A blogger that I follow recently posted about finding an injured pigeon and wrapping him up and holding him close until he passed not very long after. It sounded like a lot of the offline reaction was “It’s just a bird.” As you can probably tell from my photo – this doesn’t sit well with me. Not just for birds, but for most animals. But for today, I’ll focus on birds.
The picture is of my Green Cheek Conure (or GCC), Chloe. She’s about two and a half years old now and I adopted her when she was roughly three months. Conures have an average lifespan of 25-35 years. She has the potential to be with me into my 60’s! I knew a fair amount about wild birds before adopting Chloe but sharing your life with a bird is a whole new experience. Birds are very social. They experience emotions – even if not the exact same way we do. Chloe is happy, angry, irritable, playful, etc. One of her favorite games is to drop something so I can pick it up. I give it back and she drops it again. How fun! :p She has a certain dance she does when excited and a particular reaction to trying new food and really liking them. She prefers to take a bath in very cold water (though I hear that’s not uncommon in Conure’s) She doesn’t just preen herself but she’s also kind enough to go through my hair and preen me, heh. Certainly Chloe is not “Just an…” anything?
There is so much more to Chloe, to other birds, and to other creatures on the planet. Unfortunately I think we have this attitude towards people now too. If we can’t hold each other in equal regard, I’m not sure what hope there is for those creatures some people consider “lesser”.