Birds should not be caged as pets.
Debate Rounds (5)
1st round: Acceptance.
2nd, and 3rd round 4th round: Arguments and rebuttal
5th round: Conclusion and summary
1. WING CLIPPING. Pet birds are most likely to have their wings clipped from time to time. This reduces their mobility too much.  That is like preventing a pet dog from walking or running because it is inconvenient. No one would ever think of doing that. Flying is the best form of exercise for birds, and denying pet birds the opportunity to fly may also contribute to sedentary behavior, obesity and related health problems.  Clipping wings can contributing to insecure or fearful behavior, which is cruel on the owners part. 
2. NOT DOMESTICATED. Whether captive bred or wild caught, birds are not domesticated animals.  Domestic animals are animals that have been bred for hundreds of years to live in the care of humans and are distinct from their wild ancestors.  Birds commonly kept as pets are no different than their wild relatives—they are the native species of other countries. 
3. DOES NOT INTEGRATE WELL WITH HUMANS. Vocalizing (squawking, chirping, talking) is an important part of any parrot's social communication; birds eat continually throughout the day, dropping and discarding bits of food everywhere; birds are instinctively programmed to chew and shred wood, whether it is a perch, toy, picture frame, or furniture.  Birds will also chew electrical cords, paper, and curtains which can be dangerous to their health. 
4. BAD FOR THEIR EMOTIONAL HEALTH. Birds are meant to fly and to be with other birds. Confinement in cages can lead to neurotic behavior, excessive screaming, feather plucking, self-mutilation and other destructive habits.  As a result, very few people are capable of caring for the special needs of exotic birds or comprehend the seriousness of the commitment for the birds' life span—20 to 70 years or more depending on species. 
5. MANY PET OWNERS NEGLECT THEM. Each year thousands of birds are sold into the pet trade to individuals who are under the mistaken impression that a bird will make a "cool" pet.  Eventually, whether due to frustration, disinterest, or concern, many people attempt to rid themselves of the responsibility of caring for their birds.  Unfortunately, few of these birds will find a loving home, and most will spend their days isolated and confined to their cages.  Others will bounce from home to home as "owners" tire of them, and some may be abandoned at local shelters and birds rescues, or set free to fend for themselves. 
Meanwhile, breeders and retailers continue to treat these animals as mere merchandise, peddling and producing them for profit. 
- 1 - Not all birds have to go through it, particularly smaller birds
- 2 - Clipping their wings may improve their safety
- 3 - Its the most humane way to keep them safe.
Not all birds have to go through wing clipping, finches, a few parakeets, and many small birds can live in very nice cages and not have to have their wings clipped since they are small enough to have ample amounts of fly within their cage. Also consider how each year how many birds die from flying into mirrors, windows, screen doors, fans, etc because they think they have open space but really they dont and they fly head on into the objects and kill themselves. Sometimes birds could escape and fly away which sounds like freedom for a bird, but how is a domesticated bird suppossed to hunt for food, build a nest, or learn how to hide from predators when it has spent its whole life being treated by humans? clipping their wings may keep them in one prison but its far better than being trapped in the real world where birds can be hunted, killed, and eaten every day... Clipping their wings is the easiest way to keep a bird safe in a house hold. You also claim that clipping a birds wings is inhumane but its much better than the alternative to keeping birds from flying............ Cutting off their wings.
Which sounds more harmful, a haircut or an amputation?
- Just because they are not domesticated does not mean they could not be tamed
There are many many pets out there that are not domesticated but people in some countries can still have them as pets. A good majority of animals in circus's are not domesticated but can learn how to live a domestic suburban lifestyle within their lifetimes and fairly quickly. Elephants, Lions, Bears in tutu's are all examples of how wild animals can be tamed to the point where they can coexist with humans and their predators. Birds are not even very wild to begin with and are not lethal predators humans fear, and birds adjust quickly to be domesticated if they are raised that way from birth since not all animals are caught in the wild then sold as pets.
3) Does not integrate well with humans
- Sure they can
- Is the issue of this debate that birds should not be pets or should not be caged?
Your argument here focuses on how birds can come into conflict with parts of a persons home and belongings, but if the issue is whether or not birds should be caged, then this would be an argument for me. Birds should be caged because if allowed to roam around the house they could destroy furniture or eat something not suppossed to be eaten.... If however this argument is meant to show why birds shouldnt be pets at all, there are many types of dogs, cats, hampsters, etc that will also do these things to a home but they are perfectly normal pets are they not?
4) Bad for emotional health
- You can always get two birds
- If you let them fly around the house they could run away or get killed by accident
Some birds are cheap enough where instead of buying one you can buy two or three (like finches or parakeets) and then the issues caused by isolation from other birds is solved quite simply with adding another bird. And its not too expensive to buy another bird than the one you bought in the first place, finches cost 10-20 dollars each, parakeets are a but higher than thet, and some parrot owners have many parrots to spoil :)
5) Many Pet owners neglect them
- This happens to all animals
- Neglect to birds have less ramnifications
Now neglect towards pets is a sad aspect of society, however neglect towards a bird is much less of an issue compared to some of the sick acts of cruelty comitted against cats or dogs. (anyone who has ever seen an ASPCA commerical knows what I mean here). And the thing about birds is that they are pretty self sufficient for long periods of time. They dont have to go to the bathroom outside, they dont have to be fed multiple times a day, some birds can even go without water for a while. Birds are a pet where if you dump food into a little bowl for it to eat, it wont eat all of it in one hit like dogs or cats, they will consume as much as they want (which isnt always a lot since their birds) and then they will stop, do their bird thing for a while, then come back and eat again by themselves hours later. Birds can be neglected, but it happens on a far smaller and less cruel scale than it does compared to cats and dogs, and if animal cruelty is your argument against why birds shouldnt be pets then dogs and cats shouldnt be used as pets at all.
1) It is interesting how you claim that many small birds live in very nice cages, and have ample amounts of room to fly. Where did you get that information from and how do you define "very nice"?
Minimum Cage Sizes
Budgies 18 x 18 cage
lovebirds 18 x 18 cage
Cockatiel 22 x 17 cage 
Small birds will get an 18 x 18 cage. Consider how a bird flies in their habitat. I do not define this as ample, I call it minimum.
You say that smaller birds in particular do not have to go through wing clipping. This is far from the truth. The top 5 pet birds species are parakeets/budgies, cockatiels, finches/canaries, lovebirds, and African Greys.  All of these birds are small, and most people do choose to clip their wings, due to safety reasons if they do decide to let the bird out of their cage. For the reasons you stated, birds should have their wings clipped a pets because otherwise they can kill themselves by flying into objects in the home. Although this debate is not about whether or not we should clip birds wings, but that birds are not meant, and should not be meant as pets in a home. Cutting a birds wings cannot be compared to a hair cut. Haircuts for humans is for aesthetics. Wings are for a bird's flight. Flight is the main mode of locomotion used by most of the world's bird species. Flight assists birds while feeding, breeding and avoiding predators.  It is very unhealthy for a bird to lose their right to exercise.
2) Because these birds are not lethal predators, and humans can in other words dominate them, you are saying that they are therefore perfect to be caged as pets. This is only in the interest of the human, not the bird. A bird may be tamed, but the consequences the bird suffers in order to do so is unjust and wrong. I don't understand where you got your information that birds "are not even wild to begin with". There is no such animal as a "cage bird." All caged birds were either captured or bred in captivity.  For example, Parakeets in the wild live in many diverse habitats.  They are found throughout Australia, Asia, tropical and subtropic regions of Africa, Central and South America.  Let me define what a domestic animal is.
Domestic animals are animals that have been bred for hundreds of years to live in the care of humans and are distinct from their wild ancestors. Birds commonly kept as pets are no different than their wild relatives -- they are the native species of other countries. 
3) It is hard to relate these birds to hampsters, dogs, and cats. Dogs and cats as pets are not confined to a crate or a cage their whole lives. We let them have some sort of free range around the house, there are outdoor cats, etc. Dogs are walked for their emotion health and if they were confined to a crate 24/7 we would call that animal cruelty. Why are birds different, when they are highly intelligent creatures themselves? Some birds are more intelligent than dogs! Hampsters have relative low intelligence.  On the other hand, birds are highly intelligent. For example, parrots are sociable and extremely intelligent -- they have been compared to human toddlers in the needs of their emotional and social lives but, unlike children, they never progress beyond the "toddler" level -- confinement in cages can lead to neurotic behavior, excessive screaming, feather plucking, self-mutilation, and other destructive habits. 
4) For all my reasons stated above I challenge your comment that for emotional health you can get two birds instead of one. Two birds under these conditions are no better than one. It just adds to the problem. Because birds are so affordable, many end up suffering once the novelty wears off. When the birds who seemed so cute and lovable in pet stores turn out to be noisy, messy, and demanding of people's attention, many are later abandoned, and few live out their natural life spans.  About 85 percent of parrots are resold, given away, or abandoned within two years of being purchased.  If they are ignored, they suffer in isolation and may become even noisier, more aggressive, or more despondent. 
5) To say neglecting birds have less ramifications is exactly my point. Many people view birds as insignificant whether because of their size, or their lack of ability to be able to fight back. This way of thinking is the perfect reason why it is wrong to cage a bird as a pet. Bird are not meant to be by their waste, and they need better diets than just seed, and alot of owners do not even consider these things. A lot of times, people just give them seed because it is convenient, when in actuality they need a well balanced diet of fruits, vegetables also. Dogs and cats have been domesticated. As I reasoned above, birds have not.
The Con has gone and found the smallest cage sizes possible to use for her arguments for why birds should not be caged, but there are some cages that are large enough to be considered ample living space for birds.
Sizes of some birdcages available on the market,
Aviary 80 x 40 x 74
Corner 61 x 48.5 x 73.5
Breeder 64 x 21 x 65
Flight 52 x 42 x 74
Dome Top 48 x 36 x 76
Play Top 42 x 30 x 73
Bird cages can be very large and have more than enough space for birds to live an ample lifestyle.
As for Wing Clipping, Wing Clipping again is OPTIONAL , and also is simply trimming of the feathers on the birds wings so that no nerve damage is done, feathers are not plucked, and the birds wings are not cut off completely. It is in many ways like a haircut in that they are completely harmless to the bird. I have shown evidence for why wing clipping could help make a bird's life safer since it is now far less likely to accidentally get itself killed and that it is much more humane then amputating the birds.
Wing clipping could also be used to control unruly behavior in birds, just saying.
Exercise wise flying is the primary means, but birds can still exercise by flapping their wings since vicious flapping of the wings can sometimes allow the bird to fly. Vicious flapping is a great form of exercise since the birds still get to retain their wings. Birds can also climb around, hop, jump around as forms of exercise so clipping a birds wings doesnt take away its right to exercise because it still has many other forms to exercise.
2) I said that "Birds arent even THAT wild to begin with" - That was what I said, please dont misquote me
The point of that statement was to emphasize how birds even in their wild form are quite tame and easy to live with compared to other wild animals. Birds can easily be tamed and this may be a good thing for the bird. The Bird gets to live in a safe environment where food and water is always provided meaning it doesnt have to go out and hunt. The bird when its in is cage is safe from any predators that it would otherwise meet in the outside world. The bird never has to fight with the environment against wind or rain when it lives inside a house. Domesticated life is much safer and kinder to birds than living in the wild.
list of animals that hunt our beloved birds
Certain types of Squirrels
The outside world can be very lethal and deadly to small birds that we have as pets, a domesticated lifestyle may be the only way they get to live happily and safely.
3) A bird's intelligence is one of the reasons it makes a great pet and can easily integrate with humans. Birds are smart enough to learn and be easily trained to live with humans. Many of them mimic their owners through whistling or squaking and some birds can even be trained enough to peacefully travel with humans around the house or outside. Birds are intelligent enough to stand by their protectors and care givers (us) which makes them great pets since they know what could happen if they fly away, they die.
4) "For all my reasons stated above I challenge your comment that for emotional health you can get two birds instead of one."
^ study showing that living in pairs can increase the life of birds
^ Zebra finches should be bought in pairs for their on health
^ birds that live alone are worse off
^ living in pairs makes them happy
^ love birds thrive on social attraction and often need other mates.
Pet birds do very well when they are living in cozy habitats where food and water is provided for them and also when other birds are nearby. This improves their mental health and allows them to socialize with other birds.
5) All of these reasons the Pro gives as reasons that birds shouldnt be kept as pets are reasons why ALL animals shouldnt be kept as pets since all animals are subjected to these things. It seems the only difference you make tat hints at why only birds shouldnt be kept as pets is that they are not domesticated, yet pets dont have to be domesticated, they only have to be tamed, and that can be done with any animal, especially birds since their intelligence allows them to adjust to a safer life much easier and faster.
1) I'm PRO for not having birds as pets, thus against cages. You refuted by showing some of the largest bird cages on the market. If I recall, you have stated that some of these birds can cost anywhere from 10-20 dollars. Even if I up that price and say it can range from $60 to $100 depending on some breeds, the amount of these large cages is astronomical in relation. As I have stated before, the average person does not have an aviary in their home. Many people buying these affordable pets, come from a modest background and are not willing to dedicate a whole room of their home for a bird cage. I looked at your source for the cages and wonder if you even checked the price point.
Exterior Dimensions: 80"(W) x 40"(D) x 74"(H)
Sale Price: $879.99
Compared at: $1,399.99
The average size living room contains approximately 250 square feet.
24 by 24
Bedrooms are sometimes even smaller. I highly doubt that people are going to get their little bird an aviary in their home, that costs substantially more than the pet alone.
Of course bird cages can be very large, and if you are Martha Stewart you can probably get the biggest one and have ample space, but unfortunately the cages I had laid out weren't meant to be the smallest ones, they were meant to show the most popular and affordable.
I agree that if you are keeping a bird in an 18x18 cage due to the enormous prices of the largest ones that my , then clipping wings is a way to control the bird and their behavior. This is the number one reason why they should not be in homes as pets. This proves the lack of integration with a human's lifestyle. All the points my opponent presented benefits the human, while the bird sacrifices there rights.
Parrots are considered one of the most intelligent animals so they can be handful!  I wonder if the people that keep these magnificent creatures cooped up in a cage would change their ideas if they could see them flying free in their natural habitat. This would show that they live a very wild life. For example, if you approached a bird in the wild, they will not be tame and come to say hello. Birds are not initially interested in human interaction. Dolphins are more interested in human interaction , but we don't put little pools in our backyards just because they can be tamed. The only reason we do this widespread practice with birds is because of their size and our ability to dominate them for a low price! The birds are taken from their natural surroundings, put into cages - which are often cramped - then shipped to the UK before being sold on from the back of a van.  It's no wonder many birds suffer health problems. Just because it is easy to catch them in a net, does not mean they are "not that wild". They do adapt to our conditions, but with great consequence. These birds can sometimes live up to anywhere from 20 to 80+ years, sometimes outliving their owners. It is unfair for the bird to have to find new homes.
3) Once a human takes these birds out of their natural habitat, it handicaps them from ever being able to live a natural life. If they were let free they would die, many times because these birds are shipped from around there world. The USA has banned the importing of wild birds, but it is still legal in Europe. This is despite the fact that enough parrots are being bred in captivity to satisfy consumer demand.  You might say many are bred in aviaries from birth, but this is not preventing people from smuggling these birds in the wild. In fact, it promotes more of it! A wild bird costs up to half the price of a hand reared one, and with some prices of parrots going into the thousands it is no wonder there is a black market.  What makes it worse is that many buyers are unsuspecting purchasers who don't realize the background behind their new pet.The fact is, many of these birds are inhumanely caught, stuck to trees and netted. Many of the birds die in transit due to the stress and poor conditions.  Maybe the bird is eventually tamed, but the big picture is that keeping this bird as a pet is promoting the black market, and threatening their wild counterparts is other areas of the world.
4) For the reason of the declining numbers of these attractive birds in their natural habitat, the illegal smuggling practices promoted by the demand for these birds is all the more reason why 2 birds are not better than one. Also, love birds despite their name will attack other species of birds, so 2 are avoided. Female love birds may even kill their mate.  Birds don't always get along and yes you can expect fighting and yes you can expect injuries to happen. A lot of this behavior is dominance, some could be territorial.  Unless the bird is in an aviary where they can escape attack, you will end up very sorry keeping two birds together that are fighting it out.  In this instance you can see how subjecting two birds to a small cage can actually be very cruel and dangerous.
5) Not all birds can be tamed. For example Zebra Finches are a true community bird and thrive when placed with other members of their species.  By keeping this bird alone he is under a constant state of anxiety and stress.  By pairing this bird up, it is unsure if the bird will get along and be safe. Like I said most people have small cages, which can possibly increase aggression since birds living in such tight spaces is unnatural. Most people cannot afford these large cages which are close to $1000. Your interactions and companionship will never replace the emotional needs of birds. 
This argument is regarding cage size, the pro gave some cage sizes which she stated are "Minimum Cage Sizes", So to balance the argument I showed how bird cages can be quite large, but the Pro was actually showing that the cages she chose were the most popular cages chosen and bought in the public.
Now the argument over the cages being large enough is really a matter of opinion since it depends on the bird and the toys you put in the cage which can eliminate emotional toil and strain but these toys take up space and yatta yatta yatta.
Point im trying to make, cage size that birds live in is really a matter of opinion both to people and the birds.
As for wing clipping, 1) Wing clipping isnt required, 2) It does make birds safer, 3) Its better than amputation, which is the only other option if you want to keep your lovely pet bird safe. The other argument against wing clipping is that it takes away from birds exercise, however the bird can still exercise by hopping, climbing, and if wing clipping is done perfectly birds could actually fly or glide through vicious flapping, giving them a good amount of exercise.
2) Size of birds
Almost all pets are not lethal, many types of small dogs, cats, all hamsters, gerbils, frogs, turtles, etc. are are not lethal but we dont have them as pets because we can dominate them we have them as pets because we love them and want to try to give them a good home. The alternative to not having birds as pets is that now these fun-sized birds have to live in the outside world exposed to dozens of predators who are now on their own trying to hunt for food and water and shelter day to day hoping to not get eaten by a rabid squirrel.....
Birds though have a great life as pets since we provide them with everything they need and anything we do to them is for their own safety.
3) Comparable to other pets and intelligence of birds
You claim that birds cannot be compared to other normal pets since other pets are not caged most of their lives,
Those are all pets that spend a majority of their lives in cages or glass enclosures. Cats and dogs are actually the two pets that are exceptions, making them the stand outs compared to all other pets, including birds.
You also claim that birds are too intelligent to be kept as pets, but the thing is that dogs and cats can be considered intelligent animals as well. Dogs can be trained for specialized jobs like hunting, sniffing for illegal substances, helping blind or disabled cripple. Ive never walked down a street and see a blind man walking with a pet bird..... As for emotional needs of these intelligent animals, well see the next argument.
4) Multiple birds
The argument here started that birds should not be kept as pets because they are very social birds and need to be with other birds. I showed how birds are often bought in pairs which eliminates many of the emotional problems that single birds endure and that since birds are so easy to manage and take care of that the additional burden is easily manageable to the owner. Now that I have shown that birds can have many emotional problems solved by another mate, which is a common practice by bird owners, to but two, like I proved, the Pro is arguing that it doesnt solve the problem completely.
The Pro brings up how parrots are, sadly, often bought and sold to others in a short number of years. But the one source the Pro gave was about PETA.....
Now PETA may be questioned as a reliable source so I looked up how often parrots are abandoned. The first ten results on Google all show how parrots are abandoned, not one of them gives a percentage about how many of pet parrots are abandoned. Not even PETA says where they got their statistics from and seeing as how PETA is insane, I doubt to see that 85% of pet parrots are abandoned.
Im not denying that it happens, im denying that more than 3 out of every 4 parrots end up abandoned is not backed up by stats or facts.
On another note, birds arent the only pets that are abandoned. Cats, dogs, snakes are all also abandoned and left to fend for themselves, often far more than birds since again, ive never seen an ASPCA commercial showing abandoned birds....
5) Ramifications of neglecting birds
It is agreed upon that bird violence is less prevalent than cat or dog violence, the same goes with neglect. But birds and dogs and cats and ALL OTHER PETS, are alike because compared to humans they are all smaller and weaker than futures. Hamsters cant kill people, neither can turtles, ferrets, or cats but they can still be kept as pets and in cages.
"Bird are not meant to be by their waste, and they need better diets than just seed, and alot of owners do not even consider these things. A lot of times, people just give them seed because it is convenient, when in actuality they need a well balanced diet of fruits, vegetables also. "
All other small pets besides dogs and cats live by their waste, and cats go in a litter box so they can be exposed to their waste. As for diet and seeds, all other small pets eat off of seed or typical kinds of pet foods, 99% of pets are not fed well balanced diets of fruits and vegetables.
Whether or not cages or flight control are necessary for caring for birds may be irrelevant to the question of whether the birds make suitable pets. The major question of this debate is whether it is acceptable to keep a bird as a companion if ensuring their safety or compatibility in the home requires that they be caged/physically disabled. I am here to state this it has been proven through this debate to be morally wrong. 
Pet birds are denied two of their most natural behaviors — flying and socialization. This leads to physical and behavioral problems including screaming, pacing, head-bobbing, feather-plucking, and self-mutilation. This is not the sign of a tame bird, it's a sign of a bird who has given up. 
The vast majority of birds kept as pets are also fed inadequate seed-only diets. Only 11.7% of bird-owners seek veterinary advice for their birds. It has been estimated that malnutrition is responsible for up to 90% of all clinical conditions seen by avian practitioners. Many look at quantity, not quality of health when breeding these birds. 
While changes in cage size (larger) , socialization (2 birds instead of one) can improve the welfare of birds, many owners do not have the motivation or the money to provide these luxuries. As I have stated, larger aviary cages are $1000. I will let the readers be the judge whether the minimum size cage (18x18) is only by opinion, small. Many parrots outlive their caretakers and even more, outlive their caretakers' interest in them.
In addition, evidence suggests that as long as the private ownership of parrots remains socially acceptable and profits persist, the smuggling of parrots for the pet trade will likely continue despite laws against them. Because captive birds are identical to their wild-caught birds, the presence of captive birds in the trade actually promotes more smuggling practices! 
When one considers the considerable restrictions captive birds endure, the inadequate diets most are fed, and impact the trade in birds as pets has had on species in the wild, it is easy to conclude that, like other non-domesticated animals, birds are not suitable companion animals. 
Thank you for the debate! VOTE PRO that birds should not be pets based on the evidence.
The majority of this debate was centered over the practice of keeping birds in cages and whether or not wing clipping was ethical. I have showed how some bird cages can be quite large and more than suitable for birds to live in, while also showing how wing clipping is done primarily through safety for the birds and that it does not completely eliminate all forms of exercise for the bird. Wing clipping is by far more ethical than amputating the wings off of birds as well.
As for the emotional problems that birds suffer, I have shown how it is a common practice for birds to be bought in pairs so that the birds can socialize with their own kind and not suffer from many emotional stresses they would otherwise endure. The easy care for birds is so small that it also places no additional burden on the owner to care for them.
Diet wise, all animals are limited primarily to forms of seed of some sort, few animals are ever fed fruits and vegetables the Pro thinks that should be fed to birds, but this seed is still nutritious enough to allow birds to live for years and years.
As for neglect, birds can go through neglect from their owners, but this is not limited to birds because this affects all pets, some more than birds. The Pro claims the size of the birds is why humans dominate them, but the size of birds compared to humans are comparable to the sizes all other pets as well.
Lastly, think of their harmlessness of the birds often kept as pets, many of them would not be able to survive in the real world due to their size, large number of predators, and few skills to hunt for food and water. As pets, birds enjoy life without having to worry about food, water, predators, loneliness, weather, or danger.
I thank the Con for a very fun debate and the voters for reading, I invite voters to please giving conduct to the Con. After I forfeited round 4 of this debate the Con decided to restart the debate instead of rubbing it in, and her kindness should not go unrewarded. Thank you for reading :)
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by flash7221 4 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: close. fun debate.
Vote Placed by SuburbiaSurvivor 4 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: I'd say Pro made a better case. Clipping bird wings is bad for their health and most people are not capable of getting cage large enough.
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