Who is Responsible for This?

Rescue_BirdsEarlier, I posted a message written by Mickaboo Companion Bird Rescue CEO, Michelle Yesney, that explains the reasons for the organization’s core value of rehabilitating the sick, the injured and the disabled exotic birds that come into Mickaboo’s care.

Michelle has spoken eloquently and persuasively from the perspective of the rescued bird. I would like to add another perspective in support of why we save them, as one of mindful responsibility.

From this perspective, it is a moral imperative; we *should* do everything we can to save them because, ultimately, the suffering of captive birds falls squarely on the shoulders of human beings who, whether directly or by complicity, are responsible for introducing these wild animals into our domestic lives and are thus accountable for what results follow.

Birds are not like the cats and dogs people have domesticated and bred for thousands of years to help us as working animals or provide us with companionship. Parrots, specifically, are only a few generations removed from their wild ancestry, if not, indeed, themselves wild caught. They are prey animals, not predators. They are not mammals, do not respond to nor understand a concept of a power hierarchy. There is no such reality as an “alpha parrot”. They are physiologically designed to fly great distances and have no desire nor derive any benefit from “alone time”. Their psychological and biological well being requires their inclusion within a flock community.

Indeed, even the very best any human can do for their companion birds will never be good enough. It will always fall short of what is in the bird’s best interests as nature designed. Thus, parrots invariably suffer illnesses due to suboptimal nutrition, toxic pollutants inside our homes, lack of sufficient stimulation and exercise, just to list the most obvious.

Our societies have condoned the inclusion of exotic birds as “pets”, it is therefore our duty to fix them when they have been broken, to heal them when they have physical suffering, to be the flock that they have been denied.
This is what it means to be a responsible human being. We account for the consequences of our decisions.
Obviously, this characteristic of responsibility is not nearly as ubiquitous as we all would like to believe about ourselves.

Rescues, such as Mickaboo, attempt to provide that responsibility for the creatures our fellow human beings have failed, one way or another, simply because we are not equipped in our homes to provide for the great needs of an animal that in some species, will live 80 or more years. In this regard, we fail these birds simply by the act of our dying.

Something to consider.

One thought on “Who is Responsible for This?

  1. I absolutely and whole-heartedly agree with you. Last year I wrote an opinion article for my veterinary school (I am a student) entitled, “Let parrots be parrots”. I am a bird-enthusiast and want to be the best clinician I can be for birds, while recognizing that birds should have never been made pets in the first place. As much as we tame and train them, they are not domesticated like dogs and cats…and they shouldn’t be. Thank you for contributing to the ethical conversation of the having pets as parrots. We need to consider their welfare first and foremost. Thankfully Mickaboo, albeit decentralized and inundated, is there to help parrots in need.

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