Monday, 26 January 2015

The Small Pets' Industry...

Recently we lost one of our beloved parakeets. That by itself is not unusual, it simply happens to pets. It however becomes a different story when you realize that this bird was only about half a year old, and during that time we already had to deal with some issues with an “assuredly healthy” pet. It becomes even more interesting when you realize that of the last five birds that we “adopted”, none of them proved to be completely healthy in the first year or so. One had an eye infection, another died within a few months from respiratory distress, another one we just saved in time from a respiratory infection and another brought a case of  ‘scaly face’ into the cage. Most of these we were able to treat successfully (we have a great avian vet!). But running an almost continuous birdy sickbay is a far cry from enjoying your pets' presence like you are supposed to.
I do not blame the place we buy them from; they do everything in their power to keep these animals healthy. It is however not enough. The sad truth is that many of these animals are genetically and immunologically unhealthy, due to too much inbreeding by breeders who really don’t care, or don’t know. A faulty stock of subquality product, if I may use that term.

I personally think –and I have voiced this opinion before- that there is something fundamentally wrong with our attitudes towards pets, especially small pets like birds, rats, guinea pigs, rabbits etc. They are indeed viewed as ‘products’, as ‘commodoties’, often purchased on a whim by people who have no idea how to take care of them and discarded with the same ease as they are purchased. It says something when people commend us as if it something extraordinary for making sure that our birds are taken care of –by a professional animal nanny!- when we are on vacation and that we take our sick birds to the vet, no matter the cost.

I have decided not to support this ‘small pet industry’ anymore if that means I am supporting an institution that treats these wonderful, beautiful and expressive animals like disposables and does not care about their quality of life. No living creature deserves this kind of negligent treatment to serve our amusement. We will continue to take the best care possible of our remaining birds, as they deserve nothing less from us. But they will be our last…

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