II had the most marvelous day.  I hiked with friends on a beautiful, sunny and improbably 40 degree January day in St. Paul.

But…

We were near a nature center that has a raptor exhibit for educational purposes, and keeps birds that “are permanently injured or otherwise unable to be released back into the wild.”

We came upon a building that housed them, a type exhibit I had not seen before.   I stood and watched the bald eagle poorly depicted in this photo, neeaglever having seen one up close before.  It was a roomy place and that reddish dot is a warming lamp.  The eagle had a tether attached to his ankle, impeding his efforts to fly around his kennel other than to get on the perch with the lamp.  It was a depressing scene.  He would lift into his majestic wingspan only to get as far as maybe a foot above the perch.

Whatever keeps him from the wild, I question this miserable convalescence for a creature of flight as a reasonable alternative.  Who are we to intervene in this way?

My views on life center around quality and not quantity, and for humans choice is a major component of quality.  When we intervene for an animal that cannot voice such preference, just what are we doing?

My thoughts lingered on that sight today and this afternoon I heard the story at the link below (free listen) about Rayya Elias in the last year of her life, and her intense need to maintain what choices she could.  It’s poignant, raw and funny as hell.  I highly recommend a listen.

“You do not get to script this.”

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-moth/id275699983?mt=2&i=1000427007073#

 

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