Every Migrating Bird Represents The Spirit Of Noah

Perspectives and Viewpoints

by Jayaram V

Every migrating bird represents the spirit of Noah

During their fall migration from the North to the South, geese travel thousands of miles from one end of the world to another to lay eggs, give birth to chicks and survive the cold climate of the wintry North.

There is a documentary film about their migration, Winged Migration, which shows how they weather the worst storms and dangers on their way as they fly through freezing winds, across inhospitable, rough oceans and snow clad mountains, only to reach the US coast where a few people with long rifles shoot them down, as if it is a target practice for them.

They obviously enjoy doing that and take pride in their marksmanship. It does not seem like they feel any remorse or guilt for the violence they inflict upon the unsuspecting birds. It is much easier to shoot when birds fly in a flock. Even if a shooter misses his aim, mostly likely he will hit another bird.

It is not that those people are hungry or need the meat of those migrating birds to satisfy their hunger. It looks more like they do it for fun or as an occasion to prove their hunting skills or brag about their catch. This is not an argument about whether one should be allowed to keep guns. It is an entirely different matter. There are justifications for and against it.

This is about the need to show humanity, understand how amazing and mysterious are the ways of the migrating birds and how important for us to facilitate that process with appreciation and compassion. We have destroyed enough of wildlife. It is time that we draw the line and restrain the hunting spirit in us. At least we must do it for the sake of the future of the earth and the future of the humanity.

When I watch such incidents, I cannot help wondering why the Biblical God of Old Testament wanted to end the human race upon earth but spare the birds and animals. According to the legend, God was so angered by the wickedness of humans that he wanted to destroy them all by unleashing a great flood. Therefore, he appeared to Noah in a dream and instructed him to build a huge ship and carry all the birds and animals with him to a safe place. He also advised him to make sure that his children would not marry or produce any more children. If they did, he should sacrifice the newborn and prevent any further possibility of human race continuing.

Eventually, as we know when the floods came, Noah carried all the birds and animals in a huge ship which he built for the purpose, along with his family. On the way, one of his sons disobeyed his instructions and impregnated his wife. Noah wanted to kill his grandchildren as per the orders of God, but he was overwhelmed by compassion and spared them. Thereby, by disobeying God at his discretion he saved the humanity. So goes the story.

We do not know whether it is a true story or not. However, there is an important moral hidden in it. God does not like humans to kill animals. If he has to choose between humans and animals, he would probably choose the latter, since they do less damage to the world and show much less wickedness.

Considering how many people take to hunting and use it as a sport rather than necessity, evidently the message from the legend of Noah has not left much of an impact upon them even though they practice their faith with a lot of zeal.

Many of them believe in the end of the world predictions and eagerly await the destruction of the world, but do not care much about the life of other living beings, because it is deeply ingrained in their minds that there would be no resurrection for animals since they hold that animals do not possess souls.

The Abrahamic religions are largely responsible for the destruction of Nature upon earth, since their religious beliefs give people a license to kill animals for hunting, for fun, or for food.

During their colonial occupation, the British wiped out much of the wildlife from the forests of India. They repeated the same in Africa and elsewhere. So were other European powers who held colonies.

The indiscriminate destruction of life both on land and in the seas continued unabated after the Second World War. It goes on even today. While we are not sure of any positive gains from the destruction of wildlife, on the negative side we know certainly that it endangers life upon earth and disturbs the ecosystems which are vital to our own survival.

Human beings cannot extinguish all life forms and live alone. The earth is like a ship in the waters of existence. You cannot poke holes in it and expect to survive. The oceans have lost nearly 60% of the marine life.

Whatever marine life forms that are still there, may not last longer as our greed and hunger for them remain unabated. When the oceans lose marine life, they cannot support life anymore. They will become polluted beyond repair and eventually become lifeless and inhospitable for human life.

Symbolically all migratory birds represent the will, determination and tenacity of Noah. They travel across the oceans in their frail bodies for thousands of miles to make sure that their species and progeny survive and continue their existence.

Truly, each migratory bird is a flying ship, an arc, which carries life in its little body for thousands of miles to distant shores to preserve life and ensure the continuity of its specifies.

Let us not kill them as if we are starving for food. For our consumption we can raise farm animals and birds as many as we need. We have the knowledge and technology. Therefore, let us spare those beautiful creations of God. We should not kill any animals or birds that are Nature’s children and God’s wonderful creations. Let us stop being soulless hunters and start being humans.

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