Words. Words are powerful. Words spoken over and over, no matter the lie or incorrectness of those words, are considered truth. Words are fodder, seeds and fuel for either good or bad. Words can lead to the truth or they can lead to an epic sadness. Once an incorrect lazy word is established in the vernacular label it is very difficult to rip it out and destroy. No matter the damage created by that word.
I despise the word pet. I abhor it's use in the same sentence as parrots. I rail, fight, debate and argue it's very existence in any conversation I have that also contains the word parrot. I will not tolerate the word long, and I can not rationalize it's use by any person, no matter their alphabet pedigree, or assumed stature. Parrots are not pets. PERIOD.
There is no use for this word in parrot advocacy. If you use the word pet and claim to be an advocate I highly suggest strengthening your vocabulary and revisiting what message you are really sending out into the world. We must stop. We have to start somewhere in advocacy. We must choose one brick on this road for companion parrot advocacy to repave. I start with this one word. I will not accept it's utterance without defense and explanation to the contrary.
The word "pet" reflects ownership and exploitation. I HAVE a pet parrot. No, you only have misunderstanding. You are sharing your life with a companion with feathers and you can either do it well, or you can really muck it up with that ownership attitude. But you can't have it both ways.
Changing and upgrading our vocabulary on behalf of our companion parrots costs nothing. Not a red cent. Not a second of time. NOTHING. And yet it's value is immeasurable. This is the most powerful advocacy any parrot lover can take and you can start immediately. Next time you see an article posted about parrots with the word "pet" in the title. Challenge it. When you find yourself in a conversation about parrots and the word "pet" is used, educate that user.
Do you know who started the phrase pet parrot? The pet industry. Because branding is everything. PetSmart, PetCo, Pet Supplies, they ring the truth of the matter. Let me make this clear, a pet store sells the parrots as loss leaders. They want you coming back for all the supplies you need to "keep your pet". This is pet industry business 101. This is just one of a number of examples as to why the word "pet" is an abomination when discussing companion parrots. Conversely, there are amazing companion stores in my likes menu on FlockCall Facebook. Only the amazing ones make it there. And I'll write about the difference to be sure. But that is another matter.
There's a reason Parrot Rescues and Sanctuaries do not use the word pet in their names. Consider the names Pet Parrot Rescue vs. Parrot Rescue. Consider the tone and meaning in those two examples. None of our companions are pets. Fur or feather or other. It is up to us to change the value systems. Pet is an insult to every companion relationship out there. Using Companion Parrot not only defines the truth, but it sets the standard of CARE. Using the word "pet" degrades the process and the parrot. Follow the word "pet", and you will find the word "it" not far away.
There is no such thing as a pet parrot. You can pet your parrot, but they are not a pet.