Birds. They’ve always taken second place to mammals as valued sentient beings worthy of living life on their own terms (see end of description). Chicken McNuggets anyone? Did you earn a feather in your cap? Are you a bird brain?
We are at a historic crossroads – a century to be exact as to when respect to migratory birds was officially paid.
We’re talking about the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. Administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Migratory Bird Act prohibited the hunting, killing, trading, and shipping of migratory birds. It also regulated the nation’s commercial plume trade, which had decimated many American bird species to the point of near extinction.
Let’s let the New-York Historical Society say the rest: “To commemorate the centennial of this landmark legislation, Feathers: Fashion and the Fight for Wildlife delves into the history of the Act by examining the economic and social circumstances that inspired the early environmentalists and activists who lobbied for the precedent-setting legislation. New York was the center of the US feather trade, and the exhibition investigates how the act impacted the city’s feather importers, hat manufacturers, retailers, and fashion consumers. The spirited campaign is told through clothing and accessories, books, ephemera, photographs, and original watercolor models by John James Audubon for The Birds of America, accompanied by recorded bird songs from The Macaulay Library of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.”
A few years back, VegOut ventured to the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge – one of the main stopover areas for birds on the Atlantic Flyway. Birds are their own A380 when it comes to world travel. The only baggage you travel with as a bird is the detritus, flotsam and jetsam that humans have left in your path.
2:00pm – we meet in the New-York Historical Society.
2:15pm – we pay our admission and head to the exhibit. There will also be time to take in the exhibit Collecting the Women’s Marches.
5:00pm – we exit, cross the street to Central Park and take in some birds as dusk starts it’s descent. We’ll walk toward the Adirondacks of the Park. Binoculars will be on hand.
6:00pm – we end our official bird watching. If the spirit moves us, we’ll head to a local vegan eatery for supper. We’ll decide at the time based upon our group size and appetite.
More about the Migratory Bird Treaty Act can be found here: https://www.fws.gov/birds/policies-and-regulations/laws-legislations/migratory-bird-treaty-act.php
All things New-York Historical Society: https://www.nyhistory.org (a true gem in New York City)
More on Collecting the Women’s Marches: https://www.nyhistory.org/exhibitions/collecting-women’s-marches
On Their Own Terms (One of the best animal rights and philosophy books ever written.): https://www.amazon.com/Their-Own-Terms-Liberation-Century/dp/1530341256
The Atlantic Flyway: http://www.audubon.org/atlantic-flyway
Accessibility: The nearest accessible station is 72nd Street for the 1, 2 and 3. Consult mta.info for buses to the NYHS. The NYHS and the restaurant venues in mind are all accessible.
Sign up thru MeetUp here: https://www.meetup.com/vegout-nyc/events/250431629/