Deep in the lush forests, a symphony of songs can be heard from disparate birds. Each song signifies a way of interaction to support the wonders and peace of Mother Nature. All of a sudden, a crack in the air caused by a small silver bullet pierces the fragile body of a songbird. With its wings clipped off mercilessly, the shivering creature is thrust into a vehicle with hundreds of its other cousins and taken to a place where freedom is a dream beyond reach. This is tragic as aeons ago, birds were the only dinosaurs that have survived the Cretaceous-Paleogene period. Having survived the cataclysm that has killed their cousins, the non-avian dinosaurs, these birds are now facing numerous enemies that contribute to their declining numbers; One of them being captivity. Birds are natural creatures of liberty, and hence, should not be caged.
If God loved the birds and invented trees then why is it that man loved the birds and invented cages? In truth, the insatiable avarice of humans to cage these birds for themselves are reasons to why most birds are already on the brink of extinction. In fact, cages are living deaths to birds. These intellectual social creatures require avian enrichment such as constant stimulations and social interactions with other members of their flock. For instance, birds utilize their keen senses to discern the location and timing of the presence food. Like any isolated person, if the avian senses are dulled, the bird will become neurotic and subjected to abnormal behaviors such as constant screeching, self-mutilation or worse, self-cannibalism.
If bird-lovers truly love birds, they should not have the birds shipped and kept in cages. Keeping parrots or songbirds may be a very intriguing hobby, but it is a nightmare for the birds. Sometimes the owners of these birds are not equipped with sound knowledge on how to raise the young birds. For example, most bird owners prefer seed diets for their birds as they are cheap, failing to realize that industrialized seeds sold in pet stores contain higher amounts of carbohydrates compared to vitamins and protein. Hence they are feeding their birds a junk food diet and exposing them to risks of obesity, seizures, and liver diseases. Keeping birds as pets requires immense cautiousness. If the owner fails to check whether the items placed near the birds contain Polytetrafluoroethylene(PTFE), their birds will end up being poisoned by the gas emitted.
According to an estimation by Australian ornithologist Joseph Forshaw, for every wild-caught bird that survives transportation to a cage, at least 10 die. This mortality rate of about 80-90% is often caused by gruesome transportation procedures of the birds. To illustrate, birds of many different species are frequently being thrust into transport vehicles packed with other screeching birds or animals that are just as confused and frightened. This is detrimental to the birds’ health as they become stressed due to their restricted space as cargo which consequently affects the membranes of birds thus exposing the birds to respiratory diseases. Furthermore, illegal smuggling of birds are often main aspects of the spreading of deadly avian diseases as these birds are not vaccinated.
Finally, birds play a constituent role in the works of Mother Nature. These creatures have committed every second of their lives to do nature’s bidding such as pollination and dispersing seeds for various food sources and even assisting the survival of other species’ eggs. However, the population of birds have dwindled significantly due to mankind’s callousness in capturing birds to profit from the raging demand of birds in the pet industry. This results in the disruption of nature’s equilibrium and harms mankind as their lives depend solely on the well-being of planet Earth.
Despite knowing all these, should we still rest on our laurels and watch others tear down homes of poor hatchlings, dragging them away from their crying mothers just to lock them away as display? No! We can join in the fight to protect our winged friends by educating the society on the importance of the liberty of the birds. We can make a difference.