Editor’s note: This post has originally been posted on 12th March 2022, and has now been updated and republished.
So called silent firework displays, which are in fact not silent at all, unless they are replaced by laser shows, are increasingly praised as the ultimate solution when it comes to addressing animal welfare concerns. At the first glance silent fireworks seem to be a logical solution, as reduced noise pollution is addressing one of the best known problems in this context. However, as it is commonly the case, there is the bigger picture to consider, and that is where the controversy starts, at least for people who feel very strongly that fireworks are part of their cherished traditions and well deserved rights, and of course for people, who have some sort of financial interest in the business of producing, selling or using fireworks.
Most people would agree that we should not do any intentional harm to other sentient beings, be it directly or indirectly. Fireworks have a proven negative impact onto our shared environment, and are therefore potentially harming other human and non-human animals, who are unlikely to have given consent to being harmed, neither in the short nor in the long term. This simply means that by using any type of firework, intentional harm is being done to others, which is ethically not justifiable. Therefore we could actually stop at this point, but for the sake of the argument, let us look a bit more in detail into the threats and problems caused by fireworks.
Editor’s note: This post has originally been posted on 12th September 2018, and has now been updated and republished.
Before we look at possible answers, we should try to establish an ethical baseline we all can agree on and work with. Most but not all people will accept that it is wrong to intentionally inflict harm onto others with the exception of acting in self defence. Intentionally harming other people is morally seen not acceptable. Violence is generally not regarded as normal behaviour, as it obviously can cause harm. It seems natural to most of us to help others, who have been harmed or are about to be harmed. But what drives us to help? And where does empathy and compassion come from?
Editor’s note: This post has originally been posted on 9th April 2018, and has now been updated and republished.
Many people have a naive and rosy view of the kind of lives animals are living in the wild. Some people strongly believe, and this includes sometimes wildlife rescuers and rehabbers, conservationists and people who think of themselves as nature or animal lovers, that non-human animals living in the wild live in some kind of paradise. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Animals living in the wild live lives that are far from idyllic, and most of them have to deal with the reality of constant threat of tremendous suffering. Although many people accept the fact that animals experience suffering, the willingness to help, to minimise or eliminate suffering, remains rather an exceptional act of kindness. Also, for reasons remaining mostly unclear, many people assume that wild animals do cope better with suffering than domestic animals or our beloved pets. However, there is no reason or scientific foundation for this assumption.1
Due to recent events, we feel that we should clarify a few things. There are a multitude of different kinds of people with varying intentions and opinions or ethical and moral values responding to the broad selection of topics we have tackled on our website and on Twitter, which is usually very refreshing and for which we are very grateful. Whilst we value the freedom of opinion, we have to distance ourselves from some of the comments and commenters, who seem to have at the very least misunderstood or misinterpreted, unintentionally or intentionally, certain topics, most likely to suit their own agenda.
We are frequently being asked about alternative, natural and herbal treatment as well as cleaning options being suitable for the care and treatment of birds. Instead of repeatedly answering multiple individual questions, we have compiled the following blog post, which gives hopefully some useful examples. Please note that this list is not thought to be exhaustive.
Please note that all information provided in this blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your veterinary surgeon, physician, herbologist or other health care professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem. Please always consult with a veterinary surgeon or healthcare professional before starting any new supplements or diet, before taking or applying any new medication, or if you suspect that your animal patient or you might have a health problem.
It is important to note that medicinal plants contain powerful, pharmacologically active compounds, which means in other words that plants contain drugs. Like drugs, herbal remedies should be used with caution. While the right herb may help your bird, the wrong one may prove toxic. If in doubt, please check with your veterinary surgeon or an experienced herbologist before giving your bird any herbs or alternative treatments. At many occasions the right herbal treatment might be all your animal patient needs to get better. However, at other occasions herbs may rather be a useful supplement complimenting conventional treatments prescribed by veterinary surgeons.