Speaking For Parrots

Parrots need your voice

This Blog Is For Parrots

I am for parrots, captive and wild.

I’m not for breeders or rescues….

or

seeds or pellets….

or

flighted or clipped….

Only parrots…. parrots are first and foremost.

If you are reading this blog, chances are you already have a good foundation of knowledge with regard to parrots.  You probably do things like cook for your birds, chop fruits and vegetables, make regular visits to your avian vet, have bins full of toys, play stands in different rooms of your house, and carry pictures of your companions to show the world how wonderful parrots are.  All these subjects are important to me, and I will be discussing issues like them, but a little differently than in the usual manner.  I’d like to open a dialog that discusses and informs people about the ethics of keeping parrots in captivity, and what our moral obligations are to parrots as guardians of them.

Sometimes, I think we forget who our parrots really are.  One of my favorite analogies is the mauling of animal trainer Roy Horn of Siegfried & Roy, by their performing tiger, Montecore. Have you ever viewed your captive parrot in the way you view a captive tiger?  Certainly, your parrot will never send you to the hospital with massive amounts of blood loss (although we’ve all had our mini-moments) but Montecore was born and raised in captivity, just like our parrots.  Perhaps his parents were tigers captured from the wild, like many of our parrots’ parents.  Perhaps we have parrots that are even more wild than Montecore, having been captured in the wild themselves.  My point here is that our parrots are just as wild as that tiger, or any other “exotic” animal in captivity, such as monkeys, mountain lions, elephants, and the like.  Because we cannot change their “parrotness,”our job is to understand their nature which is fundamental to making our captive parrots as happy as possible in our homes,

Richard Farinato, director of the Captive Wildlife Protection Program for The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) said something quite interesting regarding the mauling of Roy Horn.  He said, “Birth in a cage, attended by loving humans, does not alter the animal’s nature nor eliminate his capabilities; captive breeding does not wipe away the effect of millions of years of evolution and selection for success in the wild” (Siegfried & Roy Incident Underscores the Dangers of Exotic Pets).  If I didn’t tell you he was talking about a tiger, you might think he was talking about one of our parrots.

So, my purpose in writing this blog is to make us all aware of what keeping parrots really means to them, to us, and to their wild populations and habitats. I want to encourage us to ask ourselves the tough questions.  I want to remind us, should we forget, of whom our parrots really are, and what we owe them for making our lives so much better.

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6 comments on “This Blog Is For Parrots

  1. Julie Hamilton
    January 15, 2014

    Beautifully expressed and irrefutably correct!

    • Shari Mirojnick
      January 15, 2014

      Thanks. 🙂

  2. Tamara
    September 6, 2014

    The only thing is, the birds born in captivity did not ask to be born that way. It is up to us to stop that (if you feel that way) and do the best we can to care for them while they are with us.

    • Shari Mirojnick
      September 6, 2014

      I absolutely believe that, Tamara. We can start teaching people about parrots in captivity, and their unsuitability as pets. Less and less people will go into breeding for the pet trade, and there will be less demand. Ending parrots in captivity will take time, but it’s our responsibility to care for, to the best of our ability, those parrots already in with us. We need to continue educating people about their care, but also that parrots do best when left to determine their own lives.

  3. E-L
    January 21, 2016

    I simply cannot agree more with you. If I were king, no parrot would live confined in a home, bred and robbed of their offspring or kept isolated from others of their kind.
    My flock of three are rescues that I adopted. And even in this case, it breaks my heart that I cannot do more to return to them what human hubris has mercilessly taken away. I try every single day to improve their lives a.little more. I am not harboring under any illusion that my compulsion is shared by a y majority of people buying parrots as pets. They are not pets. They do not belong in our homes and backyards.
    But we are left with a legacy of thousands upon thousands of abandoned, abused, neglected and displaced parrots in the US, alone, that human beings are accountable. We made the problem We have to be responsible for the birds suffering as a result. It would be great if the breeders would stop adding to the misery, but, if you don’t have eyes, you just won’t see.

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This entry was posted on February 18, 2013 by .