In my fantasy life, I am a superhero, living in the jungles and on the seacoasts of Costa Rica, fighting to save sea turtles from human predation and parrots from horrifying harvesting practices used in the illegal pet trade. In real life, I'm just torturing myself by frequently searching Petfinder and Craigslist for unwanted parrots, and boy, do I find them, in tragic spades shaped like insufficient cages littered with inappropriate perches and nutritionally deficient seed as the only food.
It's the special needs birds who make my stomach clench and blood vessels dilate with worry and longing. It's the plucked macaws and the semi-blind juvenile Amazons (a four month old orange-winged Amazon whom I want to buy and love and kiss and hug but my mean husband won't let me near enough to smuggle out in my coat) who make me wish that we had the means to build a bird room right now and give all of these troubled little souls a place where they'll be loved and can rely on us for everything they need and want. I mean really, what's one more bird? Or twelve.
I've said it innumerable times on this blog alone, but I wish there were a way to truly educate everyone in the world about care of exotics, especially parrots, as any creature with the average intelligence of a kid in preschool requires exceptional provisions which cannot be attended to without extensive research. The World Parrot Trust works uphill towards this goal and they even have John Cleese promoting their work, but the public at large has little interest in the issue, as most of them are unaffected. It's not those people at whom I'm pointing my finger of reproach.
I want to prevent parrots from being sold in pet stores, from being impulse buys, from being traded like baseball cards and sold like old couches on free websites. I want every parrot purchase to be either from a licensed, inspected, reputable, loving, small aviary breeder or rescue organization. No mills, no chain stores, no seed, only cage and enrichment requirements and proper diets, and no need for the ASPCA to intervene.
There's a part of me, and not a small part, that wants to quit this singing nonsense and do something worthwhile. Maybe I can somehow couple my zeal for saving the chickerns with my notion of opening a laundromat for the homeless. And I just now realized that I have a Messianic complex. Be saved!