Follow the Soapbox
Mickey Z. -- World News Trust
May 29, 2015

Recently, while perusing a book I dumpster-dived, I learned of Titanis walleri: a huge, flightless, carnivorous bird that lived approximately 5-2 million years ago (early Pliocene to early Pleistocene) in North America. This badass being reached up to 10 feet in height, weighed over 300 pounds, and could run faster than 40 MPH. 

I was basking in the mental image of such an amazing earthling until I also learned that Titanis was part of a group of such giants which have been nicknamed “terror birds.”

To those who’d use such a moniker, I ask: In all the millions of years these birds roamed the planet, did any of them ever feel the need to invent nuclear weapons? 

Even today’s “terrors” are infinitely less harmful than we humans. No great white shark created mountain-top mining, napalm, or the internal combustion engine; you can’t blame land mines, GMOs, hydroelectric dams, or patriarchy on a pit bull; and rest assured no non-human conjured up zoos, circuses, puppy mills, or vivisection.

Terror bird? Thanks to the dominant human culture, 80 million birds are killed each year when they collide with plate glass windows in tall buildings and another 60 to 80 million birds are killed by motor vehicles. Roughly 200 million birds collide fatally with radio-transmission towers per year (add in cell phone towers and that number approaches a half-billion) and 120 million more are slaughtered annually by hunters.

Yet Titanis is the one burdened with the word “terror” in its nickname?

Terror bird? Tell that to the 23 million chickens killed in the United States for food (sic) every single day. That's 269 dead chickens per second -- brutally slaughtered after a short, nightmarish life imposed upon them by a taxpayer subsidized industry responsible for systematically destroying our landbase and threatening all life on earth.

To the vast majority of inhabitants of this planet, we are terror beings.

There’s something else I learned in my reading about Titanis: From circumstantial evidence (i.e., bone fractures), it “has been suggested that the species did not become extinct until 15,000 years ago,” but “more precise dating refutes such a late date; all known Titanis fossils appear to be at least 2 million years old.”

“All known” fossils “appear to be”? Sounds like another prime example of modern science at its presumptuous best.

If a bunch of “educated” humans choose to believe that Titanis walleri is a terror bird, I’m free to believe that this magnificent being still exists and thrives. After all, since experts (sic) can’t agree on an extinction date that ranges in the millions of years, is it any less “scientific” of me to question a 15,000-year gap?

Here’s my thesis, and I’m sticking to it: Titanis has outsmarted the best of human minds, is still around, and is mighty pissed about this anti-bird culture we’ve created.

Mickey Z. is the author of 12 books, most recently Occupy this Book: Mickey Z. on Activism. Until the laws are changed or the power runs out, he can be found on the Web here and here. Anyone wishing to support his activist efforts can do so by making a donation here.



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