Monday morning I got up to go for a short run before work. I have a nice 3 mile route that I enjoy and I set out to get it done. I ran the miles and did a short cool down walk the rest of the way home. I noticed a feather on the ground and walked past it. I didn’t get far before I turned around to pick it up. I have been finding feathers randomly the past few months and have gotten into the habit of picking them up when I see them. So I grabbed the feather and continued down the road. I didn’t make it far before I noticed another one. I grabbed it too and kept walking. Shortly after I noticed a bunch of feathers scattered throughout the grass and came to find an injured bird. I stopped and it tried to fly away from me but it wasn’t able to. It was hit by a car and I’m pretty sure that its leg was broken. I felt so bad. I picked it up and carried it back home.
When I got back I asked my mom what I could do to help it. We tried to take it to a small sanctuary near my house but they weren’t open and didn’t answer their phone. I brought it back home and put it inside an old guinea pig cage that I have. I was pressed for time because I had to go to work. I filled the cage with grass, bird food, and water and then left for work. While I was at work I was trying to figure out where I could take the bird to receive help. I live in a rural area so I knew that my options were limited. I found two places to take it and I chose the Animal Rescue League in Pittsburgh. I wasn’t able to take the bird to the rescue the day that I found it. It takes me over an hour to get there and I worked until 5 and they closed at 6. I was pretty stressed out and upset about having the bird overnight. I was pretty sure that it was healthy other than it’s leg but how do I know? I just didn’t want anything to happen to it within the night that could have been prevented if I would have been able to take it the day that I found it. There wasn’t anything I could do though so I just hoped for the best.
I woke up the next morning to check on it and it was still alive and seemed well, minus the hurt leg. I talked Darrin into going with me to take it to get help. He wasn’t too excited when I told him that I wanted to leave at 7 a.m. but he still joined me anyways which was nice. We went to the ARL and dropped the little guy off. They told me that I can call and check up on it in a few days which I’m obviously excited to do.
I talked a lot about the bird on the day that it happened. I was telling everyone that I found it and wanted to drive 90 minutes to get it help. A lot of people mentioned that they felt bad for the bird but “it’s just a bird” and “things like that happen.” Which I agree, things do happen. But when I came across the bird not once did I see it as “just a bird.” It’s a living being that was scared, hurt, and helpless. My first instinct was to help it regardless of how far I had to drive or what I had to do to make that happen.
In the past almost two years of being vegan I have seen myself develop into a more caring and compassionate person. I no longer have a disconnect from other beings that I had when I consumed animals. I now view all living things as equals and want to help them. I often find myself feeling as if I don’t do enough as a vegan to help the animals and the planet. I want to do more but I don’t know how or what to do. It’s a struggle but I just have to keep doing what I’m doing!
Prior to the finding of the bird I had no experience with helping wild animals. I’m grateful that I came across the bird and was able to help it. Now I will know what to do if/when something similar happens in the future. I can’t wait to call and check up on the little guy in a few days and update you all on how it’s doing as well. Have you ever found an injured wild animal? If so, tell me about it! I’d love to hear your stories!