Parrots need your voice
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.
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.