Sometimes it’s hard to tell in this business. I think some of the heroes are the people who train and educate about training. Susan Friedman is a hero. Barbara Heidenreich is a hero. Robin Shewokis is a hero for spreading the message about enrichment and foraging.
Susan Friedman is a hero for educating the field about the science of applied behavior analysis and getting people to understand why positive reinforcement works.
Then there are the people who do research. There are heroes in that line too. Irene Pepperberg is a hero. Ross Perry is a hero. The Hagen Company does extensive research on diet and I love the work that they do.
Companies who sell crap people don’t need, to people who don’t know any better are villains. Companies that put mite control devices in Wal Mart that can actually kill birds and sell those same people a pant-load of grit during the same shopping trip are villains.
Big Box Pet stores who can’t seem to find a way to educate their associates well enough to ensure that they have the correct answers to questions they are asked are big-time villains. And I want to eliminate quite a few items in their product lines as well.
Companies who sell training tapes that have “secrets the professionals don’t want you to know” to people who don’t have the first clue on training basics are villains.
I was at a bird store I know and love. They were selling round cages. I asked why. I was told that they sold them because people wanted them and if people were going to buy them “come hell or high water,” then they might as well make the money.
Well, this bothered me enormously. I love this store to death but that’s simply irresponsible. They aren’t villains, but they pissed me off with this particular move.
The world has been able to remove or discontinue many items from the market, including Phen-fen, Phisohex, the Ford Pinto and other various products deemed unsafe for consumption or use. Why can’t round cages go the way of the dinosaur?
I wish some bird food companies would knock it off and at least attempt to educate their consumers that an all-seed diet really blows. Couldn’t they branch out and come up with another product that doesn’t harm the very consumer they are feeding? Couldn’t they at least educate their customers?
I wish breeders with facilities the size of the state of Oklahoma would figure out that random breeding isn’t doing a damned thing to help the pet bird situation and leave that to the people who actually know what they are doing.
It’s big business. And I’m just one little person.