Speaking For Parrots

Parrots need your voice

Parrots Live With Me; or, Il Meglio è Nemico del Bene

When people don’t like what you have to say, but really can’t refute it, they start throwing out the logical fallacies.  Case in point, many breeders use the Tu Quoque (you too) argument. The argument is, since I live with parrots, my assertion that parrots are not suitable pets and shouldn’t be part of the pet trade, must be invalid.  Along with attempting to invalidate my argument, they also shift the focus from themselves onto me. It’s a Red Herring.

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American breeder and AFA member

Before I go any further, I just want to say that this post isn’t about keeping parrots as pets, or what is and isn’t conservation, how to care for parrots, or the like. It’s just about why I live with parrots, and the reason why I’m telling this story.  I wanted to bring up this point because I am often accused of “not being very informative,” or “that’s just your opinion” (two other red herrings).

In 1994, some friends of mine who had a grey parrot named Fred, asked me if I would take him, because they no longer wanted him. Fred had been dumped on them, they were splitting up, and one was moving to the other side of the country. I said, “Sure, I guess.” The only thing I knew about parrots was that the store where I bought my dog food was a parrot specialty shop. Every day I learned something more about parrots, either from my new friends at the store, or the new friend in my home. That’s how it all started, just like so many other people. We knew nothing in the beginning, and learned along the way. I was fortunate enough to do a lot of different things with parrots, and getting to be around many. It’s how I came to see that there were so many parrots with problems. Whether the problems were theirs, or the people with whom they lived, it was much worse than with other companion animals. That’s why I believe that parrots shouldn’t be pets, and breeding for the pet trade should end. I believe this because I truly believe it is in the best interest of parrots to not be in captivity to be pets for people. Whenever I think about parrot issues, I try to look at it from the perspective of what is probably best for them, based on my experience.

That’s why I have parrots, and also why others do who feel as I do. It wouldn’t be in the best interest of my parrots to rehome them, or whatever people like this breeder think I should do with them.  Because I say that breeding for the pet trade should end, doesn’t mean I think we should set them free, euthanize—whatever—the parrots who are already in captivity with us. How would killing, relinquishing, setting free, or ending adoption and rehoming be in the best interest of the parrots in captivity? In fact, it sounds pretty ridiculous, and only a desperate person defending a selfish agenda would say such a thing about me or someone like me.

Aviculturists will probably still make an appeal to hypocrisy regarding my parrots; however, I’m going to guess that all the parrots I have rescued, whether the ones who live with me now–like Fred who still does–lived out the rest of their lives with me, went to other good homes, or have crooked necks, seizures, broken hips, no feathers, walk with limps, mutilate their own feet, or have chronic bacterial infections, don’t give a damn about any of that.

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7 comments on “Parrots Live With Me; or, Il Meglio è Nemico del Bene

  1. Lyn Shaner-Trutt
    January 27, 2016

    I completely agree. Birds, like other wild animals, were never meant to be caged and asked to follow human diets and life cycles. No matter how wonderful, loving and caring the owner, we are keeping them caged in a building, taking them from their native environment and diet and asking them to follow our rules. Then we try to “tame” them, by controlling their flock calls, denying them their natural hormone cycles and not letting them build nests and mate and forage as they were meant to do. I love my feathered companions, but they would have been much better off if humans had not interfered in their lives.

  2. dot schwarz
    January 27, 2016

    I wish these comments did nt seem to me to be true but they do.

  3. Natalie Harper
    January 27, 2016

    This is me ,I own birds but also now know they should not be pets

  4. Binky
    January 31, 2016

    Why do you feel that your experience is the basis for making the decision for other people who may want to own a parrot (that they should not) – which requires a breeder? Wish you could see that there are many more parrot/bird pets that do not have problems, that are treated well and have complete lives. It is arrogant to set your self up as the person that gets to decide for everybody else.

    • Shari Mirojnick
      January 31, 2016

      Hmmm…. I guess you didn’t read this part of the post, “Before I go any further, I just want to say that this post isn’t about keeping parrots as pets….” That means, I didn’t write in that post my reasons for why parrots aren’t pets. I would throw back at you, that it’s arrogant to say what you said without even knowing why I feel the way I do. And really, who do I have to be? In your opinion, whose opinion would you think gets to be that person?

  5. Binky
    January 31, 2016

    I dont think that anybody should “be that person” or any legislature for that matter. I have read what you post – certainly I cannot know “why you feel the way you do” – do you want the end of all bird breeding? There is it…the question big as day and clear as a bell.

    • Shari Mirojnick
      February 6, 2016

      You saying that no one should say, nor any legislature is like anarchy. Who gets to say? And if it happens that more people, those with and without parrots think opposite of you, would that satisfy you for who should say?

      I want the end of breeding parrots for the pet trade. I don’t think it’s something that can happen overnight, but over time, the more we educate people, we can end the demand. Of course that’s clear as bell, at least I hope it is. I don’t hide my agenda. So, as I have asked before, what is your agenda?

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This entry was posted on January 27, 2016 by .