Notion of Freedom

Freedom is discussed among all but is that a notion that affects humans alone? What about the animals that we keep in cages or are kept captive at zoos so people can gawk at nature with all their safety intact?

This issue has been on my mind lately. My parent’s neighbors have bought love birds and a parrot. Six or so love birds are kept in a cage and the parrot has one for itself. The cages are too small. Especially the parrot’s. There is just enough room to flap its wings. They were meant to be free. To fly and see the world. All that has been taken away from them. Now they only have a caged life to look forward to. The poor thing just sits and cries all morning when they keep his cage in the balcony every morning while all the other free birds fly all around him.

The thought about us taking away freedom gained even more gravity when I saw these photos that my husband took the last day at a zoo in Gujarat.

He looks like a prisoner. The expression on his face really struck a chord. Comparing his state with the monkeys I saw in the national park, I can definitely say this is not how he should spent a life. They are given food and a shelter but this is not how they were to spent their life, is it?

The ones I saw at the national park were running around, playing and up to all kinds of “monkey business”. They were free – to climb trees, play, fight and do whatever they felt like doing. Now compare that to this poor guy’s fate.

Dogs,cats, farm animals have become domesticated. Can’t we be happy with only them at our homes? There is no need to own an exotic pet. Parrots and love birds are pretty common pets now. I think it should be stopped. You can take in birds and animals that need help but why buy ones and destine them to a life behind bars. I myself take in animals that need help but I train them to live on their own and they leave when it’s time. Unless we stop buying, the market for exotic pets is not going to end.

Some zoos have bigger enclosures and I respect that decision. At least they give the animals space to move around. Even if it isn’t freedom there is something akin to that.It’s a good thought to have zoos so that people get to connect with nature but it should not be at the cost of these poor creatures having to live out life in cages. Sanctuaries and wild life parks are always the better option compared to zoos.

People need to understand the fact that they are taking away freedom of a living thing and that they have a right to live a life doing whatever they wish, just like us. Spread the word and please try to stop people from buying animals that aren’t meant to be domesticated.

Do share your thoughts.

-S.M.

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6 thoughts on “Notion of Freedom

  1. Oh my gosh! I feel the exact same way!! I can’t stand cages and that is why our little Sam (the Starling that we rescued) gets free roam of our house. I have to clean a lot more than normal, but we could never cage him. We’ve tried to release him many times, and he keeps on staying so we’ll just keep doing what we’re doing. But my heart absolutely breaks at the look on that poor little monkey’s face 😦 Thank you for sharing!

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  2. I think the issue is more important with birds as zoos are beginning to try to make the habitats for their animals more realistic so they don’t feel caged. However, birds are born to fly and if they are kept as pets they should be allowed out to do so. Even a large aviary is better than a small cage. We once had a canary that we had in a cage because, unlike budgies, they are difficult to train to return to a finger but all the time I felt it should be flying. We did hang it out in the garden so it could sing with the other birds but I think the reason people keep them as pets is because they don’t need to be taken out or put in kennels when the owner has to go away.We cage them so that we can have them as companions and probably they don’t miss freedom if they have never known it. People who release pet birds find they are attacked by wild ones but all animals should have space to behave as nature intended – even goldfish!

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    1. The zoos here are yet to change. Many of them still keep animals in cages. Even if they have larger enclosures it’s no where near anything the animals deserve.
      You are right about this being an issue that effects birds more. Because no matter what we do they still can’t be free to fly. Birds that are caged from the start can’t survive the outdoors so if they are caged then that’s the only life they can have. That’s why I mentioned that it should be stopped. If noone buys then they would stop selling too.

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  3. I prefer to patronize only zoos which create enclosures befitting the animals rather than cages. I don’t want my children and grandchildren thinking wild animals live in a cage or should be caged. I also don’t go to swim with dolphin places, etc. since I cannot guarantee the ethical treatment and housing of the marine life. Growing up my parents would trim our birds wings so they couldn’t fly away. I always felt horrible. When I lived in California I got a bird and decided I wasn’t going to clip Sidney’s wings. How would he survive if their were an earthquake if he were able to escape? I kept food pellets for him with the dog food and emergency food rations in our earthquake kits. One day I will own a home with an aviary and green house so I can enjoy my birds, water, and flowers as I’ve always dreamed. Sidney passed away. My house is too quiet now.

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    1. Sorry to hear about Sidney. It feels terrible to loose a pet, a friend. It’s good to hear about others who feel the same way about caging animals. We need more to think that way for the sake of those poor things.

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