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-   -   A more compassionate approach to Pet owners from the "Non West" (http://www.parrotforums.com/suggestions/84459-more-compassionate-approach-pet-owners-non-west.html)

Betrisher 02-27-2020 09:48 AM

Re: A more compassionate approach to Pet owners from the "Non West"
 
I'm sorry, I didn't see the original post that sparked this thread so I didn't get the chance to 'read' the OP. Perhaps he was a bl**dy m*ngrel b*stard (Australian term for 'disreputable fellow'), or perhaps he was just ignorant or perhaps he was cuckoo. I dunno. But I was speaking to the many, many times innocent people have been attacked before anyone bothered to ask them where they lived or what their circumstances were.

I so agree with charmedbyekkie! Our US members just don't seem to get that people think differently in other countries. Where I live (a 'western suburb' - 'lower socio-economic area of a medium-sized city), people treat birds largely like animated toys. The idea that they might have behaviours, or be driven by hormones or that they might not just naturally know how to forage for food in the wild is just beyond many peoples' conception. There is just one avian vet in the greater area of my town and he's not a CAV. He's just a vet who happens also to be a bird-watcher, so he's taken the trouble to do a bit of extra reading. Probably 90% of our local vets would refuse to do surgery on a bird because it's just too risky and anaesthesia is regarded as 'impossible'. I've heard that many times from vets!

In conversation with various members from other countries, I've found some people can tend to think of birds as pretty much disposable. If one bird does badly, release it and get another. This may be way off-base, but it's the impression I've gleaned. If you feed the bird seeds (which, as everyone knows, birds love to eat) and the bird remains fat and happy, then why change its diet? Whoever heard of bothering much about an animal's diet anyway? It's just an animal, right? Remember, in many of these countries, even human life is not guarded as dearly as it is in the developed world. It must seem very odd indeed for a person to come here and be told he must feed his birds a special diet and house it in an expensive cage when he may well have trouble feeding his own children!

The bottom line is that in a world where war and warlords and poverty are rife, who's to say a poor bloke doesn't have the right to keep a little bird as a companion to cheer his life? We're in a position to educate people and to improve the lot of birds in some challenging circumstances, but why not be kind about it instead of judging harshly? Why not give simple, direct instructions that anyone living anywhere could carry out? In fact, why not ask first about what's available to an owner before instructing him what he should buy?

Charmedbyekkie, I'd be happy to collaborate with you on this! If you'll send me a PM, we might make a plan and put it to our mods for approval? Thank you for your kind offer to help! :)

PS. If anyone else has any ideas, it'd be great to hear them please!

Scott 02-27-2020 11:48 AM

Re: A more compassionate approach to Pet owners from the "Non West"
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Cardinal (Post 855160)
Hi all

This is with reference to the recent thread on the person from India who wrongly released his pet rose ringed parakeet.

I favour a more patient approach in dealing with such members because good quality welfare literature is not available in the various languages of India and possibly rest of Asia , Africa etc. Most of the good literature is available in English and this is accessible only to the highly educated.

So anyone approaching for help, even if they have made a grave mistake like releasing a human bonded pet bird into the wild need to be dealt with greater compassion.

So my appeal to the moderators especially Scott to reopen that thread so that we can continue to help that person at least for the sake of his Pet Alexandrine. In my assessment, despite his fault, the best future for that Alexandrine is for it to remain with him. At least he is willing to communicate and learn, albeit in his own crude way.

:yellow1::yellow1::yellow1:

Please consider this an interim response as the moderator team will collaborate and arrive at unified conclusion. I will advocate for the thread to remain closed as it was content reported by three members and Rhomboid (the OP) summarily dismissed substantive dialog:
Quote:

Originally Posted by Rhomboid (Post 855036)
I don't need any suggestions regarding Alex, he is happy with me.

I re-read the thread and consider Rhomboid educated, quite capable of researching the internet and communicating in fluent English. Also posted a summary of release research including reference links, without response. My impression is the OP preferred to vent rather than engage in productive conversation.

Navigating the cultural and economic divide is challenging for a western-based forum with international reach. I cherish the breadth of global membership and concede our advice is often tinged with well intended naiveté. Consider this a perpetual work to better ourselves!

ParrotForums extends compassion to avians and humans. An immensely personal Mental Illness thread spans ten pages and nearly two years. http://www.parrotforums.com/question...g-parrots.html
While the relationships described are typically symbiotic, Rhomboid is in the realm of separation and guilt. I am personally empathetic but doubt we have the resources to engage successfully. An ideal solution may be found with online Depression Discussion Forums as the plight is problematic in his/her locale. https://www.thelancet.com/journals/l...475-4/fulltext Note the sixth paragraph in Discussion section, scroll ~ halfway.

Laurasea 02-27-2020 12:39 PM

Re: A more compassionate approach to Pet owners from the "Non West"
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by charmedbyekkie (Post 855204)
To be very frank, this is definitely not the first time I have seen people forget the difference in cultures on this forum. As someone who had been fully accepted in two very different cultures and as someone who grew up in a multicultural household (that had the same struggles as every multicultural household does), I do believe that many people verbally say they understand that cultures are different, yet do not fully understand what that means. (Note that I am not blaming anyone.)

What is reserved in Western culture is still quite aggressive when viewed in other cultures. I know I now find most Americans (a group I was/am considered part of) to be incredibly aggressive. Yet when I code-switch, I realise that, in an American context, that American is actually quite soft-spoken. But in my current context, they come off as very brash, arrogant, and aggressive.

I myself had to change completely. Quiet, non-aggressive American Me still came across as aggressive when I first started assimilating into my non-American family's Me. I had to completely change my mindset (American Me has different values, politics, mannerisms, verbiage to Singaporean Me - so much so that I struggle to vote because the two Mes would vote very, very differently).

I even struggle to communicate now with my American friends because of these cultural differences in how things are phrased, what is acceptable to say, what connotations are implied/read.


TL;DR
So yes, to OP, it was aggressive. To the Westerners, it was not aggressive.
Both are equally true and valid. It just depends on if you want to speak in a Western style to a non-Westerner, or if you care to speak in another way.

I am so glad to read this and increase my knowledge. Though if your immersion in different cultures, still causes a struggle , then it's easy to see how we struggle.

I worked on international conservative projects designed to save endangered species. It was easy for people outside of the country we were working with to say why ca t you save the tigers, or rhinos, or endangered parrots, and ecosystems?! Yet in this country we have already eliminated all the large carnivore, and hoofstock from all but a tiny fringe parks...and allow development of vital wetlands, river systems, barrier islands.. And struggling with people who want to fish and hunt and poach out if season. Yet in other places that is food they must have to live, not something's done as a hobby.......

But mostly here I'm thrilled to be part of a worldwide community, that lives and adores parrots. I love learning from everyone, and the different experience and stories shared here.

LaManuka 02-27-2020 03:25 PM

Re: A more compassionate approach to Pet owners from the "Non West"
 
I wonder, if the super-advanced aliens from outer space were to land on Earth tomorrow and see the way animals are treated all over the world, that they would think we are all a bunch of barbarians for caging them and treating them as “pets” kept for our own amusement. It can easily be argued that keeping any animal in artificial surroundings away from it’s natural environment is cruel and abusive, and it often is! In the here and now however, members on this forum strive their best to provide optimum conditions for our “feather babies” and will have a gut level reaction when a newbie comes here with a story like that of this particular OP, regardless of which part of the world he may come from. Ignorance of what happens to captive birds upon release is not exclusive to the non-Westernised parts of the world, as the following disturbing post will attest …

http://www.parrotforums.com/budgies-...s-houston.html

The original OP we are discussing here ended his first post with the sentence “I am just a parrot killer”, and I wonder if he was expecting members to tell him that his bird would be just fine and perfectly happy after he had released it, and help to assuage his guilt after what he had done. When the responses did not live up to his expectations we were rapidly branded as “haters”, with the OP becoming rather more interested in defending his actions than in hearing that he had simply done the wrong thing regarding the welfare of his parrot. Regardless of what part of the world you live in, some things are just plain wrong, whether you live in Brisbane, Barcelona, Baghdad or Baltimore.

wrench13 02-27-2020 06:02 PM

Re: A more compassionate approach to Pet owners from the "Non West"
 
Maybe it is just the blockhead indifferent New Yorker in me, but I rarely find any of the regular conttributors to be anythhing other than helpfull, concerned, informative and empathic. Ya a few topics seem to push cerrtain buttons and obvious stupidity can be irritating, but on the whole this forum is like a beautiful day in the neighborhood,, compared to others or Facebook.

Betrisher 02-27-2020 06:25 PM

Re: A more compassionate approach to Pet owners from the "Non West"
 
That's an interesting post and article, Scott, and thanks for posting! I wish I'd seen the original post as I have no idea what to think of the OP beyond what people are saying. For mine, I reckon if the original post was 'incendiary', then it's better to leave it in the trash and allow the OP to ask questions again if he's still around.

What do you think about an 'easy English' translation of some of our most important stickies? Perhaps that might give people the info they desperately need in a more dispassionate way? Perhaps, too, we could make a sticky that explains our western philosophy of treating animals at least with respect and protecting them from pain, fear and illness? I know y'can't change peoples' minds as simply as that, but at least it would be a starting point.

LOL! The issue of bull-fighting just popped into my mind. No matter how much I hate and loathe and detest the practice, no amount of my preaching will budge the Spanish psyche one millimetre from enjoying its national sport. I think we're faced with something like that here. Maybe. I dunno. But I do know that we'll catch more flies with a spoon of honey... (Mum, 1959). ;)

Scott 02-27-2020 06:34 PM

Re: A more compassionate approach to Pet owners from the "Non West"
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Betrisher (Post 855313)
That's an interesting post and article, Scott, and thanks for posting! I wish I'd seen the original post as I have no idea what to think of the OP beyond what people are saying. For mine, I reckon if the original post was 'incendiary', then it's better to leave it in the trash and allow the OP to ask questions again if he's still around.

What do you think about an 'easy English' translation of some of our most important stickies? Perhaps that might give people the info they desperately need in a more dispassionate way? Perhaps, too, we could make a sticky that explains our western philosophy of treating animals at least with respect and protecting them from pain, fear and illness? I know y'can't change peoples' minds as simply as that, but at least it would be a starting point.

LOL! The issue of bull-fighting just popped into my mind. No matter how much I hate and loathe and detest the practice, no amount of my preaching will budge the Spanish psyche one millimetre from enjoying its national sport. I think we're faced with something like that here. Maybe. I dunno. But I do know that we'll catch more flies with a spoon of honey... (Mum, 1959). ;)

Trish, here is the original thread: http://www.parrotforums.com/new-memb...ot-lovers.html

We'll discuss the formulation of modified threads!

Betrisher 02-27-2020 09:07 PM

Re: A more compassionate approach to Pet owners from the "Non West"
 
Wow! What a comedy (or tragedy?) of errors! Now I see where the OP was coming from. He sounds like he has a number of issues to work through and the bird is honestly probably better off in the wild, especially if there are other ringnecks nearby. Not that I would *ever* condone releasing a captive bird into the wild on purpose. Who would want a companion bird to be hungry, cold, thirsty and at the mercy of hawks?

Just as it's possible to be lonely in the middle of a crowd, so a domestic bird is alone and friendless in a flock of wild ones. The OP thinks he's depressed? Imagine how his bird's feeling! :(

I dunno if it helps anyone, but my Barney somehow managed to sustain himself for thirty-eight days in the wild when he escaped. He lost about thirty grams, which is a lot, but he did survive and thank goodness is happy at home these four years on. :)

charmedbyekkie 02-27-2020 09:46 PM

Re: A more compassionate approach to Pet owners from the "Non West"
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by LaManuka (Post 855278)
I wonder, if the super-advanced aliens from outer space were to land on Earth tomorrow and see the way animals are treated all over the world, that they would think we are all a bunch of barbarians for caging them and treating them as “pets” kept for our own amusement. It can easily be argued that keeping any animal in artificial surroundings away from it’s natural environment is cruel and abusive, and it often is! In the here and now however, members on this forum strive their best to provide optimum conditions for our “feather babies” and will have a gut level reaction when a newbie comes here with a story like that of this particular OP, regardless of which part of the world he may come from. Ignorance of what happens to captive birds upon release is not exclusive to the non-Westernised parts of the world, as the following disturbing post will attest …

http://www.parrotforums.com/budgies-...s-houston.html

The original OP we are discussing here ended his first post with the sentence “I am just a parrot killer”, and I wonder if he was expecting members to tell him that his bird would be just fine and perfectly happy after he had released it, and help to assuage his guilt after what he had done. When the responses did not live up to his expectations we were rapidly branded as “haters”, with the OP becoming rather more interested in defending his actions than in hearing that he had simply done the wrong thing regarding the welfare of his parrot. Regardless of what part of the world you live in, some things are just plain wrong, whether you live in Brisbane, Barcelona, Baghdad or Baltimore.

In certain cultures, it is very, very aggressive (and rude) to tell someone bluntly that they did wrong. Relationships and discussions are held very differently. Where I currently live, even friends don't openly disagree with each other to their face. Most disagreements between are kept quiet and, if discussed at all, very gingerly and indirectly hinted at without any sense of admonishment only.

I realise most Westerns do not speak this way. I must say, Dutch and Americans speak like a battering ram hahaha While I have a privilege of straddling both worlds, I can laugh, but for my friends where I currently live, they don't understand and often get offended and turn away from a relationship (even acquaintance level) entirely.



In addition, re your: "Regardless of what part of the world you live in, some things are just plain wrong, whether you live in Brisbane, Barcelona, Baghdad or Baltimore." I suggest you look up Fang Sheng (the English term is often "life release").

It is a Buddhist practice in which you do buy animals (often fish, birds, eels, etc) and release them into the wild. I have assisted my family in this as part of my uncle's funeral process. These animals are often not wild caught and are often released in an area they did not come from. Yet this ritual was incredibly important to my aunt in dedication of my deceased uncle.

I disagree that Fang Sheng "is plain wrong". Could it be improved? Yes. But the symbolism and meaning is not wrong.

LaManuka 02-28-2020 03:52 AM

Re: A more compassionate approach to Pet owners from the "Non West"
 
Now see this is exactly the value of this forum! A place where civilized and constructive debate can take place, where we can agree to disagree and not give in to hysteria or hating!

I may be British by birth and pretty much as white as they come, but I am not unfamiliar with some Buddhist traditions of merit making, having taken part in several during my many trips to Thailand where it is known as tam boon. My husband underwent triple coronary arterial bypass surgery back in 2005 and I make sure to participate in tam boon rituals every time I’ve been back to Thailand since then, to give thanks for his recovery from his heart operation and pray for his continued good health. However as some of the practices involve the catch and release of small fish, finches or sparrows, the ethical dimension of these thanksgiving or merit-making ceremonies is an issue all of its own. At no stage did I ever state that fang sheng is plain wrong, but with many small animals likely being captured or raised in cruel conditions to feed what is somewhat of a growth industry, it does raise some fairly serious ethical questions, but that may be a debate for another time. In relation to the “Budgies In Houston” incident, maybe if you run a Buddhist temple on the Darling Downs in Queensland and you’ve trapped local wild budgies in the morning to be released during a ceremony that afternoon, that MIGHT be okay, though I think the Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage might have something to say about that. But you have NO business releasing budgies for such a ceremony on a whole different continent!

In the case of this incident with this particular OP however, we are not talking about tam boon, fang sheng or the even soft release of a captive bird into a perhaps friendlier environment like a sanctuary where it would have every chance of successful rehabilitation into the wild. I have seen several cases of American members who have received a far worse verbal kick in the pants for much less serious behaviour than that displayed by this OP, because as someone who has had the “benefit” of Western education and concepts they’ve STILL gone and done something dumb, when they really should have known better.

Perhaps the responses to this OP could have been phrased less bluntly, that’s true. Perhaps mine was seen through the prism of my tiny Lilly being chased by a butcherbird that locked onto her the second she wriggled free from my hands in my backyard last year. It was only by burying herself in leaf litter at the base of the tree she crashed into that hid her long enough for me to find her that she survived, otherwise she most certainly would have been torn to shreds. The OP may indeed have been offended and that is a pity, but the true victim here is the poor little bird who most likely became breakfast for a hungry hawk, all because his owner found his perfectly natural vocalisations annoying for a few moments.

I find THAT offensive.


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