Sunday, December 15, 2013
On the ethics of a cage bird
As I write this I am peering through the bars of a cage, inside a lovebird flutters, a bored but regal smile perched on her immobile bill. She is a handsome creature, House Sparrow sized, orange face roosting beady black eyes and the bill, pale and conical, from which issue a variety of querying chirps. Her tail is of medium length, triangular but stubby. Grey feet prop up her light green stomach matching her green hood of feathers. The blue rump is obscured by emerald wings and I find that I have exhausted my ability to describe this marvelous creature’s outward countenance. Now to her emotional appearance I shall leap.
It would be inaccurate to describe this burbling bundle of vibrant feathers as gallant, for she will squawk and flutter with a great deal of agitation to anything in the least varying from its regular course. For after all, a bird is but flesh and blood. But yet again this same bird will happily attack the household dog, an act which could be depicted only as bold (or stupid). She is safe in her cage, her room and her house, and she takes full advantage of this knowledge whenever the chance of escape from behind the bars arises. Once free she will flap and chirrup her way about the house, enjoying the only freedom she knows, a safe one. For as well may be expected she realizes nothing of the outward world, a world beyond the house. Windows mean nothing to a bird!
To her she has freedom on a regular basis, for she leaves her cage when ever it is cleaned, and to perfect her comfortable position she has safety, food, water and a nest of shredded newspaper. She lives a life of perfect bliss and near complete unknowing. What more could one desire?
To state my argument clearly; captivity without knowledge of freedom is freedom ... in fact with the safety which is received by most pets it could be arguably stated that this is the perfect freedom.