We remember sling shots, right?  And the things we might have done with them, innocently enough, in childhood?  Now those memories are full of guilt and remorse, because we know we shouldn’t have used them to try to, or succeed in, taking the lives of wild creatures, especially birds.   Unfortunately, slingshots are still in use, but there have been some innovative programs to remove these lethal “toys” from the hands of children.  A great example is from Paso Pacifíco (http://pasopacifico.org/), a non-profit organization which works in Nicaragua and other Mesoamerican countries, which has developed a program to build empathy towards nature through using incentives.  They are seeking to reduce bird mortality through a slingshot exchange program where binoculars and bird-focused curricula are delivered to children in rural schools in exchange for slingshots.  And if you still have a slingshot somewhere in your house, retire it or relegate it to the trash can where it can’t do any harm!


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