Social Question

Blackberry's avatar

Isn't it kind of rude to keep birds (and some other animals) as pets?

Asked by Blackberry (31011points) February 8th, 2010

Here you have a bird, with this supreme ability to fly high in sky…..and then you just toss it in a cage… For what purpose? I mean….I understand some animals would probably just get killed anyways, but we can get killed too, is the protector role that serious and necessary?

What do you think about caging birds?

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25 Answers

Axemusica's avatar

We have a macaw that we live with. I say we live with, because he runs the show, lol. Seriously, he’s rarely ever in his cage usually just when no ones home and he informs us when he needs things, like food. He can’t fly and I’d say he’s pretty happy. Shit, I’d say he’s got it pretty good actually, lol.

squidcake's avatar

I used to be against keeping birds as pets, and I was really adamant about it. I even had a PETA shirt that read “Born to Fly: Don’t Buy Caged Birds.”

One day I wasn’t really thinking and I wore that shirt to go to a friend’s house, and she had 3 pet birds at the time. She never directly commented on it, but I could see she was trying to impress me by showing me how much she loved her birds.

And I saw she really did love those birds, and they loved her. They were domesticated enough to be proper pets. If they were birds she had just caught out of the wild to keep, then that’d be a different story.

jaytkay's avatar

I’ve had parakeets and a parrot, I believe they enjoyed living with me. I was surprised to find how affectionate and personable they are. The parakeets would fly over and sit on my shoulder while I read the newspaper. The parrot would climb down from his cage and climb up into my lap.

dpworkin's avatar

I think it’s an ignorant question and rather rude itself.

Blackberry's avatar

Well I guess if the birds don’t care and love chilling around the house…whatever let em’ chill lol.

@dpworkin Uhm…

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

we have ruined many of birds’ natural habitats – least we can do is take care of ‘em (yes I can be quite the downer sometimes.. though I am nothing like my husband…you don’t want to get him talking about topics such as these)

dpworkin's avatar

Because it implicitly criticizes bird owners as cruel. Some birds thrive on human companionship and have much improved lives when husbanded. Like anything else some species are not compatible with such an arrangement. But to dismiss all domestic avian companionship as being rude or hurtful is simply ignorant, and is rude to those of us who enjoy such companionship.

Axemusica's avatar

oh and to comment on @jaytkay‘s “I was surprised to find how affectionate and personable they are.” Jay Jay (the macaw) often asks for kisses and we often ask for them in return. We call him a stud and he often lowers his head and raises his pretty blue wings and tail feathers, in a display of “Hey look at me!” I think he’s got an ego, hehe.

Blackberry's avatar

@dpworkin Yeah I was going to type something along the lines of: “Do birds like being pets?”, or “Is a bird/human bond as strong as a dog/human bond?”. I thought it sounded pretty harmless, I didn’t think I sounded like some wacky animal activist but thanks for clearing that up.

Merriment's avatar

Well let’s see….I asked the wild pigeons in my yard who are voluntarily living “caged” how they felt about the easy life and they gave it two wings up.

They have a loft door that they are free to come and go through but they don’t use it all that often.

Here’s why: There is also a huge hawk that lives around here and if you make one false move you are pigeon nuggets.

Tonight, one did. And all the rest of the birds were sitting very quietly in the loft hoping to escape notice not their cage.

jackm's avatar

They are just animals, they have no idea what is going on. How is it rude if they don’t know the alternative. Many people think things like this are “cruel” because if we did it to a human he would know what he was missing. The bird had no clue. Its just fucking sitting there.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@jackm yeah I have that same attitude towards some people.

GingerMinx's avatar

Why would you consider it rude to give a good loving home to a bird that is already in a cage and knows no other life? Letting it go free would amount to its death. Being born and bred in a cage it has no idea how to survive out in the wild. Besides, a lot of the birds you buy are not native to the country and so would definitively not survive. I had a wonderful little budgie, we got her from very young, and she was so attached to me that the vets said she saw me as her mate and that was why she started laying eggs. We used to often let her out of the cage to fly around the house and she would often sit on my shoulder and chat in my ear or nibble on it. She also loved to play and would nip my fingers wanting to play fight. She enjoyed pushing buttons and loved the television remote and telephone. Sadly, we lost her when she became egg bound well we were out. We also had a male budgie at one time,he hated people and open spaces and refused to ever leave his cage. We could leave the door open well cleaning him out and he would sit there and swear at us for annoying him. Birds are no different to any other domesticated pet.

jackm's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir I hope that has been working well for you.

Blackberry's avatar

@gingerminx Awwwww : )

Darwin's avatar

A friend of mine has a pet cockatoo, although I suspect it is more as if the bird has her. He happens to have deformed feet so he would never have survived for long on his own. However, he considers her to be the most important member of his flock and is terribly jealous of anyone who seems to be monopolizes her time. I suspect McCloud is quite happy with his life. He spends most of his day out and about the house and is only locked in his cage at night, so he can’t sneak up on the husband and bite something sensitive while the poor man is asleep.

And I would guess that my dogs don’t think it is rude that I have taken them to live with me. They are sometimes puzzled about odd human rules about who, what and where to sniff but by and large figure we are just all one big, happy pack. Some of us are allowed on the couch and some of us aren’t, and some of us get better food, but the dogs don’t seem to mind really. They certainly don’t seem to bear any grudges.

Violet's avatar

@Blackberry I couldn’t agree more with you. Keeping a bird as a pet is cruel. (I also think keeping rabbits, rodents, or any animals in cages is cruel)

Pandora's avatar

@Blackberry Don’t feel bad. I use to wonder the same thing. I would see birds soar high and they looked like they where having a blast. I use to think, how would I feel if I was only allow to walk and not soar like that. I thought that we are taking away their ablility to do the one thing they enjoy most. But then I thought about how difficult it is for them to survive in the wild. Or even breed. There were a bunch of ducks that lived near us and they would hardly fly except when they needed too. Their babies would be eaten in front of them and some really seem to suffer the loss. I also saw a mother duck runned over in front of her chicks and now they had no one to feed and care for them. They tried to huddle around her dead body.
I would also see the ducks go near people when they saw a predator. They trusted people more than other birds.
Suddenly loosing the ability to soar didn’t seem so bad.
I also went to a pet store one day and went into a large cage with some gorgeous beautiful expensive birds. Two of them jumped on my shoulder and tried to fight with each other because they wanted to be the only one. It was scarry but I found out that species will take a preference to a person. My daughter went in and when I tried to transfer one to her it turned its back and flew back on my shoulder. So I guess they do have preferences.

Merriment's avatar

Okay, I have pigeons who through injury have lost their ability to fly…they do not “mourn” that loss and wail at the cruelty of “fate”. Instead they do an admirable job of getting on with the business of living. Animals are much better at this then humans are.

Ditto for my blind birds. They don’t need therapy or a guide dog they just navigate their environment until they know where the food and water is and that is what they are after…survival.

Of course you should provide the very best habitat for your animals, clean and roomy. But to imagine them laying on Dr. Doolittle’s couch moaning about what is “missing” in their lives is to actually insult one of the best qualities of animals. Their “acceptance without bemoaning”.

There is nothing more beautiful than a wild “free bird”...and nothing sadder than a domesticated animal being “freed” by some well-meaning someone only to perish from predation or starvation.

OpryLeigh's avatar

I think rude is the wrong word but I must admit to feeling a bit uncomfortable with birds being kept in cages. That is just the way I feel and so wouldn’t choose to have a bird as a pet myself but from friends who do have birds and some of the responses on here I wouldn’t say it was cruel as, like others have said, in many cases it is all the bird knows and they live a rather carefree life in captivity.

GingerMinx's avatar

All I know is that the birds we have had have been happy and cheerful and did not have to run from cats or compete for food. They were cleaned regularly and had toys which they loved and were allowed out to fly around the house for several hours everyday. they also had large cages. Considering that they would not have lasted an hour in the wild I am not sure how it was cruel.

Blackberry's avatar

@GingerMinx I’ve been enlightened, I asked my question out of curiosity because I knew there was more to it and now I know.

GingerMinx's avatar

@Blackberry glad you do Blackberry. I used to look after wild birds when I was younger and I would certainly not keep them caged but domesticated ones are no different to the cats and dogs people keep.

Blackberry's avatar

Yeah that’s pretty cool, if I had a bird I’d just let it fly around the house all day lol.

GingerMinx's avatar

@Blackberry , laughs, my female did that a lot, she loved being out and playing but the male budgie we had hated leaving his cage and refused to do so. He was a real little hermit.

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