We keep animals around ourselves for different reasons, and one of which is for companionship. Pets are domesticated or tamed animals that are kept for pleasure or companionship. Several species of animals exist that have been historically used as pets. The main reason behind the desire to own a pet is usually from a good place, many animal lovers exist that strongly desire to shower animals with love and care, plus owning a pet is a way they satisfy this urge.
However, since there is no way to receive consent from the other party, that is, the animal, owning a pet is fundamentally a moral grey area. Most pets experience a level of freedom plus are sometimes allowed by their owners to roam about, even outdoors, unsupervised. But some other pets don’t experience this kind of freedom and most times spend the better part of their life trapped inside a cage. A species of pets that comes to mind is birds. Since they are capable of flight and can easily elope from their owners’ household if left to move freely, the majority of bird pets are kept in a cage by their owners.
This is usually an ethically challenging concept, the idea of a being that once experienced freedom in its full glory now trapped in a cage for another’s pleasure reeks all shades of wrong. It is no surprise that many creatives, especially writers, have used the phrase “like a bird in a cage” multiple times to create an emotionally inciting piece. If viewed only with its face value, keeping a bird in a cage is wrong and should be frowned upon, but if other factors are considered, you might have a change of thought.
Most bird species that are used as pets are prey in their natural habitats and are relatively safer in the confines of a human abode than in the wild free world. They don’t need to forage for food or water since that will be readily supplied to them by their owners. The probability of dying as a result of a disease or natural disaster is also considerably reduced. Yet are these reasons enough to justify keeping a bird in a cage. Flight can be a dreamy attribute since it is one of the things we cannot do naturally as humans. Still, we should not misunderstand the desire for the ability to fly, which may make us believe birds fly for fun.
Birds fly for survival, plus do so if necessary, they fly to search for food, water, mates, escape predators and meet other needs. This ability can be likened to the galloping of horses, climbing of monkeys, swimming in fishes, and walking in humans. It is vital to engage in this activity to keep the animal active, but just like a treadmill for humans, an environment where caged birds can fly freely can be created. A bigger cage can be used to give the bird more room for movement, getting an older bird that is already attuned to the life of living in the wild will be difficult to use as a pet. Newly hatched birds that can be acclimatized to life as a human pet will make a better pet, plus this process is much saner and ethical. Owning a bird or any living thing will always exist in the grey area of our ethical grounds, but you can only try to do what you think is best for your companions.