A Twitter user seemed awfully ashamed, at least for someone named @ProudSlytherin, as she destroyed the childhood memories of thousands of pond visitors across the world. Apparently feeding bread to ducks—and watching them mob around and desperately fight for crumbs—is not the charitable activity you wanted to believe it was.
The photo, at the edge of a waterway, reads from the perspective of the ducks:
Thank you for not feeding us bread
Bread makes us ill, as it does not contain the right nutrition or calories that we need to keep us warm in winter
Rotting bread pollutes our water and causes nasty surface algae, which kills our fish and gives us diseases. It also makes our water smell
Do you feel like a monster?
An article from The Guardian in 2015 confirms as much, saying the bread affects water quality and can "lead to potentially fatal or disabling health conditions" for the birds. Here's the most heartbreaking paragraph of their PSA, which you can read in its entirety here:
“There’s also a risk that ducks and other water fowl could get an illness known as angel wing, which is caused by not getting the right nutrients in their diet. The illness causes a deformity in birds’ wings that can hamper the way they fly or even stop them altogether, which could obviously be fatal.”
Your relaxing afternoon with your family? It broke a bird's wing and then it died! But your duck-loving days aren't over. In the future, here are a ton of safe options The Guardian recommends you feed those quackers in place of bread:
- Cracked corn
- Wheat, barley or similar grains
- Rice (cooked or uncooked)
- Birdseed (any type or mix)
- Grapes (cut in half)
- Frozen peas or corn (defrosted, no need to cook)
- Chopped lettuce or other greens or salad mixes
- Chopped vegetable trimmings or peels
- Duck pellets
Now get yourself a bag of earthworms and make it up to all those birds you wronged! They're waiting with bated breath and it's not like they can go anywhere—you broke their wings, remember?