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T o let my son chase pigeons

(377 Posts)
mrsruffallo Fri 02-Oct-09 14:19:55

DS loves chasing flocks of pigeons. Every time we go to the park he and his friends scream with delight as they fly away.
Woman in the park today got very angry and told me that 'pigeons have feelings too' and that IT WAS CRUEL.
Funnily enough there was something along similar lines on CBeebies the other day.
AIBU to think it's just a bit of fun?

CyradisTheSeer Fri 02-Oct-09 14:22:30

Message withdrawn

alicet Fri 02-Oct-09 14:23:59

My sons do the same with our cats. Cats are not stupid and run away out of reach. Just like these pigeons.

Different if they were hurting them or trying to hurt them (waving big sticks or something similar) as letting him do this would be sending the wrong message - that its ok to hurt animals.

But chasing them away and screaming in delight is imho harmless fun.


AMumInScotland Fri 02-Oct-09 14:24:26

Meh, they're just feathered rats. Why worry?

Miggsie Fri 02-Oct-09 14:24:33

It is cruel, I have seen older boys trying to stamp on them too. They are animals and have a right to eat wihtout being terrorised for someone's entertainment.

Would you let him tie tin cans to tails of cats or dogs?

LittleHarrysMum Fri 02-Oct-09 14:25:00

My DS does the same it is harmless fun.

LittleHarrysMum Fri 02-Oct-09 14:26:25

So is it cruel everytime you walk near a pigeon/drive near a pigeon/open your back door and they fly away??

Washersaurus Fri 02-Oct-09 14:26:42

YABU, it pisses me off when a flock of disturbed pigeons panic flies at me because someone else thinks it is ok to let their children chase them.

I'm not a big pigeon fan, but would definitely say they are not there for your child's entertainment.

corriefan Fri 02-Oct-09 14:27:26

YANBU they'd fly off if someone sneezed too near them, it's what they do. My dog likes making them fly off too. Agree that trying to physically hurt them is a different matter.

alicet Fri 02-Oct-09 14:27:28

Miggsie what the op has suggested is a far cry from stamping on them or tying tin cans to cat and dog tails.

If her ds was chasing them in a threatening way or trying to hurt them then you would be right.

He is just having a bit of fun.

(although just realised I have presumed your son is preschool age - I think it would perhaps be different if he was older not that I am sure why...)

mrsruffallo Fri 02-Oct-09 14:27:53

Can't see a bunch of three year olds stamping on them, miggsie.

MissAnnesley Fri 02-Oct-09 14:28:10


I absolutely hate seeing this.

It makes no difference if you think pigeons are unattractive birds or whatever, that does not make it ok to torment them. It's your responsibility to teach your child to respect animals and birds as well as other human beings. You are failing him if you don't teach him this lesson.

I cannot fathom why anyone thinks this is ok or funny.

mrsruffallo Fri 02-Oct-09 14:29:21

He loves animals.
He also loves chasing pigeons.

LadyoftheBathtub Fri 02-Oct-09 14:29:45

I thought I was a compassionate soul but this has never occurred to me! I let DS chase them.

I think there is a bit of a difference between running towards a flock of pigeons toddler-style, and stamping on them.

Pigeons choose to live in cities... they have to deal with traffic and crowds of people moving around all the time - really my sympathies with pigeonkind are limited here. It would be a bit different on a bird sanctuary or something but pigeons - they live among us.

MissAnnesley Fri 02-Oct-09 14:30:38

And if he loves pulling wings off flies, which are such a nuisance and such filthy creatures and spread disease, etc etc, will you smile fondly and say inneee swwwweeeeeeeettt?

HKT Fri 02-Oct-09 14:32:19

It is cruel, yes to some they are only pigeons, but they are still living things. By letting him do it, what sort of message are you giving him about treating animals.
Some local children here chased a flock of in lamb sheep - nearly half lost their lambs - their parents couldn't see what the problem was - the children were just playing and having fun angry

LadyoftheBathtub Fri 02-Oct-09 14:32:39

In Edinburgh the 1 o'clock gun goes off every day and all the pigeons in town cack themselves and flap everywhere. Is that cruel? They could go and live in the country if they wanted.

mrsruffallo Fri 02-Oct-09 14:32:39

I don't say inneee sweeet about anything my children do hmm
It's a big step from here to animal torture MissAnnesley.
I think you are blowing this way out of proportion

traceybath Fri 02-Oct-09 14:32:40


But for me its because I am totally phobic about birds and hate it when walking along and a big flock of pigeons suddenly take off and start flying towards me.

I guess I just feel its not terribly social behaviour.

TsarChasm Fri 02-Oct-09 14:32:54

I think it's unkind.

Washersaurus Fri 02-Oct-09 14:33:03

I prefer to teach my children to respect all animals/creatures, whether they be manky city pigeons or rare lesser spotted doodle birds in some sanctuary somewhere.

I can see why people think it is harmless, but looking at the bigger picture, I believe it gives children the wrong message.

WhereYouLeftIt Fri 02-Oct-09 14:33:08

Miggsie what you describe - stamping and tin cans - is indeed cruel, but absolutely nothing to do with the matter at hand. As for "have a right to eat without being terrorised" - they fly away FGS, they are not terrorised! Everything in the animal kingdom has predators (even us) and they deal with them, in the case of birds, by flying away! They'd do the same if it was a cat or a kestrel, a small whooping boy is no biggie. I doubt it even raises their blood pressure.

YANBU mrsruffallo, it is just harmless fun, harmless to your child and harmless to the pidgeons.

LittleHarrysMum Fri 02-Oct-09 14:33:09

MissAnnesley if my DS was quick enough to catch a fly to pull his wings off I would be in awe at his karate kid style abilities !! grin

corriefan Fri 02-Oct-09 14:35:12

I suppose it comes down to whether pigeons are traumatised by being chased. My guess it not because they settle back down to business within seconds. Completely different to pulling the wings off a fly and to compare the two demonstrates a misunderstanding. For example, chasing a child is fun in an exciting way, pulling their arms off er isn't.

GibbonInARibbon Fri 02-Oct-09 14:35:30

I would never let DD do this and tbh I hate to see other children doing it (wouldn't pounce on parent in angry manner though)

Have to agree it is about respect for animals.

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