I know I’ve been posting a lot about birds lately, but this is a bit different. Over on an avian forum, there’s been a thread going about aviculture and guilt. It asks if people feel guilty owning birds, or directly or indirectly over what other people do with birds.
I think the whole concept is idiotic. Why should I feel guilty over things that someone else is doing? If I’m doing nothing wrong, what part do I have in feeling bad?
I see this as a very liberal concept. Granted, I have no way of knowing the political leaning of anyone posting in the thread, although I can build up evidence for what I think people’s leaning may be. The people who seem to be most guilt-ridden in this particular thread are those who I would conclude hold a more liberal worldview, based on a wealth of posts on a variety of subjects. It fits perfectly into the liberal guilt profile, the same one that insists white people ought to feel guilty for being white, that people who have money ought to be ashamed of their money and that being part of a majority, any majority, should be despised simply because a minority exists.
The basic claim has been, we own birds in the United States, where it’s been illegal to import wild birds into the pet trade since 1992. However, people in other countries see our videos and read our forums and are encouraged to own birds too, but in their countries, their laws are different and birds are being taken out of the wild to fuel a bird ownership craze. Therefore, we ought to feel really bad about what happens in other countries.
How is what happens elsewhere in the world our fault? Whatever happened to personal responsibility? Oh yeah, liberals never heard of the term.
It makes no sense to me whatsoever that people would wallow in self-imposed guilt and do nothing to stop engaging in the activity over which they feel guilty. One poster said:
I don’t care if they are captive or wild caught. Either way, WE are taking a wild animal and forcing them to live under the circumstances WE deem fair.
Yes, I feel guilty.
And yet, as I pointed out, they still own five birds! How can you feel guilty over something and continue to do it? It’s absurdly hypocritical and the fact is, they openly admit to being hypocrites, yet even when they acknowledge their hypocrisy, they refuse to do anything about it. It’s too important to wallow in liberal guilt than to grow a pair and either acknowledge that they’re not wracked with guilt, or to just get rid of their birds. But no, it’s easier to play the ridiculous guilt card and imply that everyone else ought to feel guilty too!
I pointed out the absurdity of it all, that people who willingly own birds, who participate on a forum about owning birds and encourage others to own birds, who spend hours of their day trying to decide what bird they ought to get next, are pretending to be guilty over the whole mess.
Instead of admitting failure, their latest tack includes declaring birds “not domesticated” and therefore, nobody ought to own them. This, of course, coming from people who own birds. Now wait a second, let’s look at the definition of the word “domesticated” for a moment…
to adapt (an animal or plant) to life in intimate association with and to the advantage of humans
Hmm, sounds like birds are domesticated to me! They have been adapted to life in intimate association with humans. Most birds wouldn’t know what to do with themselves in the wild. They have never known a moment in their lives where someone else didn’t provide their food, clean up their messes and protect them from predators. They just don’t know any better. They no longer have those instincts. Add to that the fact that we’ve bred them for color (bright colors attract predators, sorry) and temperament (friendlier, more trusting birds don’t do well in the harsh wild). Of course they’re domesticated! Perhaps not as domesticated as dogs, cats and horses, but domesticated nonethelsss. Unfortunately, lots of these wingnut liberals want to use dogs and cats as the only standard for domestication, thus nothing but dogs and cats are, or can be, domesticated. Domestication is a matter of degrees, nothing is ever totally one way or totally the other. Any animal that we allow into our homes, any animal that we breed specifically to be in our homes, any animal that we artificially select characteristics for to make it easier to be in our homes, is, to one degree or another, domesticated. The idea that just because birds can be hormonal, they are not domesticated is absurd. Just ask a ferret owner. Unaltered ferrets are just as hormonal, just as prone to biting, but they couldn’t live in the wild if they wanted to. Some people are just using definitions to suit their arguments, they never actually think about what these definitions mean and how they are reached.
I was talking to my wife about this and she reminded me of an almost identical debate I had years back with a PETA loon about dogs. The individual in question had 4 dogs and railed on about anyone who owned dogs. Dog owners ought to be self-loathing, but it certainly won’t stop them from owning dogs!
It’s a bunch of hypocritical crap. Welcome to liberal stupidity 101.