Letter regarding New York State LEGISLATION # S6589 concerning the elimination of Mute Swans

The Honorable Andrew Cuomo
Governor of New York State
Dear Governor Cuomo:
I write this letter to you on the eve of the Feast Day Of St. Francis of Assisi and the Blessing Of The Animals, for which thousands of people of all faiths throughout New York State will celebrate the Patron Saint of Animals and Ecology.  A bill—#S6589—is on your desk awaiting your signature to become law. Your signature is a matter of life and death for this animal who, like so many others, was not allowed to live its natural life in its natural place, was displaced by human hands, and now faces extermination by those same human hands which is the ultimate source of the continuing disruption and loss of integrity of ecosystems.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s draft Management Plan For Mute Swans In New York State is unscientific, unsupportive of any empirical process, inhumane, and reflects a total disregard to the people of this state who have lived alongside the mute swan for years, and have imbued the same spirituality into their lives—something so desperately needed today—as experienced by St. Francis centuries ago.   A majority of the Assembly and Senate have voted overwhelmingly to proceed first with a moratorium, and then a more comprehensive study that could justify the eradication and extinction of a species in New York.  Given our own species’ sordid history of destruction of wildlife and their habitats, we shouldn’t pass the blame on to more wildlife and perpetuate more of their destruction.  Our children must become—in any educational component of a wildlife management plan—part of the vanguard to save “without causing unnecessary harm.”
I have observed mute swans for many years, and like any species, they will act according to circumstances. For every instance in which their behavior is perceived as aggressive, I have observed a hundred times more of instances in which they are static. As a frequent visitor to the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge in Queens, there are many species of waterfowl everyday who sit side-by-side with the mute swans.   Aggression, invasion and territory belong more within the realm of human history, not natural history.  A mute swan knows no allegiance to nation-states or political boundaries—only to its mate and family.  
Please sign this bill now.  St. Francis surely would bless the mute swan today as another manifestation of the majesty and beauty of all creation. 

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