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When I walk toward a train station, or on a train platform, or down the sidewalk - there they are, "in the way." And I move to walk around them, or I at least slow down, because they are clearly doing their own thing and do not perceive me as a threat. A pigeon doesn't seem afraid if I'm coming toward it. It scuffles away and then goes back to whatever it was doing. Eating, probably.
Pigeons have adapted to human cities in an interesting way. They make themselves quite visible. Therefore, we accept them as sharing the environment and even as fixtures of city life.
I tend to give pigeons the right of way because they are much smaller creatures than I am. In my mind, the larger creature with the clear advantage, which (most likely) won't be harmed (much) by the smaller creature, should not harm the smaller creature.
Should a pigeon unexpectedly fly into the face of a human aggressor, that person would probably be taken aback and run off. That person probably wouldn't mess with pigeons again.
Suppose the pigeon had the superior intelligence/strength. Well, I hope it would be respectful and not try no harass, manipulate or dupe me!
I'd assume anyone who'd try to hurt a pigeon is one of these things: Primitive, unbalanced, a child who doesn't know any better, or starving to death. It's a good thing for pigeons that they register to (most) humans as unfit to eat. Maybe that's why they hang around us!
Most city dwellers would no go after a live animal in hunger. For me, live creatures do not register as food - not even lobsters in a tank at a grocery store. When I've eaten meat, it looks and is very far removed from the actual act of killing. Something to think about.
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