own. Save a parrot’s tree. Save ten. Without our help, without needed legislative protection and worldwide consciousness-raising on their behalf, parrots will be lost in short years to come. It is fitting to end this book with this succinct summation from Wayne Pacelle, president of the Humane Society of the United States: We are at an odd moment in history. There are more people in this country sensitized to animal protection issues than ever before. The Humane Society of the United States alone has 8 million members, and in addition, there are more than 5,000 other groups devoted to animal protection. At the same time, there are more animals being harmed than ever before—in industrial agriculture, research and testing, and the trade in wild animals. It is pitiful that our society still condones keeping millions of parrots and other wild birds as pets—wild animals that should be free to fly and instead are languishing in cages, with more being bred every day. It’s an issue of supply and demand and it’s also an issue of right and wrong. Animals suffer in confinement, and we have a moral obligation to spare them from needless suffering. Every person can make a difference every day for animals by making compassionate choices in the marketplace: don’t buy wild animals as pets, whether they are caught from the wild or bred in captivity. If we spare the life of just one animal, it’s a 100% positive impact for that creature. If we can solve the larger bird trade problem, it will be 100% positive for all parrots and other wild birds in the U.S. and beyond our borders. I believe we will look back in 50 -75 years and say “How could we as a society countenance things like the decades long imprisonment of extraordinarily intelligent animals like parrots?” Acknowledgments For this work, which took more than two and a half years to research and write, I amassed thousands of documents and conducted several hundred interviews with leading scientists, environmentalists, paleontologists, ecological economists, conservationists, global warming experts, federal law enforcement officers, animal control officers, avian researchers, avian rescuers, veterinarians, breeders, pet bird owners, bird clubs, pet bird industry executives and employees, sanctuaries and welfare organizations, legislators, and officials with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), and other sources in the United States and around the world.
Mira Tweti (Of Parrots and People: The Sometimes Funny, Always Fascinating, and Often Catastrophic Collision of Two Intelligent Species)