When Human Waste Meets Nature

Birds have to eat too...

Birds have to eat too…

Yesterday I was in the city. I had a day off and decide to go around and enjoy life by strolling and cycling around. The bicycle is the best vehicle in Amsterdam when the weather is dry. While rolling and propelling myself around I passed the Albert Cuyp market. One of Amsterdam’s open markets with stalls and street vendors. The market had ended and the garbage was about to get collected.

Just before going to bar for a fresh coffee I saw these birds gathered around the junk. These storks are the kind of bird that fly and walk around watered areas and eat pretty much everything smaller than them they can catch or find. I have seen them all my life and their somewhat elegant appearance sometimes makes you forget their diet.

Then cue reality and I took some pictures. Sure it is easy to say “this is nothing new” and “since the Industrial Revolution we have polluted our environment massively.” My reply would be “yes, you are right.” Thing is that even after years of living in the Amsterdam region and working in hospitality this still hits me.

I can vividly recall years ago at a convention centre that we had to throw away so much good and fresh food that it made us ill inside. As per our instructions we disposed of the bought food. It became more difficult to not think of high paying suit wearers as filthy pigs who order more food than they can actually finish.

The moment you recall that disgust again you feel a shame that forever does something to you. I for instance detest massively stocking up on food supplies. Having just enough will do. I detest having to throw something away because I wasted it.

What I detest even more is how human waste can affect nature. Think of overweight and ill pigeons at Dam Square. Think of rodent infested basements. Think of storks lurking your garbage…