October 2009

Would You, Could You, Own a Bird?

My daughter loves to visit various pet shops. We go in and she marvels at not just the different animals but also all of their gear. Sometimes she even wants to take a puppy toy home much more than a puppy itself—but usually it’s the canine that she’s crying for when we finally leave.

I’m not much of a fan of pet shops. They always have a sad vibe to them for me. But I figure it’s cheaper and closer than the zoo, she gets to see a few critters, and I can keep a wary eye open for anything worth reporting.

But it’s when we go back to where the birds are kept that I start to really get sick to my stomach. It’s gotten to the point to where my husband will walk around the birds with my daughter, and she always asks, “Is mommy coming too?”

“No, sweetie, mommy’s not coming,” he always tells her. “Mommy doesn’t like to see birds in cages.”

Tell IHOP to Be Nice to Chickens

If I were a chicken, I know I wouldn’t want to be a nugget (or a patty, or a buffalo ranch sandwich, or whatever; you get the idea). I also wouldn’t want my embryos eaten, either. I’m sure I’d be a pro-choice chicken, but I’d much rather have my yolk and whatnot go to embryonic chicken stem cell research rather than an omelet. That would just be too weird.

But if I had to be somebody’s food, I would want to at least be happy food. I wouldn’t want to live what little life I had in a tiny cramped cage, being pecked or peed on by my neighbor. I would want to be able to turn around, take a dump in different place than the one I’m sitting in, that kind of thing.

That actually sort of sounds like my first apartment, only worse.