A conexão de alma entre pessoas e animais

Quando vamos pra África do Sul, e já fomos muitas, infelizmente sempre topamos com os turistas apressados que não conseguem ficar 5 minutos parados num ponto. Gente andando a alta velocidade, fotografando pelo vidro sem nem desligar o carro.

Não sei estimar quantos são como eles, quantos são como a gente. Mas sei dizer que encontrei pelo menos uns cinco livros de norte-americanos e europeus que ficaram loucos pela África, trocaram o conforto do primeiro mundo pelas maravilhas da vida encantada, mas difícil, perto dos bichos. Nos fóruns dos parques da África do Sul, muitas pessoas de diversos países que já fizeram várias visitas ao parque, sempre saudosos de voltarem.

O contato com os animais é algo muito forte. Bate na gente (não em todos) em um lugar que eu nem sei explicar onde é, mas é algo como expandir sua percepção do mundo. Ver tanta beleza, força, poder, inteligência, sentimentos em seres desprezados e manipulados como coisas. E a gente nessa vidinha medíocre de Homo sapiens, agindo como os donos do mundo, como se tudo existisse pra servir o homem até a gente se empanturrar e destruir tudo.

A moça do doudou.wordpress.com (uma artista plástica de NY. Nos conhecemos porque ela queria usar uma foto minha como inspiração para uma escultura… pena que o site saiu do ar), que divulguei no Virtude (o site que administro, divulgação do birdwatching). Ela contou que a inspiração para as esculturas surgiu pelo amor por uma jandaia-amarela que ela tinha.

Bom, isso era um problema, porque a jandaia-amarela é uma ave ameaçada de extinção, um dos grandes motivos é a caça para pet shops, e o Virtude faz divulgação ostensiva sobre o problema do tráfico de animais (que mata e tortura milhões de animais por ano. Se tiver curiosidade, pesquise no Google num dia em que você esteja se sentindo forte). E o tráfico existe porque as pessoas querem ter animais por perto. Expliquei a situação pra ela, ela me entendeu, e disse que ia me contar como a jandaia e a calopsita foram parar com ela.

Ela me mandou o texto abaixo. Eu li, e chorei muito, de ir gemer embaixo do chuveiro. Sim, porque sou chorona. E por uma mistura de sentimentos, por saber que na verdade, é muito gostoso conviver com um animal bonito e inteligente. Eles são fabulosos e, para algumas pessoas, trazem uma sensação de completude mais intensa do que com pessoas.

Meus conhecidos que odeiam os gaioleiros já me falaram que eu sou uma boboca ingênua, e que a maioria das pessoas que têm aves em gaiolas são gananciosos inescrupulosos. Mas eu sei que não. O Ibama tem 500 mil criadores de aves cadastrados, o que nos permite inferir milhões de brasileiros com milhões de aves em gaiola. Não são milhões de bandidos: são milhões de pessoas que há pelo menos 500 anos convivem com animais em gaiola. Temos esse amor egoísta, queremos o objeto da nossa paixão sempre a nosso dispor.

Chorei porque não queria viver num mundo em que, graças ao mercado negro, sou obrigada a fazer campanha ostensiva contra a convivência com qualquer animal silvestre. Mas eu sei, eu sinto, eu sei aqui no meu coração como a convivência com os animais, inclusive os silvestres e imprevisíveis, pode ser algo mágico.

Fui àquele passeio noturno do zoológico de São Paulo, e o momento mais incrível foi quando a coruja-orelhuda entrou no auditório, de surpresa, naquele voo absolutamente silencioso. Eu estava vendo os caras com as luvas, mas não esperava que o bicho fosse entrar ali, passar pela gente, tão perto. Converse com qualquer ornitólogo, pergunta quem não se entusiasma e brilha os olhos de poder chegar perto de uma ave de rapina de falcoaria. Quem não se sente encantado por conseguir se comunicar com outras espécies. Fazer um cafuné num psitacideo. Ser recebido com alegria pelo engaiolado.

Muitas pessoas sentem uma conexão de alma com os animais, mesmo os não domesticados. Poucas coisas são tão preciosas e verdadeiras como uma conexão de alma. Que mundo maldito e pervertido a gente vive em que o único jeito de acabar com o tráfico, a tortura e a morte dos animais silvestres é abrindo mão do convívio com eles.

Ah, não acho que a moça do doudou tenha que soltar as aves dela. Racionalmente, poderia dizer que o certo era ela não ter comprado, para não alimentar o mercado. Mas como ser humano, eu sei o que é compaixão, querer salvar pelo menos um. E por tudo que ela viveu com a primeira jandaia, tenho certeza de que era destino.

 

Segue o texto da doudou.wordpress.com:

“I will probably post this story at some point so I wrote it like one. I don’t want people thinking I condone keeping birds in cages because I don’t.

How I ended up with my birds:

I had never paid much attention to birds before I go Binki, my cockatiel. I would always notice a red cardinal because they were my Grandmother’s favorite but that is where my knowledge and interest in birds stopped.

Three years ago in February I had gone to Arthur Ave in the Bronx to get an espresso maker. There was only one bus back so I got stuck with 20 minutes to kill while I waited for it. On one side of the street there was a McDonald’s and on the other, a pet store. I had lost my dog to a sudden illness three years before and I missed having a pet, but I hated that pet stores that sold animals and I never wanted to contribute to that in any way, but it was better than McDonald’s. Maybe I could free a hamster or something. So I went in. In the back of the store there were a bunch of birdcages, that is when I first noticed Binki. She was in back of the store in a cage with at least ten other Cockatiels, she had climbed up the side of the cage and was staring at me. Won’t hurt to take a look I thought. The closer I got to the cage the more excited Binki got and when the employee opened the cage Binki lept out at me. I had never held a bird before, she was strange to me. She had scaly little feet that reminded me of a chicken. No, I thought, I’m not doing it, I’m not getting a bird, people that have birds are nuts and it’s cruel to have birds in cages. What am I going to do with a bird? I won’t do it. I had them put her back. As I wandered around the store occasionally my eyes would drift to the back where the birdcages were. Each and every time, I saw Binki looking at me, she always positioned herself to where she could see me no matter where I was in the store. I knew she wanted out. Who could blame her? OK, fine, I thought, I’ll get her and then find her a good home, anything has to be better than a pet store in the Bronx. So I got Bob (thought she was a boy at the time) and a cage and called a taxi to take us home.

Within 24 hours I knew Binki wasn’t going anywhere. No one would care for like I did. I couldn’t risk my little Binki ending up in a bad home! So I set about learning about Cockatiels. The more I got to know Binki the more I wanted to set her free so she could have the life she deserved. I let her fly free in the house but how could my apartment compare to the sky? It couldn’t and it made me sad that she was stuck inside. I started doing research on how to train Binki to forage so she could be set free. I even found a woman in Australia that rehabilitated birds and agreed to take Binki and set her free with a flock of Cockatiels, after Binki had learned to forage for food on her own. But Binki never took to foraging, she got confused if I moved her food dish more that a foot away. Slowly I realized Binki would never be able to be free, she was doomed to life in a cage.

I usually ordered Binki’s food online but once I forgot and Binki needed food. I stopped at a pet store to pick up a bag swearing I would avert my eyes and not look at the birds. That didn’t happen, I just had to see the birds once I went in. And there was my dou dou, the bird that would steal my heart. He was on the bottom shelf in a closet sized room in a 1 ft x 1 ft cage, he had lived like that for three years. dou dou was a beautiful sun conure and I fell in love with him instantly.

I taught Dou Dou to fly free. We would spend hours on my patio and Dou Dou would fly around and come back to me. I only had to show him something once and he understood – he was amazingly intelligent. He would snuggle on the sofa with me at night and watch movies, every morning he would fly to me and snuggle up under the pillow making kissing noises until I got up. Dou Dou raised my consciousness. He made me aware of all living creatures and just how alive and intelligent they are. It’s almost like I saw in black and white before dou dou and now I saw in color. Dou Dou changed my perception of life, permanently.

I lost Dou Dou one night, I hadn’t realized how quickly it had gotten dark when we stepped out onto the patio, a light flashed and scared him, he flew in circles trying to get back to me but he just couldn’t see well enough. He flew in circles to the ground and I never saw him again. I was devastated for months, still to this day when I think about it my heart breaks.

I have always sculpted but I never sculpted a bird until after Dou Dou came to live with me. He truly was the inspiration for my birds. I can’t help but think how Dou Dou deserved so much more from his little life, he should have been free from the start, to fly around with other birds and have the life a bird is meant to have. He didn’t deserve to be kept in a cage for three years on the bottom shelf in a closet and then have his life taken by the stupidity of his owner. He deserved so much more.

I have another sun conure now, Boo Boo, I found her when I was looking for Dou Dou, I never found her owner so she has stayed with me. It is almost impossible for a bird to be free if they are raised in captivity. So Binki and Boo Boo will spend their lives with me, and I will do the best I can for them but I know it’s not right for me to have them – they deserve so much more.”