To be fair, some of the objections to the DEC’s swan eradication plan are grounded in science, not in aesthetics. Some have questioned the agency’s assertions about how much damage the swans truly cause to their environment, noting that the population of about 2,000 birds is relatively small.
But even those who speak out against the plan on scientific grounds still seem to find it necessary to note the swan’s majesty, grace and dignity — as if those qualities make it any less harmful to the environment.
It’s ridiculous to suppose that the state should be making decisions such as this based on an animal’s looks and bearing. If there is to be a debate about the DEC’s swan management plan (which, for now at least, is focused on downstate areas), let’s make sure we stick to the science.