I spent three weeks in Germany a few years ago and one of the things that really resonated with me was how accepted animals were in society. Dogs were allowed in stores, on trains and buses and in restaurants. Everywhere you went, people took their animals with them. There were no ‘no pets’ signs on doors, nor were there any mean people telling you to ‘take your bird outside’.
It was a camp lodge. Not a five-star restaurant. Not a fancy steak house. A ruddy old camp lodge that served greasy meals on paper plates with plastic silverware. Real classy.
My dad tried to reason with me. ” its health codes. restaurants aren’t allowed to have animals in them for health reasons.” Well, that fired me up even more. Because honestly, my birds are cleaner than most people. My birds wear diapers, so they make absolutely no more mess than a human infant. In fact, my birds are quieter than most people’s kids, cleaner than most people’s kids, and more well-behaved than more people s kids. And I don’t see one restaurant that has a ‘no kids’ sign on the door. I take responsibility for all my animals and their behavior, which is more than most parents can say. Still, I am the one shunned to the patio.
Not to mention, this is my life style being cramped by the opinions of everyone else. And that’s not fair. How many years of my young life did I have to sit in the same restaurant as smokers, even though I’ve never picked up a cigarette in my life? And that was absolutely hazardous to my health and it was just recently banned! How many times have I had to sit next to a noisy, screaming, sticky two-year old when I have an adverse nature towards children? And I have never once complained or said ‘get your kid outside’. And now I am being discriminated against for having a feathered kid.
And if anyone would have mentioned the fact that people fear birds, I probably would have decked them. I never force people to embrace the type of animal I hold dear. I never force them to pet my birds, or touch my birds, or even take notice of my birds. However, I am a member of society as well, as so are my birds. So to deny me the pleasures of my life for someone else’s fear is wrong. For example, I have a horrible, terrible, irrational fear of latex balloons. I hate when they pop, I hate the squeaky noise they make, I hate everything about them. However, I cannot expect to walk into a balloon-less world because I’m terrified of them. And I certainly don’t see any signs on the restaurant door saying ‘no balloons’ because they bother me.
Needless to say, I did not purchase a breakfast and instead sat at the cigarette covered patio table and ate Lance’s toast, fuming about the discrimination I had just faced.
$%@& you, food industry owners and pet haters.