It’s just a bird. The words I hate hearing more than anything else. I mean, how do you explain to people that your bundle of feathered joy isn’t ‘just a bird’ to you? The hard facts in life is that if you are not a pet person, or a bird person, you probably won’t get it.
Obviously, from my past posts, this whole blog, and all the numerous pictures I have posted of my feathered kids (fids for short), you can tell I love my birds. They are not ‘just birds’ to me. They are an important member of my family. They are like my children. So when I have people telling me that they are ‘just birds’ it definitely gets under my skin.
I especially have this problem when I start explaining the medical care that some of my birds require. All of their handicaps require unique care and sometimes I have to do things that to normal everyday people are a little crazy. A good example of this is Taylor. When I explain to people that he has to be on medication forever to keep yeast from growing in his crop, that he has racked up around $500 in vet bills in his short life, and that his feet are so turned in I have to find or make special shelves to sit on, I get a lot of grumbling about how I am crazy and he is ‘just a bird’. And sometimes I have a hard time understanding why they can’t see what I can. About how he has overcome his handicaps, he has learned to be happy with what he has, and he is a terrific, sweet, and funny boy. To me, he is a success story and he inspires a lot of hope in me and makes me look at life a little differently. To everyone else, he’s ‘just a bird’.
I even get a lot of people who try to turn my own science major-ness against me and claim that according to Darwin, survival of the fittest rages and if he was in the wild he would be dead. And I agree. If any of my birds were in the wild, they would be dead. But what they don’t understand is my birds would not have these problems if they were in the wild. My birds are mostly a product of human made mistakes. Inappropriate diet to the breeding parents, over breeding, in breeding, and just general not understanding what the term ‘bird breeding’ meant are the reason my babies are so crippled. Also, they are not in the wild. They are in my house and I have the means to care for them and make them comfortable, so why wouldn’t I? Our science is great enough to help with the problems that inexperienced humans have created.
To me, saying ‘its just a bird’ is an insult. My birds are my choice in life and no one else should question that. They are my hobby and my calling. I enjoy caring for them and I enjoy having them in my life. To me, saying ‘its just a bird’ is like telling a parent ‘its just a child’ or an expectant mother ‘ its just a conglomeration of cells acting as a parasite off your body’. Children are not my calling in life, yet I do not question the motives to why other people want to have them. That is their life choice, and its no ones business but their own.
So my other animal loving friends, how do you deal with people when they say ‘its just a bird’ or ‘its just an animal’? Leave me a comment! I’m interested in knowing how everyone else deals with this, because to date I haven’t found a response that just gets people to leave it alone!