There is a urban myth out there that says if you do not ransom (buy) parrots from bad parrot stores, they will eventually close. It's an urban myth for two reasons. One, the business model that the parrot stores operate under. They do not make their lifecycle profits from the parrots. They are considered loss leaders particularly when the seller isn't the breeder, but rather just a broker. They buy the parrots at discount or wholesale bulk from a breeding situation and then double, triple or quadruple the cost at retail. It is a one hit income that generally makes up for the cost of purchase, transport, and care associated with the store costs of business, food/water and floor space used to display. ALL retail profit is based on square footage profit/lose. A succesful retail store talks about profit by the square foot. Oh, we're making about $5 a square foot. THAT is why parrots are in too small cages on display in the stores we hate. THAT is why parrots are in display areas of a certain size, all wondering around together on hanging tree stands and the like. It's not about the looks, its about the square footage.
You have to understand the retail/whoelsale/broker/breeder cycle to understand why this urban myth is a myth, and it's cruel. Not purchasing/ransoming is a death sentence, or worse, an order to continue torturing this companion with horrid care and concern. Do you know what happens when they don't sell? If it's a broker situation, they can "sell back", or return the parrot within a certain amount of time to the breeder. Birds that are returned or sold back are put back into a waiting cycle in a cage. Time has passed though, the bird is more than 4 months old, so now his discount to broker price is lower, but no broker of general big box or large mom and pop want the older birds. Sad, but any parrot close to a year old is considered old for the bird trade. He'll be discounted one more time until failure. If he ends up back at the breeder again, he may be put into a breeder box with a random partner. To see if income can be generated that way. If this fails; death. Or he's traded to another breeder for whatever that breeder thinks they can get out of him.
There are all kinds of paths this can and does go, but the end result is the same; suffering or death. And that store isn't going anywhere. No matter.
The second reason this urban myth is just that, a myth, is simpler. It isn't working. Why isn't the issue, but the bottom line is IT ISN'T WORKING. What's the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result. Or CLAIMING the same thing over and over to get to the same result.
As a companion parrot advocate, I believe in ransoming. I support it, I've done it! Felix is a ransom rescue. Our cockatiel hen, Stella, is a ransom rescue! I promise you Stella would be dead by now had I not. She was a year old when I ransomed her. Alone in a parakeet cage hung from the ceiling in a full on glass display window. Parakeet food and water, no toys. Just continuous light 24/7. She was terrified of hands because for a year she was constantly being reached for and poked up at from under that high hanging horridly small, inappropriate cage. She didn't sell for a year, and that store stayed open.
They sold Cockatiels and Parakeets there. Not anymore. I ransomed Stella. I didn't shut my mouth locally and they stopped bringing in cockatiels. Then parakeets. Now they sell small companions like hamsters and they are still open. They changed their business model and their loss leaders from Parrots to small furry ones. They still sell parrot supplies. You see, they are in business to sell pet supplies. You need a pet first. That's how all this works. Unless you are big box. PetSmart has no need whatsoever to sell the birds they do. Their retail profit/loss flow isn't even touched by the thousands of parakeets that flow in and out and back to the Parrot Mills they buy from (or own). I declare advocacy against them and in 2016 that is going to be an issue for them to deal with publicly. I am going to make it a public issue. They used to sell puppies and kittens. Now they don't. Not because people stopped buying, but because people started advocating. Now they support rescue, and many have dog and cat adoption centers. NOT because of the shopping habits, but because of the advocacy message and it's pressure with the truth.
FlockCall supports, promotes and practices Ransom Rescue. Because to say you are a companion parrot advocate and not makes you the urban myth.
To end the cycle you start with advocacy. You start with being their voice. You start with due process of facts, truth and a relentless nature to speak against that which is wrong and repugnant. You do NOT TURN YOUR BACK on those that are suffering inside the cycle.
Would you say, "Do not adopt children from a communist country that threatens other countries! If we walk away, they will stop what they are doing. Don't feed the starving in countries where the government is cruel and ruled by despots! Walk away, they will stop what they are doing if we walk away." We label these humanitarian when we step in to ease suffering with great fanfare and pride.
We demand circuses end their profit of animal abuse. Yet the circus's carry on. We ransom their elephants to sanctuaries and their tigers to sancturies. Yes, they get ransomed. The Circus releases the animals and writes off the value at tax time. This is a business.
Dogs and cats are ransomed continually inside their healthy and strong advocacy message that exists in 2015. And then advocates go in and close the stores and puppy mills. I know because I did this on behalf of our little terrier Turner. Two pet stores were closed and his originating puppy mill was closed and all dogs rescued. BUT WE BOUGHT TURNER AT THAT STORE FIRST to end that suffering.
I am a Companion Parrot Advocate. I am not an entertainer with parrots, I am not a behaviorist selling processes, I am not a rescue owner or director. I am a voice. I am the voice of reason and balance. And to leave any companion behind as an act of defiance to a system is wrong. It is WRONG. It is wrong because there will be no change. It is lazy. Because you are doing nothing. It is cruel, because suffering continues and change does not come. It is not advocacy. It is WRONG.
If you find a companion in need in a lousy retail setting and your heart strings sing for them and you can, ransom that soul. You are NOT supporting or promoting this store by doing this act. You ARE RESCUING an innocent who did not ask to be born into a cycle of commodification and profit. And once you have that companion home safe. Contact me with the issue of this location. Let's talk advocacy and change. You took the first step. Together we take the second step.
Advocacy is work. At times, it is more work than you could have imagined. But change does not come by sitting idly by, or walking away. Change comes with action and sometimes with a ransom payment.