Parakeet Morality

How parakeet breeding led me to thoughts on a great moral issue:

I stopped in the pet store yesterday to get some grit for the birds, to aid their digestion. While there, the kids reminded me of one of their pressing concerns. We have a boy and girl parakeet, and the kids keep wondering if they will have babies.

My son begged for a nest to place in the bird cage, just in case. My daughter’s mind was filled with the wonder of baby keets.

The store clerk discouraged all of this. She and I had just finished a discussion about how to work with our birds to turn them into friendly, tame, sit-on-your-finger kind of birds. She pointed out that once parakeets have babies, they will not be tame pets. They will be extremely protective of their brood and you can forget about a sweet housebroken budgie.

I was fuzzy on some issues. What if they mate without all the nice trappings of a brooding box and comfy nest, and the girl lays her eggs on the bottom of the cage? Just throw them out, said the clerk. Take the eggs away, she’ll forget all about them, and she won’t lay any more eggs after a while. Do not encourage breeding, she said, by not putting a nesting area in the cage. Then you’ll get to keep the birds as pets to pamper and cuddle and train.

I couldn’t help thinking about how to dispose of those eggs without the children having a meltdown. Would I flush them down the toilet? Would I toss them out the window? Offer them to someone with a pet snake? Ah, well, they are just parakeet eggs, and the snakes need to eat.

Okay, so the only way for the parakeets to care enough about human companionship instead of protecting their clutch is to prevent them from breeding, and take away their eggs when they do happen to lay them.

For some reason, my mind made a leap this morning, a shocking leap to connect with a great moral issue that I think of often. Abortion. Here is the connection I made.

I wondered if the taking away of a human mother’s baby-in-utero, abortion, has the same effect (the “taming” of humans), and if there is perhaps an underlying societal motivation (from the left) for wanting women and couples to not “breed.” A motivation similar to the parakeet issue: are women and families more easily manipulated and pliable when they don’t have the “mother bear” syndrome, the innate and fierce drive a mother has to look out for the best interest of her baby?

A new mother, of course, will be less interested in say, political issues of whether murderous criminals should be spared the death penalty or whether women should have the “right to choose,” than she will be in the immediate care of her newborn, how to feed and nurture him, and don’t you dare harm my baby.

Does it seems plausible that childless people will be more loyal to the state than to the family? I’m making a leap here, but there is some shifting of interests that occurs when your eggs are stolen away and you’re encouraged to forget about them, be you parakeet or person.

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11 Responses to Parakeet Morality

  1. Heather says:

    That is brilliant and something I have felt in my gut for some time.

  2. Snake Myths says:

    “Does it seems plausible that childless people will be more loyal to the state than to the family?”

    No, but it is more plausible that a person without Christ could potentially be more loyal to the state than to family. Why? Because their moral center might not be oriented to have anything to do with the idea of family being important. It might be career, friends, their hobbies, or something else.

    That’s not to say that all Christians are by default anti-abortion but when doing the will of God becomes the mandate you live by it’s much more likely.

  3. Heidi says:

    Snake. I disagree with you. It is entirely plausible that a childless couple with a much more reduced concern for future generations (implied and exemplified by their lack of investment in it) and would therefore be looking to the state to solve their more immediate need.

    It is a rare childless couple who is truly devoted to the concept and sense of family routinely experienced, expressed and committed to by couples who have chosen to create famly units larger than themselves. Adoption/ natural methods, etc., etc.

    And to counter your other point. Any person who does not have Christ as the center of their life will inherently be loyal to what they believe will serve their best interests. The State, their neighbor, their Higher Power. Even their pets.

    And finally. Because apparently I am feeling a bit contentious…

    Any believer who understands the gift of life they have been given themselves will be Pro-Life. They will see the inherent beauty, blessing and privilege and responsibility of life. They will understand that the power of life and death is not theirs to hold and use as a weapon against the defenseless. Whether those defenseless individuals be the terminally ill, the elderly or the unborn.

    *steps off soapbox*

  4. Jen says:

    Heather, I appreciate your comment!

    Snake Myths, of course, this all does come down to Christ, and that is an unavoidable truth. I think that statistically, people who choose to not have children, and certainly people who choose to have abortions, are more likely to not be Christians – that is a generalization, please don’t take offense, anyone.

    So, I agree with you, that when Christ is your center, you are more likely to live according to God’s word, which is actually very clear on the issue of abortion. When there is a Creator who knits you together in your mother’s womb, Who is the author and designer of all life, it becomes apparent that the destruction of His creation is something beyond mere surgical procedure or self-interest, and enters the realm of the sacred.

  5. Jen says:

    Heidi, I’m so glad you weighed in here. I also believe that in general, childless couples have less interest in something they have no investment in. Do you watch the stocks you don’t own? No. When you don’t have kids, you aren’t so careful about the decisions of the local school board or whether baby toys have inordinate amounts of lead.

    So, like my parakeets, your interest will naturally turn to something else, like the state, which is trying to be the substitute for the family, anyway.

  6. Wow! Jen, what a great post. Thoughtful and insightful at the same time. My sister gave up a little girl when she was 19 and posted recently on her blog about her heartache and hope for a better life for her daughter who is 27 now. You can read her entry Regardles of your belief in Christ your sense of knowing tells you it is wrong to take a God given life from another. God did not leave us without a witness. Even before I accepted Christ as my personal Saviour, I knew it was wrong to harm someone else.
    Life is precious. Anyone considering abortion please allow someone to adopt your precious gift from God.

  7. Jen says:

    Debbie, thanks for the link to your sister’s blog. I read her post about giving up her daughter at birth. It was both moving and haunting, a beginning with no end. I hope, if it’s God’s will, that she can find her someday, and can fill that place of continual wondering.

  8. Fencepost says:

    Interesting post, Jen!
    I’ll have to ponder on that one. But it does make some sense!

  9. e-Mom says:

    Wow, Jennifer. This post is just amazing. Worthy of musing on for awhile. Will discuss with my DH too. :~D

  10. tipper says:

    Your comparison of the parakeets and abortion-gives me chills and makes me think thoughts I’d rather ignore. Very good post.

  11. Shannon says:

    I found your post through the Christian Carnival — thanks for submitting it! After many years in the prolife movement, I never heard this argument, which does merit some more exploration.

    I’m not sure childless people have more loyalty to the state, per se, but they are able to devote more time and attention to other causes — whether politics or evangelism or hedonism. Your post made me think of I Corinthians 7:32-35, where Paul says the unmarried can devote more time to serving Christ.

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