In this downer video, a seagull tries so so so so hard to eat a plastic bag, and eventually (starting around 3:30ish if you’re the impatient type), it manages to choke it down.
Poor seagull. You have to wonder why it doesn’t realize that what it’s eating is not food. At Treehugger, Jaymi Heimbuch writes:
Don’t say, “Well it just shows how stupid they are,” because that’s about the lamest response one can muster on this issue. The fact is we’re allowing plastic to enter into the food chain eventually to eat it ourselves so we’re the stupid ones.
But that is the point. Seagulls aren’t smart enough to figure out that while plastic bags might look enough like yummy whatever (fish, we guess), they’re a different and dangerous thing. It’s not too paternalistic to say we need to protect them from this danger; it’s not their fault that we created something that their little seagull brains don’t process properly. It’s our fault — we’re so smart we’re stupid, and birds like this one shouldn’t pay the price for our clever, clever ways.