One of the most controversial topics out there right now is the case for – or against – keeping pets at all. You will rarely see people getting so stirred up, and even, sometimes, violent, when defending or attacking this issue.
I personally think it would be a mistake to ban pets from our lives. How else are we to keep our connections with the natural world? Yes, it is true that there are other ways to do this – but speaking from my own experience, I believe that there is nothing like living with a being – whatever it’s species – to really get to know it.
Our pets seem to have their ways of making sure that we remember to get down to the nitty-gritty as often as necessary, so we can continue to provide them with their daily requirements.
Dogs and cats, great pets though they are, don’t hold a monopoly on this – the same is also very true of most, if not all, pet birds. It is most certainly true of all of the pet birds I have known!
Many people I know who keep pet birds say that the presence of their pets has improved their lives immeasurably. This happens both directly and indirectly.
Affection And Caring
It is well known to all bird owners that pet birds bring more affection and caring into their human partner’s lives, encouraging them to become more in touch with their own hearts and minds. What many of us are a little slower to realize, is that the presence of a pet bird also tends to bring about an improvement of the varieties and kinds of foods eaten by its human associates, as well as encouraging the removal of toxic chemicals and their usage from homes and lifestyles.
Most pet owners I know care devotedly for their pets, in all the ways they can. Many have families who accuse them of taking better care of their pets than they do the rest of the family!
An experience a friend mine had last year made me wonder about another side of the story – one we rarely if ever hear mentioned. An acquaintance of hers, while visiting her house, went to the caged canary, and asked what would happen if she should open the door and set it free?
My friend angrily responded that to do such a thing could be a death sentence to the bird, at which reply the person smiled slyly and murmured something about short lives and sweet ones. (as if starving or dying of thirst or exposure would be enjoyable!)
Yet I know from experience, that more often than not when given a chance to ‘escape’ from my care, my birds do nothing of the sort! In fact, it is more common for me to find an ‘escaped’ bird busily trying to ‘break in’ to one of the cages in my bird-room, than it is to find them looking for a way out of the bird-room – even though the bird-room door is usually wide open to the rest of the house!
It seems that they don’t think of a properly set up cage as being their prison, but rather, that it is regarded as being their home.
Choose To Stay?
This leads me to wonder – if keeping pets is so unethical and so ‘against nature,’ then why do our pets so often and so obviously choose to stay with us? What kind of function and instinctive needs do you suppose we fulfill in their lives?
Many actively choose to be our companions, even when they have the choice to leave us for the ‘free life.’ Why do they so often prefer to stay? Could it be just habit, or do you believe that there is something more?
What kind of therapeutic function or emotional needs do you think keeping pets really fill in our lives, or us in theirs? Over the years, many and various theories have been advanced, but I would love to hear what you think.
I believe this topic is very important to all of us who treasure our birds, and that it is necessary that we tell the world how we feel, for all posterity to know!