DS106 Week #4 – The Big Caption (Meme)

DS106 Week #4 – The Big Caption (Meme)

It guess it shouldn’t surprise me that the image that caught my eye was the one with a bird in it. I saw some very powerful images relating to covid19 deaths and other sensitive subjects, however I personally felt it insensitive to think of a funny or witty caption to put over the image as it would take away from the real issue that is very serious for many people. So, even though there were many powerful images that caught my eye, this one of a woman feeding a seagull seemed worthy of a caption. Due to current events in the world, there are two major subjects that are on my mind on a constant, daily basis and that is the coronavirus pandemic and the black lives matter movement. After looking at this photo for a minute, it made me think about the many complex and interconnected ways that a virus pandemic affects humans, the environment, and wildlife. I am in no way downplaying or overshadowing the devastating effects the virus has had on humans and the countless lives lost, however, a pandemic like this doesn’t come without it’s impacts on wildlife, good and bad.

The original caption of this photo was about the human in the photo celebrating a local food joint opening for the regular season in February and her sharing with a gull. However I took the image in a direction that focused more on the gull than the human. This image made me think of how certain species of wildlife, or vermin as most people refer to them, are dealing with a large decrease in human activity outside of their homes for several months. It made me think of an article I read back in April. The rats in NYC have become desperate and cannibalistic during the pandemic due to decreased human activity in the major city. Restaurants and stores are closed and not producing waste that is the main source of food for the rats. This also made me think about other species that seem to rely on humans for food. Gulls and pigeons don’t solely rely on humans for food to the extent the NYC rats do, however, a good portion of their diet is fast food and other human waste thrown on streets or in trash cans/dumpsters. It sort of made me think if the gulls that relied on feeding from McDonald’s customers and the dumpsters, transitioned to acting more like how we would think a typical gull would act; feeding on ocean life on beaches and out in the ocean. It also makes me wonder how practices of food disposal will change following the eventual end of the covid19 pandemic and what effects this will have on wildlife.

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