Wednesday, 27 March 2013

and...fight for flight

'Be like the bird, who, pausing in her flight awhile on a boughts too slight, feels them give way beneath her, and yet sings, knowing she hath wings.' -

These uplifting words from Victor Hugo would be certain to taste sour on his lips if he were to have known in his lifetime the somewhat medieval practice of pinioning.

Pinioning involves 'the amputation of the end of one wing of a newborn bird with a sharp pair of scissors – usually without any pain relief. As the birds grow they will be lop-sided and, as a result, will never be able to fly' - state ' - an admirable organisation dedicated to ending the use of animals in entertainment - with their latest campaign focused on bringing an end to pinioning and in its place pioneering a society where we treat animals with the respect they deserve, but so rarely receive. 

What is the purpose of pinioning you most likely wonder? Well, disturbingly, it is to ensure the birds remain in captivity and don't fly away - in essence they have an animals most basic decision of 'fight or flight' stripped from them along with their feathers and mobility.

But these birds do have food, water and shelter - surely that's enough some may argue? Well sure, it ensures the survival of their body, and fulfills some primary needs - a few boxes ticked and a few points scored on the animal welfare front - however let me ask you - would to merely 'exist' be enough for you?

If someone took away your mobility - therefore restricting your life and freedom entirely - yet brought you basic things you needed to continue living - would you view this as a good quality of life? Or would you view this as a complete disrespect and deprivation of your basic human rights?

Now what about animal rights? Well think of it like this - if I told you to close your eyes and picture a bird - what would you see? Most likely a bird flying above in the sky to some destination that only it knows. Not a bird trapped in inner turmoil of wanting so desperately to do what comes naturally but being deprived of this without having any idea why. The urge must be overwhelming and the distress unimaginable.

And the worst part? This practice is carried out so that we have something to view in the zoos - so that the birds are there all year round and cannot fly away to pastures new - therefore interfering completely with their natural cycle.

The good news? Yes their is some - you can help Captive to end the pinioning of birds. If you disagree with this practice then make it known - use your voice - because these birds can't. Sign the petition - and share it with those you know - take delight in clogging up their 'News Feeds' with a cause you know is so worth supporting.

If I can't convince you - then perhaps Leonardo Da Vinci can:
'For once you have tasted flight - you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards for there you have been - and there you will long to return.'

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