On a beautiful summer day, the filmmakers take a stroll in a well known park to watch the birds. They come upon a lake usually teaming with water fowl, only to find it silent and empty. Their reactions are of disbelief, sadness and fear. The silence speaks volumes, but what was it saying? The incident is what begins this movie.
But that isn't the worst...the same thing happens days later in Prospect Park, Brooklyn... there are no Canada geese or water birds at all on that July day. It's difficult to explain the effects suffered by people who experience the sudden loss of that which is traditional, soothing and normal.
The Park officials deny knowing where the birds are. They give a variety of reasons including that "the geese are hiding." Finally evidence surfaces of an unprecedented slaughter and all hell breaks loose. The geese have been gathered up and gassed to death while they are molting, along with their babies. The war on Canada Geese is on.
Background (c) L'ORAGE Ltd.
Synopsis (c) L'ORAGE Ltd.
Filmed over the years from 2010, the beginning of the secretive mass Geese roundups and gassings in New York state to the present day, Let Them Eat Geese takes a look at how the spark of intolerance leads to the widespread killings of Canada Geese and finally other bird species.
Demonstrations flourish with feisty politicians anxious for the animal rights lobbyists to support them while admonishing Mayor Bloomberg on the steps of City Hall. There are demonstrations and vigils at Prospect Park lake and the formation of even more animal rights groups who work to get information on the why’s, what’s and how’s of what is going on. The verdict is in: there is a contract out on the Canada geese. The reason is framed as infallible as a Papal decree: there was a near fatal and well publicized plane crash on the Hudson caused by flying Canada geese. Later it is admitted that the geese who hit the plane (or the plane hit the geese), were migratory geese and not the unfortunate victims who were somewhat placid and habitual Park resident geese. At Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, the resident geese flew from one pond to the other all year round, raised their goslings and lived in harmony with the many other species of birds It's hard to imagine how the the Canada Geese felt when they were rounded up while they were molting. One would think that they hardly expected to be chased to exhaustion along with their babies, hauled up by their wings and thrown into orange plastic crates one on top of the other to be gathered and gassed.
If the danger card isn’t enough to desensitize and change all public opinion there are other rationals like their feces is intolerable, they are aggressive, they honk… until finally it is evident that the Canada geese are facing a mindless and relentless Inquisition with paid unnamed experts being quoted by the press, spewing vitriol in the guise of logic without any scientific evidence or humane protocol. Like the human genocides of the past, the victims are vilified to the well meaning but desensitized masses. The spin has been created, backed by "scientific" clout and outraged citizens who like tidy lawns to validate the mass killing of migratory and resident Canada geese.
** It appears that any other geese or large water birds that happen to be in roundup areas are not safe either, many of them birds that are protected under the Migratory Bird Act.