Sunday, November 4, 2012

Of Birds and Bunnies

You might not think that exotic pet birds and rabbits have much in common.  Ah, my fellow Rabbit Addicts, they most definitely have something in common. What would that be, you ask. Ignorance, disrespect, disregard, stupidity, neglect and abuse.
  • Without doing research, people buy both creatures, based on aesthetics and a cartoonish reputation that is false.
  • Rabbits are not cute, huggable little bunnies with twitchy noses and mild manners and even temperaments.  Exotic birds are not velcro pets that sit by and make music, or talk like people.
  • These are willful creatures and will NEVER conform to what a human thinks they should be and will do what they want to do, period.
  • Rabbits are very expensive to maintain, and birds more so. Vet visits are inevitable, expensive, and oftentimes frequent. 
  • The food for both is expensive and specialized. Housing is specialized, NOT small cages or hutches. 
  • Both creatures are extremely destructive by nature and require constant watching to ensure there is enough stimulation.  
  • Beaks and teeth grow constantly and quickly, and need to be worn down at the same rate of growth. Claws, beak, nails and teeth need constant vigilance and often vet visits to correct overgrowth, which can cause crippling, bleeding and infected wounds, terrible pain, and can lead to serious illness or death. 
  • They are far more intelligent than given credit for, and little tricksters and willful. When these traits start to manifest themselves in ways a human does not anticipate or appreciate, they become angry, sometimes leading to abusive situations, which can include verbal and physical abuse, cruel confinement or being discarded.
  • With every "rehoming", both rabbits and birds will become more spiritually and mentally scarred, causing problem behaviours to intensify along with the inability to bond to or trust any human. 
  • These creatures are often discarded into "the wild" to fend for themselves, the human assuming that rabbits can acclimate to the outdoors with their wild cousins, and the birds simply being birdy.  They do not think, realize, or care that these animals have been too domesticated to be able to adapt and survive in feral conditions and that there are specialized diets that cannot be provided by Mother Nature outside of their native environment (the tropics for birds). 
  • Rabbits can live up to ten plus years, which some people find too long. Birds can live fifty plus years and need to be considered in ALL family and household matters just as a human family member would be considered. Too often for both species even a minor family change will cause the humans to get rid of these pets as inconveniences. 
  • Overbreeding is a real problem, and bird breeders do not give a damn about their birds, for the most part. How can breeding at all be justified for either species when so many are in shelters and rescues that are filled to capacity and need funds?
  • Both types of animals get very little regard or respect as intelligent, sentient beings with a soul who are capable of love, misery, feelings of loss, who mourn, rejoice, and bond with creatures around them. 
My parents have Clover, a Moluccan Cockatoo that self mutilates and plucks. She is about 16 or 17 years old now, they have had her for about five years. She was adopted from a shelter where they had to keep her with one of the employees because she had to be watched constantly.  Who knows how many homes she passed through. I can tell you she had some serious issues when she came to live with my parents. Over the years, she has come such a long way, but it has been a slow process and required trust, patience, consistency, and a lot of treats. LOL.

Clover. You can see her "breastplate" that my mother made out of some kind of casting material. This is to prevent her from self mutilating, also so her other self inflicted wounds can heal.

She likes to sit on the chair while we sew at the dining room table. There is a skylight above her and she gives it the one-eyed, sideways glare. 

This is her sitting with Mr. Bubbles. They are playing Battlefield and she is learning new creative ways to use foul language. 
Her umbrella feathers. Could God have made a more vibrant orange? GLORIOUS color!
She looks sweet, and she has her moments, but she is willful, demanding little devil. She loves her kisses, though. Oh, sorry, Clover, I mean "sugars"!
Looking down on the rest of us. Why, YES, she IS a superior creature, thank you very much!

Just like rabbits, please think, research, and ask yourselves the same questions you would consider if adopting a human child. We are called to be stewards of this planet and her creatures, lands, and wonders. We do not have the right to treat these little creatures any damned way we choose, and will be called to answer for our choices and actions someday, in one way or another, in this life or the next. 

Unfortunately, people breed their own children without regard to the child or their family or households. If their own offspring, the amazing little lives they bring forth as casually as rats breed, means so little to them, then no other creature will find quarter or love in those homes. Even people with education, money, a stable home, and security will treat their pets as either commodities or material possessions.  However, we cannot control the lives of others. All we can do is for our own, and mind our own actions, be accountable for our own decisions. 


  1. I have friends who have parrots and this post is so right,funny how two different species can be so a like,xx Rach

    1. And I forgot to mention that both species require daily clean up and care, very much more so than dogs or cats.
      My parents just recently discovered that Clover will tolerate me sitting her while they go out of town. For the longest time they would not go anywhere. But as Clover became more relaxed and trusting, they felt comfortable enough to leave her in my care for a few days. My trick to keeping her happy? Whatever she wants!!! Cookies, treats, juice, chips, fruit. Donut. Hey, that is the only way I can survive Clover. It is one of the reasons she loves me, too, and will tolerate my parents leaving town. It is only once or twice a year, so DON'T JUDGE ME FOR FEEDING HER DONUTS!!!!!

  2. Thank you for this! I think that ALL animals deserve that us hoomins become educated about them...