A pigeon who had been completely dyed with a pink colour to use at a party for a gender reveal of a baby was found and rescued but died a few days later. A man walking in Manhattan’s Madison Square Park, New York, US, found the pink-dyed pigeon, and took her to the Wild Bird Fund rehabilitation centre, which said the use of birds for these sorts of events is “an act of animal cruelty.” When the centre saw the bird and named her Flamingo, she was in critical condition and with multiple signs of malnutrition.

Rita McMahon, the director of the centre, expressed concern about the poor state of health of the pigeon because of the dye, which had damaged all her feathers and was ingested by the pigeon when grooming, causing repeated vomit. Flamingo received oxygen and subcutaneous fluids and was kept in a warm place hoping for her recovery, but eventually died a week later. The New York City Police Department’s animal cruelty unit has opened an inquiry.

Gender Reveal parties are becoming increasingly popular, especially among users of social networks such as Instagram or TikTok. In them, parents gather with friends and family to reveal the gender of the baby they are expecting. Although the parties can be celebrated in many different ways, some have chosen to use animals and exploit them in a denigrating and even dangerous way, as was the case of Flamingo, painted pink to supposedly reveal that the baby of whoever abused her was going to be a female. Perhaps the baby will grow up and become a vegan (or perhaps a vegan man), who would campaign to prevent other pigeons from ending up in the same ordeal as Flamingo. That would be some kind of poetic justice.

“Originally from Catalonia, but resident in the UK for several decades, Jordi is a vegan zoologist and author, who has been involved in different aspects of animal protection for many years. In addition to scientific research, he has worked mostly as an undercover investigator, animal welfare consultant, and animal protection campaigner. He has been an ethical vegan since 2002, and in 2020 he secured the legal protection of all ethical vegans in Great Britain from discrimination in a landmark employment tribunal case that was discussed all over the world. He is also the author of the book, ‘Ethical Vegan: a personal and political journey to change the world’.