While walking down a street behind the Patiala bus-stand, a few months back, I witnessed something disturbing. Something you hear everyday, talk about in essays, read in news-papers, but never do we do anything about it. I came across a pet-store. A cage, housing love birds. Ironical. Isn’t it? Caging love?! Is that even remotely possible!
On inquiring about those birds, I came to know that these are some of the most special birds of Australia, specially imported for people to raise as pets. A single cage housed, or imprisoned if might say, 25 pairs of the most beautiful love-birds of Australia. Green, white, pink and yellow; a mix of all the shades of the rainbow, locked inside a single cage, given grain to eat, but no freedom to express what they are ambassadors of…. LOVE!
The shop owner told me that each pair of these birds costs Rs. 350. He tried to convince me a lot to buy one of those, was even ready to give be a free cage for the birds and was so sure that during an average life span of these birds, which is 10 years, they’ll reproduce and I’m sure to get all my money back within 2 years’ time by selling its off-springs. Another cage, kept just behind this one housed rabbits. Three little black and white rabbits were eating carrots in the cage and when i took out my phone to click some photographs of the docile creatures, another of their salesman came forward and started convincing me to buy a pair of rabbits. Lucky as I was that day, there was a ‘special offer’ on the rabbits and a pair of bunnies which usually costed 600-700 bucks, I was being offered to take them for just 400 Rupees.
Chicken were even cheaper at Rs 150 a pair. Again the same promises of selling its eggs again the money back scheme and again, it pained me, because they were the littlest of the lot. If all this was not enough, then to add to my turmoil another person from the same shop came running in with a blue and white pigeon in his hand. He went straight in and put the bird in another big cage that had as many as 20 pigeons of many different colors and species. I could not muster the courage to ask him any further questions, but this whole incident left me with a very important question that still remains unanswered. If at all we pet animals and birds, then why don’t we show them love..!!
It maybe true that after adopting a pet, an ‘owner’ takes good care of it. Some people even treat their pets as a family member, as their own child as they may say, but the question looms, why cage them. Why do the pet shops show no mercy? Why is it that these birds and animals are not kept in an environment, a habitat where they are meant to be? Why cages? If fish are domesticated in aquariums, why not a kinder way for other critters? Why are rabbits being caged and sold and not raised in a garden where they can be themselves? Why are the love-birds caged and not set free in a nursery? We always have better options to adopt pets…. But our only problem… We look for easier options… Not better… Lets take out some time guys… Sit and think… Maybe one of us can answer the questions I wasn’t able to.
Here are some pics I clicked!