Sometimes we need to put up with noise

by Daniel Fink, MD, Chair, The Quiet Coalition

Sometimes people have to put up with noise. This fun piece from the Atlas Obscura folks describes a noisy rooster on the French vacation island of Ile d’Oléron. Summer visitors filed a noise complaint with the local authorities, who ruled in the rooster’s favor.

Corrine Dessau, the rooster’s owner, commented that “[t]here’s always been noise in the countryside: frogs, tractors, and, yes, roosters. When you’re in the countryside, you accept the noises of the countryside. And when you’re in the city, you accept the noises of the city. If you don’t like the noise where you are, don’t stay there.”

I would disagree about urban noise. Much if not most of urban noise can be quieted.

But in the countryside, a rooster’s wake up call is part of the charm, and visitors should get used to it.

Dr. Daniel Fink is a leading noise activist based in the Los Angeles area. He is the founding chair of The Quiet Coalition, an organization of science, health, and legal professionals concerned about the impacts of noise on health, environment, learning, productivity, and quality of life in America. Dr Fink also is the interim chair of Quiet Communities’ Health Advisory Council, and he served on the board of the American Tinnitus Association from 2015-2018.

Comments (2)

  1. David Vassar

    The sounds I love hearing in the city include: a chorus of birds prevailing (if only momentarily) over the cacophony of motor traffic; a chorus of protests against injustice; musicians and ensembles our outdoor spaces; children squealing while running through arrays of water geysers; music of just about any kind emanating from passing cars (which I otherwise loathe in multifaceted ways).

    Hated noises: Motor vehicles–ubiquitous, oppressive, enraging, mind-numbing ( their horns adding huge insult to injury); EMS sirens, set at extremely high dbs to reach the ears of motorists up ahead; people hurling loud, abusive language into their cellphones; and helicopters, NYPD or otherwise.

    Needed for sirens, horns and alarms of all kinds: DIRECTIONAL SOUND.

    A quieter New York is a much healthier city. Let’s demand a street environment with greater amounts of CAR-FREE public space; ENFORCED lower speed limits; the return of whisper-quiet Revel bikes (with enforced rules for use); increasing use of E-CARS in all sectors; and an end to idling gasoline engines. City Hall needs to hear from us.

  2. Alan Tongret

    Amen! In praise of roosters and other natural country sounds!

    Best regards,



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