French Version

A plea for a prisoner

by Johanne Vaillancourt

Translated by Marlène Picard (Mooghie)



Parrot in a cage.

Humans have always loved to direct everything, be it cities, people, nature or animals.

One day, humans felt the need for companionship other than that of their fellow men. They therefore decided to adopt animals. Family pets were born. But humans... being who they are, naturally had to impose THEIR own way of being and living. Yep! This is how humans are: they thirst for power and domination. It was inconceivable for them to only "tame" animals while letting them be... themselves. They had to control them, dominate them and most importantly, take away what is essential to every being... freedom.

The parrot unfortunately could not escape this desire for conquest. A victim of his great beauty, humans had to have as a decoration in their homes the freest animal of the creation: the bird.

Birds have no right in the world of humans.

When humans caught the bird, the most "humanistic" thing they found to do was to put him in a cage. the BIRD, that in his habitat had always enjoyed flying in territory miles long, would now be forced into perpetual idleness; human would impose on him a mode of operation that in many ways was contrary to his preservation instincts. To survive in the world of humans, he would need to betray his own nature and his most natural mode of communication. All that is essential for the bird to survive free in the wild is denied in the world of humans.

Then, came a time when humans wanted to make the bird THEIR OWN creature. He had to speak like humans, eat like humans at times chosen by humans, he had to occupy himself with human toys; in short, he had to become similar to humans.

The bird have no rights in the world of humans. He can never protest or complain about his condition. He have to be ready to play and entertain humans whenever humans want... The parrot who conceives some pretension to a little attention must too often suppress his desires or risk suffering the consequences. The bird have no right to be claimed in the world of humans; he must wait for the goodwill of their MASTER.

Parrots are prisonners that remember the days of freedom.

But parrots are recalcitrant prisoners. They are rebels and they remember too well the days of freedom. They develop in captivity behaviours that were previously unknown to their ancestors: feather picking, obesity, aggression, stereotypical behaviors, cannibalism and other aberrant behaviours.

Boredom and idleness are the worst enemies of the parrot that we say "domesticated!" What can HE do to fill his days, the animal that was so active in nature? Living with humans, there is nothing to do... Nothing!

So, HE observes. The whole "blessed" day, HE observes and waits. His life as a companion parrot is structured on the same rhythm as that of a prison: rhythms of getting up, eating, sleeping... HE watches and waits for his MASTER. HE is waiting for him to deign grant him a small hour of attention in a day. But, what should HE do the other 23 hours???

Please, I beg of you, humans who now read these lines, be kind to your parrot. No sentence is crueler than life imprisonment for HE who has committed no crime... HE who is innocent!


© Johanne Vaillancourt 1997 (french) - 2011 (english)



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