Cultural Potholes: Organic Birdseed


U.S. Fish and Wildlife estimates that 672 million birds are exposed to agricultural pesticides annually in this country. Sixty-seven million die immediately, but the longer-term effects are unstudied. Most birdseed companies use pesticides on their products. That means wildlife in their growing areas are affected, as are the songbirds at backyard feeders.

Feeding birds is a questionable practice, but at least feeding them organic helps safeguard them (and the cats and other predators that eat them) from pesticides and creates a demand for more organic seed. Don’t be fooled by the “all-natural” label, nor by recommendations from Audubon and Cornell. As with human food, if it doesn’t say “organic,” you can bet your (wild)life it isn’t.

Some pet owners are already feeding organic food to their pets. (Others can’t understand why dogs and cats are so cancer-prone.) What if the same care were taken when feeding wild birds? How about asking local stores to carry organic seeds, such as Harrison’s Wild Wings, and other organic pet and livestock feed?

Where better than here to make the shift from killing the wildlife we love to ensuring their healthy lives? Where better to create the same demand for organics for them as we enjoy for ourselves?