Man punched a seagull to death because it stole one of his chips. Acceptable?

There is a philosophical discussion taking place on the Internet over a man who punched a seagull to death because it stole one of his chips. The attack happened outside a Wetherspoons pub in Gloucester, UK, last Friday. And, by the way, if you do a quick search on seagulls being punched by men in the UK, you will find lots of stories. If they aren’t punched, they are killed in some other way. There is definitely a war going on between men and seagulls in coastal towns. And the reason for this is because there’s probably not enough prey animals out to sea because of human activity and there is lots of food on land in pubs and café’s at seaside resorts. Therefore, common sense dictates that seagulls find it easier to get their food from somebody eating chips in a garden of a public house.

Seagulls at Whitby
Seagulls at Whitby. Picture: Ross Parry

And that is the first philosophical point about a man killing a seagull with a punch. The seagull wouldn’t be there, arguably, if there was enough food out to sea. And if there was less food on land often lying around on the ground because somebody has discarded it carelessly there’d be no seagulls. So arguably there wouldn’t have been this confrontation between seagull and man but for the behaviour of humans.

There is a general uproar about this “disgusting and vile” man who killed a seagull. But then one person commented and said that in some places humans cull seagulls so why does hitting one causing its death result in such an uproar online? That is another philosophical question.

Seagull grabbing herring from eating man
Seagull grabbing herring from eating man. Photo: Reddit.

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Another is this. If this individual person hit a seagull because it stole one chip, what might he do under different circumstances. The man is violent. And it was just one, single chip. Why couldn’t he allow the seagull to take it? It’s no big deal.

Man throws left jab at approaching seagull who wants to steal his prawns
Man throws left jab at approaching seagull who wants to steal his prawns. Screenshot.

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And then others state that because seagulls are inherently aggressive and have adapted to scavenging, they deserve to be hit by a human because they end up biting and packing and scratching people.

Others don’t see any difference between a seagull and a rat. Craig Jones said: “I’m sorry, but what’s the difference between killing a seagull and a rat? All you woke people getting upset over a dead bird. In nature animals kill over food, humans are still nature, we aren’t excluded.”

Another suggested that the man had a bad temper because, as mentioned, it was a single bloody chip! His temper suggest that he might be dangerous and this sort of danger may exist in the family home.

And Jane Evans said: “Another show of gratuitous violence; hope he gets reported for cruelty”.

I think Jane has it right. There was no need to punch the seagull because he lost a single chip. He could have just brushed the seagull away or got up and walked inside the pub. It took place outside a pub. There were other ways to deal with it. It’s up to people to use a bit of their so-called intelligence to avoid agonistic encounters with animals who are simply trying to survive. And as there are lots of humans around eating outside there is bound to be food available for them.

Below are some more articles on seagulls.

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Post Category: Marine wildlife