Domestication and Pet Ownership
Ethically seen it is quite obvious – domestication and pet ownership violate the fundamental rights of non-human animals. When talking about basic animal rights, then we really should only talk about one basic right – the right not to be regarded as ‘property’. If we agree on the fact that human and non-human animals are not ‘things’ or ‘objects’, then they cannot be a property. Also, if human and non-human animals are regarded as ‘objects’, then they logically cannot have an intrinsic value, and therefore they cannot have any rights. Only the owner of an object, or in our case a pet, has got rights, not the object or the pet itself.
Continue reading “Top Reasons to Keep Cats Indoors”
Blindness occurs in many species including birds. Some birds are born blind while others develop blindness. But regardless of how an animal may become blind, blind animals require special care that is different than that of a sighted animal. Knowing how to care for a blind or visually impaired animal can help to prevent many frustrations, misunderstandings and injuries.
Continue reading “How to Care for Visually Impaired Birds”
Jackdaws are probably the most common corvid species rescued and cared for in captivity, which is mainly due to the fact that they have adapted very well to an urban lifestyle and that they are often nesting in very close proximity to us humans. Jackdaw babies are also often perceived as being irresistibly cute in the eyes of many humans, which seems to persuade even completely unexperienced people to raise a jackdaw nestling or fledgling by themselves. Therefore it is not surprising that jackdaws are the most frequently imprinted corvid species. Before going into more detail about what imprinting means and what the consequences of imprinting are, it might be useful to look into some aspects of the natural behaviour and some of the normal social interactions of jackdaws.
Continue reading “The Consequences of Imprinting”
Jacky is a western jackdaw (Coloeus monedula), also known as Eurasian jackdaw, European jackdaw, or simply jackdaw, and is a passerine bird belonging to the crow family. She is a seven year old imprinted bird, whose care we have taken over about one year ago. Jacky is unfortunately not releasable, as she has spent her whole life with humans. Jacky has been rescued as a fledgling by a well meaning person, who raised and unintentionally imprinted her. It did not take long for Jacky to conquer our hearts. Jacky lives with us, as she is not comfortable with other residential jackdaws, and is sadly not being tolerated by her own kind. Experiencing non-human animals like Jacky can be an eye opener for people, who never had this kind of close relationship with non-human animals like her. And as people, who have already opened their minds and hearts towards the plight of human as well as non-human animals, we are still again and again amazed by what we can learn from our non-human fellows. This insight makes it even more difficult to comprehend and live with the widely accepted normality and legality of discrimination and persecution of human and non-human animals.
Continue reading “Jackdaw Jacky – Thoughts about Sentience”
This story occurred a couple of years ago, but the described scenario and underlying problem is as timeless as ever. During my evening shift as marine mammal surveyor on board of a ferry on route to Santander in Spain, I was forced to witness a small group of lost racing pigeons loosing their fight against the strong winds of the Bay of Biscay. I had to watch the drama unfolding, and there was nothing I could do to help. In this respect, spring and autumn surveys are known to be particularly emotionally demanding, as surveyors are regularly forced to helplessly watch the struggle of travelling and migrating birds. This situation is neither unexpected nor unique, but can be emotionally draining. At the very least, it feels very surreal when witnessing tragedies like this one on board of a luxurious ferry, where most people are busy enjoying their lives and holidays. Most of these tragic encounters go unnoticed and are missed even by keen birders and whale and dolphin enthusiasts armed with expensive gear.
Continue reading “Racing Pigeon Biscay”