I assume all animals and birds on Earth poop. It seems obvious that what goes in, must in some way, shape, or form, go out. Certainly that is true of my two parrots, Augustus and Mr. Squeaky. Each poops. But their poops are quite different.
Augustus, a Quaker Parrot, age 23 (or so), is an old guy smack in the middle in his twilight years. Mr. Squeaky, a Green-Cheeked Conure, is a youngster at about nine years old.
They get along, mostly, as Squeaky has taken to grooming Augustus. You’ve never seen a groomer like Squeaky. He should open a salon. Augustus looks great; he’s clean and glowing.
Their cages are right next to each other in my office. They each like to go into the other’s cage and eat his food even though the food is exactly the same. But here’s the rub: their poops are radically different. How can that be? Same food in; different poop out.
My wife, the Beautiful AP, and I have labeled Augustus a stealth pooper. That’s because whenever he flies and lands somewhere he plops out a big wet white poop. If he lands on your shoulder, plop; your arm, plop; the chair or couch, plop; the top of his cage plop, on top of your head, plop. He’s been this way all his life. My wife trails him and cleans up after him. I do too.
Mr. Squeaky is different. He is a shy pooper. In the morning as his cage is being cleaned, AP has to coax him to poop by saying, “Where’s that big poop? Big poop. Come on, big poop!” He waits until the Beautiful AP turns her back on him before he goes, then gets positive reinforcement. “Oh, look at that big poop! That’s a good bird.”
Squeaky is a clean pooper. When he flies around the house, he doesn’t plop whenever and wherever he lands. He holds it in and just goes off the top of his cage onto the floor. He wasn’t trained to do this. It’s just his preference. Actually, birds in the wild like to keep their nests clean, so they aim to poop outside the nest.
We humans have pooped too, but our wastes are of all kinds with devastating impacts. We have dumped so much non-biodegradable plastics in landfills and oceans that we’ve created mountains on land and islands in the ocean composed of this harmful product of human genius.
We have carcinogenic chemicals sloshing in the water and floating through the air, along with industrial wastes flowing in rivers; plus lead and other heavy metals such as arsenic, cadmium, chromium, copper, nickel and mercury; along with nitrates, pesticides, variously tainted sediments—all of these with pathogens from our own personal plops churning in our beach waters.
We, meaning you and me and humanity, have a choice. We can be Augustus, despoiling everywhere we are and everywhere we land; or we can be Squeaky, relatively clean and contained.
Frank Scoblete’s web site is www.frankscoblete.com. His books are available on Amazon.com, Barnes and Nobel, Kindle, e-books and at bookstores.