Like you, I “love” parrots. I love their look, their voices, their smell, how their feathers feel against my nose, how they look silhouetted against the blue, blue sky. I love how intelligent and clever they are. I love that they fly, and I cannot. To me (and I know a lot of you reading this agree) they really are the most special animal on this planet.
So, that’s why I fight for them and try to describe to people who don’t have the experiences and relationships you or I have with them why they are so very special, and deserve our compassion and our voices raised for them. I’m always thinking about them and trying to come up with new ways to get ideas across to people who don’t know or understand what really is going on with parrots today.
For example, I came across this post about an internet meme I hadn’t heard of, and it made me laugh. It’s called the “Unimpressed Meme”. There were some pretty funny examples:
And then I saw this one.
It immediately made me think of parrots and how while they are meant to fly in wide-open spaces, we (as a race) have decided to make them ours and en-cage them. Clip their wings, and own them.
Most spend a portion (some all) of their lives in their cage.
“But they aren’t meant to be in a cage! They are meant to fly free!” I shouted (to myself). This is the lament of many parrot guardians I’ve talked with: over and over again I hear people say, “If I could do it all over again, I wouldn’t get a bird. Birds are meant to fly free, not be kept in a cage.” For example, see the last paragraph in this article. I reached that epiphany myself a number of years ago. When I first became interested in parrots, I thought they were “neat” and “interesting” and yes, they were special, but I had no idea or awareness of what parrot’s “coolness” was doing to it as a species. But with time came awareness and understanding. With time came a mature “love” for parrots.
It’s the parrot guardian’s paradox:
The more we love our birds, the more we realize how wrong it is what we’re doing to them.
And so I got angry, and made some parroty versions of the gorrilla’s unimpressed comment:
After that, I calmed down and recalled that not all companion parrots spend their lives in a cage – some have guardians who have creatively allowed their birds to be cage-free. And so I thought I’d share a few of the ideas (links) I’ve come across because I’m sure you too have those moments when you are just…unimpressed…with what humans are doing to these magnificent animals and feel like throwing a fit.
Are you able to let your bird go cage-free? Please feel free to let us know what you do in the comments.
Links about Cage-free parrots:
- Living with Parrots Cage Free (a blog about Coco, a cage-free Amazon)
- Is your bird cage-free?
- Uncaged! Birds in our homes – a Flickr group
- The cage-free parrot (people’s thoughts posted in a forum about the topic)