The Human Factor for Companion Parrots

A bird's eye view doesn't include human view rationalization.

The Human Factor for Companion Parrots

I love Thai food. It's a recent discovery for me only because I was so relunctant to challenge my taste buds. Silly me. I love the way the flavor profile pits the yin and yang of flavors in one dish. You appreciate the heat because of the countering cool and crisp bean sprouts. You appreciate the sweet sauces because of the spice. Life is like that, you have to taste tears to revel in a smile.

None of us are going to get out of here alive. It's a fact most of us would rather not discuss, but we will sacrifice alot to avoid. Not only for ourselves, but for our companions. I've had to bear witness to 11 parrot deaths over as many weeks. Every single companion was loved, and loved back. What I find hard, much harder than the deaths, is the arguing between the people involved on the subject of the cause of the deaths, the care before the deaths and the blame of the beginning of the deaths. Only 2 of those 11 parrots died peacefully at home without postmortem drama or elongated, expensive, most likely stressful hospital stays and procedures that resulted in the inevitability of life; death. Only those 2 passings were not lived out and ground up in social media postings. The rest filled my newsfeeds and email and messaging pleading reason, evidence, insult and accusation. Some body was at fault and it wasn't them. 

I'm going to challenge some with this article. I'm going to infuriate others. I may get a few more to reflect. In the end this is all just a big question mark in my head. Because today I am tired. I'm exhausted by the human rationalization that engulfs companion parrots like netting. Netting that restricts making things better. Rescues take in birds knowing they haven't the finances quite yet to provide full care, then ask for money for vet care. This offends some people. People have parrots who fall ill, then start funding campaigns to pay for their personal companion's vet bills because they can't do it themselves. THIS offends some people. Rescues claim racking up 60,000 dollars in vet bills a year trying to save all the companions no matter their health, with a rabid desire to fight the unbeatable foe of death. THIS offends some people. Some companions fall ill and find themselves in a situation of healthcare they cannot understand. No matter the care and love in the room, that parrot does not understand their last days spent in procedure and post procedure routines. Only, in the end, to loose the inevitable battle of life; death. THIS offends some people. Or for final example, a companion finds themselves rescued and then in a hospital only to be forced to fight the inevitable battle of life; death. All the while those involved before and after are bickering, pointing fingers and harboring anger toward each other and outward in public.  All this is more wasted energy, resources and emotions than I can possibly quantify. ALL these examples are real and only a portion of the 9 I was forced to witness. As an advocate, I see little advocacy but much rationalization and pride on the part of humans involved.

We have chosen to bring parrots into our lives. And yet, over and over we all act shocked when they act like parrots, fall ill like parrots and die like parrots. Their health care is tricky at best, particularly when we free wheel it only visiting a vet when they are in dire straights. I had an Avian Vet tell me once at a dinner party that his frustration lay in the fact that the majority of the time a parrot is brought in, it is too far over the cliff to save. But as a vet he must try, and if the parrot parent insists, will go as far as medicine will allow to drag that bird back up the cliff. It literally breaks this doctor's heart. I saw it in his eyes. His last words ring in my head every day. "If I could JUST get in front of the cliff and yell STOP!"

I'm left realizing we, the humans in the room, are far too busy rationalizing, scrutinizing, or criticizing to see the simple nature of the cure. We don't like the "way" some one or entity is doing something so therefor none of what they do is right. We don't want our parrot to die, so we seek the extremes in procedures in a last ditch effort. We can't forgive so we can't join together to help someone else that may be in the exact same place and could really use our help and empathy. We remember "the last time" and will do anything to not relive that death again with another companion. Only to say good bye at the end of an elongated illness. On their own merits, none of this sounds insurmountable, but the death blow, much like life's final chapter, falls when we take to Facebook and start waylaying on each other, on organizations trying, on systems we only know through gossip, and finally by rationalizing our insecurity by perching on a group page to do all that sniping behind a name.

Our companions were never meant to be in cages. They were meant to live out their lives with the wind under their wings and the sun on their feathers, free to fly through their lives. And ultimately die as all things do. 

We humans, I've not quite figured out our purpose yet. We choose such dark matters through the logic of rationalization. Quality of life for a parrot is simple. Quality of life for humans? We measure that by how much we think we control. Today I fear we are the sour to the companion parrots sweet. And it is only they that carry this weight while we argue about our own merits in this cold pale virtual world.

I only bring one message to everything I write. One simple mission statement. To give every parrot everywhere a happy home. It's simple. Sometimes delivering that requires saying goodbye without a struggle. Sometimes delivering that means letting go and moving on. Sometimes that means discarding pride, and picking up a small flag of your own and flying it with a bit of independance. And EVERY time it means it is better to be kind, than right. It is better to do without, then to take incorrectly.

None of what makes up a successful companion parrot lifestyle is complicated. It's just hard. Because it means getting off the internet and getting on with being you with them, selflessly kind.

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