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Feeding Canada Geese to the Poor

New York City plans to capture Canada Geese and ship them to Pennsylvania, where they will be killed, cooked and fed to the poor.

NYC says the geese pose a hazard to planes, because they sometimes get caught in engines.

They also say that they couldn’t find any takers in New York, which is why they’re going to Pennsylvania.

I can’t make up my mind how I feel about this.

On the one hand, poor geese. On the other hand, poor poor people. I happen to like Canada Geese (as creatures, not food), but the authorities who came up with this plan consider them vermin. Doesn’t it seem wrong to feed vermin to poor people? I mean, why stop there? Doesn’t New York also have a problem with rats?

Maybe I’m just being illogical. I can go along with the “waste not, want not” argument, to a certain point. Why throw tons of goose meat in the landfill, when there are Pennsylvanians going to bed hungry?

What do you think?

12 comments to Feeding Canada Geese to the poor

  • If it is a humane project I don’t really take issue with it at all – its really healthy free range meat, so much better than factory farmed chicken you get in the grocery store! I’d like to see MORE programs that provide meat to the hungry – The Heifer Project has provided inner city americans with rabbit breeding stock before. This sounds even more low impact.

  • I think if you must kill the geese, then for sure use the meat. They might be considered “vermin”, but goose isn’t exactly like eating rats. Lots of people love to eat geese and ducks (I grew up with hunters, I’m not fond of it, but my family is)
    And I agree with mudmama, so long as it’s humane, and there are proper check and balances for conservation, go for it.

  • Gillian

    I’ve heard of police who find dead deer etc getting it recycled to the needy. I think it’s practical. Just don’t think of ‘vermin’. Think of an unexpected opportunity and definitely better than landfill, as mentioned.

  • Ax

    Can I start killing and eating bald eagles in retribution?

  • The geese taste great. there are too many of them around for their own health let alone the impact they have on humans. There are so many of them they are altering landscapes and disturbing other natural residents and as others here have said. If for these reasons you decide to cull them you might as well make good use of a quality source of protein rather than just destroy them.
    And for those who object to the culling at least do the reasonable thing and stop feeding them and feral ducks around cities.

  • reb

    to Ax please put “Dr Phil” on that list

    On a serious note I would love to get the opportunity to get access to meat on a more regular basis

    protein is an expensive part of my diet

  • I hadn’t heard this. There are lots of geese here in the PA/NJ region and no one has said anything about culling them. There are places where water sources (like small rivers) have been destroyed by an overabundance of goose droppings so I understand the desire to have fewer geese. My husband always jokes about trapping one for Christmas dinner since he loves goose and it’s rather expensive. I guess I’m with everyone else, as long as the geese are killed as humanely as possible, why waste the meat (although it can be rather fat laden)

  • redfraggle

    I’d eat the goose and it sounds like a reasonable solution – without knowing more details it’s hard to say. Much better than this though If this is real.. ugh.

  • Eileen

    What a coincidence. Unfortunately I missed most of it, but Jian Ghomeshi (Q, CBC radio) did a piece on this today. He is asking for comments on his Q Blog. I just checked and there are none yet.

    Last year, 150,000 geese were culled and were just sent to a landfill. If they’re going to be killed anyway, why not give the meat to the poor.

    I’m in favour of it.

  • Gilles Seguin

    Two years ago, I emailed Peter Tilley, Director of the Ottawa Food Bank, to ask him if they’d explored the possibility of culling the flock and offering the geese as food to the Food Bank users. His reply? “There’s the challenge of how the birds are to be slaughtered and processed, all abiding by government standards and regulations. I don’t imagine it’s as easy as killing a few birds and feeding the poor.” Peter was commenting on this article by Michael Shapcott of the Wellesley Institute : — Jian’s guest on the CBC Radio program this morning said that the flock *must* be culled for many sound reasons, so why not offer the food to people who could use the protein. He also said that Canada Goose doesn’t have a “gamey” taste if prepared correctly, and that people should at least have the option of trying it.
    I’m sure my uncle from Bancroft would LOVE to throw a few of those babies in his freezer for the Winter!
    I say it’s worth trying on a pilot project basis.
    (I had to laugh when Jian’s guest expert extolled the birds’ nutritional value – “after all, they lived a free-range, relatively stress-free life, they ate good, natural food and stayed healthy – no hormones, no penicillin. They just had one bad day.” (;-D

  • Sid

    Personally, I would pay money to eat (humanely killed) Canada Goose (all their poop everywhere drives me nuts!) but I get what you mean about it being a little weird to give the meat to the poor. What’s next, squirrel? Actually, I’d likely pay to eat squirrel too. Our ideas about what is and is not acceptable “food” are definitely a tad biased (lobster = cockroach of the sea) but it doesn’t seem right to say that poor people should have to eat what other people don’t want to. Soylent green for the poor anyone?

  • Nancy

    I believe there is a push in Britain for people to eat squirrels. From what I recall, they were encouraging people to eat the grey introduced squirrels, to leave room for the indigenous red squirrels, and I think there was quite a craze for the meat for a while.

    People eat pigeon too and I’ve heard them referred to as rats of the air.