The Goddess Weighs In

Living Large and Healthy

I Love Pigeons, Seagulls And All The Other Downtrodden Birds

on February 20, 2014

When I was in France twenty years ago I saw something horrifying in the train station.

Peg leg pigeons.

There were pigeons who seemed to live in the train station and many of them were missing some or all of their toes.  It wasn’t clear how this happened since I doubt that if their feet got caught on the tracks that there would be much pigeon left after the train passed.  I thought perhaps they fought or got tangled up, but my French isn’t great so while I might have been able to come up with the right words to ask a passerby the question, I probably wouldn’t have understood the answer.

Twenty years later I am still concerned about those pigeons and it seems there is no good answer for it.  It could be that they get tangled up, it could be that they have been exposed to toxic substances including their own excrement, or it could be something else that no one has considered.  Since it’s not wiping out pigeons as a species and the pigeons seem able to go about their normal lives, eating and flying and loving and such, it seems that no one has spent a great deal of time worrying about the state of their feet.

The reason I bring it up at all is that it’s a bit of insight into my soul.  I love the underdog or in this case the underbird.  If there isn’t a snowball’s chance of a team winning I’m the one cheering the loudest.  When I adopted my first cat as a kid I went to the shelter looked at all the kittens and picked the one who barked and ran in circles backwards. And if there is a new kid in the group and they are kinda quirky, then no doubt they will become my new best friend.

It’s not that I like to collect weird things, but as the fat girl I know what it feels like to be the “different” one in the group.  I know what it feels like to be the one who gets to watch the purses when everyone goes and dances, and I know what it’s liked to be picked last for the team.  This is not meant to be a lament about all the crappy stuff that happens to the fat girl, but rather it’s about the good that can come from being different.

Recently a friend asserted that in order to be involved with a charity or a “helping” organization that one must have been a victim of that specific issue themselves.  I knew what she meant, that a victim of rape or sexual abuse is more likely to understand the emotional distress that another victim is dealing with, but I disagreed that one can only empathize based on common experience.   I don’t think that I would have the same empathy if I hadn’t been different, but I do think that my empathy does go beyond fat people and social outcasts, in fact I can guarantee this, since I’ve never been a bird, peg legged or otherwise.

I read a lot of posts on a lot of blogs and people lament their weight and the treatment they have received as a result of their weight issues, and I know the tears and the broken hearts when clothing doesn’t fit, when they don’t feel pretty and when the cute boy or girl doesn’t ask them to the prom.  All of this is true, but there is an upside.  I know exactly who my friends are.  I know that when someone says I love you, that they mean it. I know that there are people in this world who don’t judge me and who are able to see past my exterior and appreciate me for me.  I’m also glad that my experience has made me the kind of person who looks past the scars and the peg legs and concerns myself with the well being of others, especially the ones that everyone else has overlooked.

Occasionally I hear people say that they would kill to be thin.  I know it’s an expression, but whenever I hear such sentiment I can’t help but think that they completely missed the point and have missed a great opportunity for self growth and self actualization.  I don’t subscribe to a particular religion or belief system, I don’t think that a god or deity made me fat for a reason, but I do believe that my experience makes me a better person.

– the Goddess


3 responses to “I Love Pigeons, Seagulls And All The Other Downtrodden Birds

  1. Many good points, but I still dislike pigeons, “peg-legged or otherwise.” 🙂

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