EDWISE  - EDITOR AND EDUCATION CONSULTANT
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Eye of the Optimist - drugs and knives

The debate over clipping captive birds' wings goes on. I am reading a lot of defense of the practice. "We have to because..." is a phrase I keep seeing, but is clipping really necessary? I do not think so.

I have thought of some counter-measures to clipping for the arguments that defend it because of problem bird behavior. Can you not separate a problem bird from the flock? Many of the responders on the Facebook group page I joined who are participating in this discussion are owners of aviaries and many breeders, so they are managing large numbers of them in mainly one confined space. Hence the constant threat of health problems. That is how my birds got the dreaded air sac mites--from their handlers before me, including the breeders, distributors and stores. Because these parties want to move mass merchandise and make profits, they deal in bulk and require efficient handling of birds bred for sale. Actions such as clipping are more convenient than other options. I am sure there are options.Is it not possible to fabricate a kind of band to wrap around the torso of a bird and prevent it from flapping its wings? As another possible remedy for "problem birds", I looked up essential oils used for aroma therapy. There are a number of commonly available aromatic oils from plants that have a cooling and calming effect, I found after a quick browse on the internet. I happen to be using pine oil spray for air freshening and disinfecting things, and when I sprayed it in the cages today, I noticed that the birdies became drowsy from it for awhile. These other bird possessors do not seem to talk much about natural products, they are into chemicals. Sometimes processed chemical medicine is absolutely necessary, to be for sure. The air sac mites won't go away for good, no matter how much I contrive to deter them, unless I obtain a specific pharmaceutical remedy. (It is on the way and should be here by tomorrow.)

Besides being quick, cheap and convenient methods the drugs and knives approach is a habit, a cultural norm despite the growing consciousness that there is something cruel and destructive about that approach. Drugs and knives are the modus operendi of the medical field, whether the patients are humans or animals, are they not? It is sick, as far as I am concerned. I think it is an infection that has taken hold of modern healthcare.

Kids out of control? Drug 'em up! Birds not doing what you want? Clip their wings! Critics not saying what is declared the perimeters of acceptable freedom of speech? Show them your weapons! Lock em' up, drug 'em up! A woman is broken? Durgs and knives to fix her up! Monitor all and be ready with the quick fixes to maintain order and control.

When you think of it enough, it becomes apparent that the M.O. is entwined with the patriarchical, imperialist, war-mongering, military industrial-complex. I guess that is why dissenters talk about health and culture as much as economics and politics.

"Something's not right! Bring out the drugs and knives!" Chemically alter it; chop it up and rearrange it! I think I'll write a poem in this vein


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