I know I’ve talked at some length about the irrational people, primarily women, who inhabit a lot of animal forums. Every time I get involved in such a forum, I end up frustrated at the amount of stupidity that I come across and yet, I keep going back, like a fool, because I happen to like talking about animals.
This time is no exception. I used to hang out on a bird forum and have heavily criticized the forum from time to time for being so absurdly hyper-emotional. As such, I’ve largely stopped visiting in the past several months, but I was bored about a week ago and thought I’d take a run over there to see what was happening.
There were two separate but related threads going on, both about bird rescues. Essentially, they asked if it was fair that bird rescues had such a high standard when it comes to who they give birds to. There were two extremist warring camps, one side that essentially said nobody but the most perfect should even own a bird and the other that said that anyone who wants a bird should be able to get a bird from a breeder, even if they can’t afford to care for it. My jaw just dropped watching these people whine at each other. Now certainly, a rescue can do anything they want to, the birds are their legal property, they can pick and choose who qualifies to whatever standards they want until the cows come home. That said though, the reality of animal rescues is that they always have more animals coming in the back door, they have to place animals or they’ll be overwhelmed. I have friends who work for or own dog and cat rescues locally and you can see this on every rescue webpage, they constantly complain about how many animals are being dropped off, how full they are, how they have to be able to place more animals, yet they avoid the only real solution to their problem, loosening their absurdly restrictive adoption practices.
How restrictive? Seriously, you probably do less paperwork and supply less personal information getting a car loan than you do applying for a bird. If you look at a lot of the applications online, you find they want to know everything about your life, who is in your family, if anyone smokes, personal references, vet references, personal affidavits from friends and family, in-home visits, etc. In fact, let me address that last one in more depth. The contract you sign with a lot of rescues state that you are granting them permanent and unscheduled access to your home at any time they want, they can show up at your door to check on the animal and you have to let them in. If they don’t like what they see, they can confiscate the animal and take it away. Oh, and they don’t have to refund the money you’ve spent. That means if, for example, you drop $1000 on a parrot at a rescue and they show up a month later and decide they don’t like how the bird is being kept, for whatever subjective reason they like, they can take back the bird, keep your $1000 and tell you to have a nice fucking day. Now I’m sure that hardly ever happens, the rescues have very little time to deal with the birds they currently have, certainly they have less time to spend visiting the birds they’ve already placed, but the fact is, it’s something you have to contractually agree to, in writing, before you get a bird.
So I suggested that, if these rescues want to be a viable source of pet birds, they need to treat people like responsible adults, not like immature little children who are trying to screw you over and abscond with your birds. Yeah, there might be some small percentage of people who do that, but that’s certainly not the norm. The fact is, pets are property. It doesn’t matter if they like that fact, it doesn’t stop it from being reality.
They’ll tell you that they just want to protect the animals from bad owners, but the fact is, if someone wants a pet bad enough, there are plenty of non-rescue avenues that they can take to get one. They can go to a breeder, they can go to a pet store, they can go to a private seller, they can go to an animal shelter, etc. All of these are faster, cheaper and easier than going through a rescue and the rescue isn’t stopping anyone from getting their hands on an animal, period. Let’s be honest, rescues spend a lot of time shooting themselves in the foot, especially considering that far too many animals in a rescue are damaged, either physically or psychologically and due to the cost of running a rescue at all, the adoption fees are often not much less than going to a breeder and buying an untarnished bird. Why are costs so high? Certainly there are a lot of legitimate expenses a rescue has to pay, but a lot of them also have bird sanctuaries, animals that are so screwed up that they could never be adopted, so there’s an additional cost on the back of the rescue to care for and feed piles of animals so screwed up nobody would want them. I’ve already made my opinion clear on that.
Of course, a lot of these rescue people are of the mindset that nobody ought to ever own a bird anyhow, they fall for the ridiculous PeTA crap that animal ownership is evil, so I’m not sure why they are running a rescue to begin with. Then again, I don’t know why PeTA runs an animal shelter when they kill 95% of all the animals that are turned in there and then claim to love animals. Deranged people do crazy things.
They also seem to think that we ought to bow down to the rescues and thank them for the work they do. Okay, they do some good work, I’ll agree with that, but bow down? Sorry, at the end of the day, they are a business, non-profit or no, and I am a customer. They owe me. I’ve seen lots of people complain that people who adopt pets should not be thanked for doing so, it’s somehow our job and responsibility to take animals from others. I call bullshit. I am doing you the favor. You have an animal that you are unable or unwilling to care for, for whatever reason. I am willing to take that animal off your hands and provide the care that you are morally obligated to give, yet are unable to provide. Where am I the bad guy? It makes no sense.
A final note, I finally gave up when people started suggesting that being honest and speaking one’s mind is a bad thing if it makes anyone feel bad for any reason, even if they’re completely wrong about everything. Making someone feel good is apparently more important than being right. As much as I hate to say it, it reminds me of a certain group and their desire to have a “safe zone” from all the people on the planet who think they’re loons.
I fucking hate people.