Friday, February 20, 2009

Caged Wild Animals - Come ON, PEOPLE!

Ok, now look (and I quote our adored President there). We've all seen the news lately: Key West being overrun with boa constrictors and exotic snakes. Key West being a place where there was never a snake problem before.

Why? Because people who wish to appear exotic themselves purchase these wild animals, then when they cannot care for them they take the easy way out and dump them. Please tell me who can cuddle and love a snake ..... go ahead ......
tell me ...... and the reptile "loves" you in return, right? Uh-huh.

What happens next? Snakes lay 40 eggs or more so guess what. The countryside fills up with unwanted animals which are not native to the area and they cause problems for humans and other animals. Do YOU want to accidentally cross paths with a 12 foot boa constrictor? Me, either.

I don't have anything against snakes. We have lots of 'em here in Missouri ....... the ones which belong here in order to keep the environment under control. I see them often. The little ones are adorable ..... the big ones are necessary. The hawks love to munch on them. But do I wish to find a boa constrictor crawling out of the couch my child is sitting on as just happened in New York? NO!

The latest chimpanzee attack has brought to light, once again, the problem with keeping a wild animal and treating it as a child. It doesn't work. I researched chimp attacks and they happen often and ferociously. Chimps do not behave as do domesticated dogs and kitties. Why? Because they are wild animals, people!

Sorry to all who wish to appear Madonna or Wytchy-like exotic by having a white snake or some other exotic reptile, but they are not domesticated animals and simply do not belong in your home. What sounds "cool" is actually WRONG.

Caging animals is WRONG. Have you read "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings"? As far as that goes, zoos have always seemed inhumane to me ...... or inanimalmane, as it were. These animals are caged, gawked at and held against their will in unnatural environments so that humans can "enjoy" their plight? Wha? How is this a good thing?

As humans we wish to control the world, including the environment. Well, Mama Nature is showing us who's boss, isn't she? Global warming is upon us. We want to drive and travel all over the place in our gasoline powered cars rather than staying home, living a simpler life (myself included in the past). Instead of powering our transportation naturally (which can be easily achieved but the Rockefellers preferred that we use oil) we choose the production of carbon monoxide, filling the environment with pollutants.

But I digress. As usual.

I'm not preaching to the choir here ...... I'm hoping to hit a note with those who want to keep exotic animals in their homes for whatever reason. I doubt that any of the reasons, if examined closely, have anything to do with the welfare of the animal. As humans and, for the most part, the top of the food chain, we should be invested in caring for the animals in our worlds, not torturing them by putting snakes in aquariums, birds in cages and chimps in a home built for people.

Yes, we share 98% of our DNA with chimps, but evidently that 2% which is not shared is the killer 2%.

In general I'm not pro more and more laws. I'm pro common sense. But since there seems to be a dearth of common sense around lately it looks like we need laws.

It's time to enact laws protecting wild animals again. Once again we need to protect them from US. From humans bringing exotic, wild animals into their homes, finding out that it doesn't work out well and then producing a tragedy beyond sanity or releasing wild animals where they don't belong.

Many of us have kept birds in cages, myself included. I love birds and would like to have a large, exotic bird in my home. But I had to rethink that. I'd love it, but how would the bird feel about it? I came to the conclusion that the only way I could justify that purchase would be after we've built a greenhouse, filled with trees and plants, where we could allow the bird to fly free.

However, is even that enough? It's still a caged environment.

I invite your responses both pro and con. Perhaps I'm wrong about our desire to keep wild animals in unnatural environments. But I doubt it. What do you think?

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