiteering. The use of a fleet of trained carrier pigeons was instrumental in the allowing the Rothschild banking family to make vast fortunes during the Napoleonic wars.   They were able to manipulate financial markets for their own gain, based on having exclusive access to early information about the results of battles.  Pigeons filled the bankers’ wallet (the Reverend Spooner himself would have been proud of that one, and astonished by the mental image).

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  1. Number 5 is new to me. Fascinating. (We’ll agree to disagree on Maggie. She was ace. And the pigeons know it).
    .-= Jon´s last blog ..わたしを。日本語。同性愛者のアイコン。うんベイビー! =-.

  2. 3. Imagery. Pigeons are oft described as “winged rats.” That’s “rats,” terrifying pointy-faced, sharp-toothed creatures. That’s “winged,” which is one of the scariest words in the English language when pronounced as a word of two syllables, “wing-ed.” “Wing-ed rats.” It makes me shudder.

    I have you agree with you about the word “winged”. It sounds like the pigeons are actually heading towards you ready to attack as you say the word!

  3. If you value other peoples’ opinions then you will take into consideration the fact that some people actualy like pigeons. You are judging a woman for merely looking at some pigeons? You think that it is a unwitting animals fault that some HUMAN (Just like you or me) created a weapon of their faeces? Do you consider the many pigeons which aided in war, the homing pigeons than transported many vital mesages? Do you even consider that pigeons are the livley hoods or passions of some people (like me), pigeons not only can (CAN not ARE) be beutiful with various distinctive charactersistics (Fantails, colours, eyes ect) and have different personalities but they also make some people happy.

  4. Rinnyw, if we didn’t value the opinions of other people, we wouldn’t have a comments section, would we?

    It’s lovely that pigeons make you happy, really it is, and it’s heart-warming to note that they are of some use to someone. If you respected other peoples’ opinions yourself, however, you probably wouldn’t spend your Sundays googling “I hate pigeons” to find articles to disagree with, which is what brought you to our website.

    You might find googling “I love pigeons” a more rewarding alternative. Or, should you wish to present the case for pigeons, here are our guidelines for guest writers: http://7reasons.org/write-for-us/. We’re always on the lookout for witty and literate guest submissions, perhaps someone could help you with one.

  5. To the pigeons:

    1. My garden is not a lavatory (and nor is my washing line an aiming target)

    2. I am not a free source of food (Grass seeds are NOT meant for you!)

    3. I would rather you took your mating rituals elsewhere (don’t you have a nesting box for that?)

    4. I am NOT a source of entertainment (Making me act like a ‘Jack in a Box’.. is just Soooooooooooooo not funny!)


  6. I love pigeons! I have 6 pigeons! Pigeons are beautiful sweet creatures! I also have 6 doves, 4 cocketails, 4 zebra finches, 3 lovebirds,
    and 7 parakeets! I love birds! Oh and i have
    10 cats, 7 dogs, 6 rabbits, 5 guinea pigs,
    4 hamsters, 2 chinchillas, 2 ferrets, 4 chickens
    4 ducklings, 2 pygmy goats, 1 mini horse,
    2 horses, 2 goldfish, 1 beta fish, and many more
    i love animals!!!!

  7. and because Niall Horan is afraid!

  8. 1. Hire some people to clean your city. Hosing sidewalks and removing human litter, trash piles, cigarette butts, pigeon droppings and graffiti are routine maintenance.

    2. Do people beat the fare on the on the London subway? Vermin!

    3. “Winged rats” was coined by Woody Allen in Stardust Memories. Allen played a miserable, neurotic film director who hated everything.

    4. The stupid American clearly did nothing else in Venice. She flew from the States to Venice, observed the pigeons for 10 minutes and flew home. No other explanation is possible.

    5. The Brits should have read the book written in 1270 entitled “The Book of Military Horsemanship and Ingenious War Devices”. It gives instructions for making gunpowder through a chemical process without using manure. To give credit where it is due, you Brits did win the Battle of Brooklyn in 1776 using your pigeon poop guns.

    6. Your friend can afford a shiny German car, but not a carport?

    7. Rothschild was clever and understood the value and intelligence of pigeons. The other bankers were imbeciles.

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