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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Polly wants a cracker... » » Ethics of Dyeing Doves (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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sperris
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From my experiences the only thing the PETA folks will do is just keep asking questions and they get soooooooo annoying. Its just constantly "why do you have to color your birds", well there are effects in my act that are enhanced by colored birds. really it is totally safe uses a kind of food color that you feed to your kids and even you eat. "yes but why do you have to color them" *repeat same sentence above* "why are the doves colored though?" *repeat same sentence above* "how do you color them, is that tye die?" *repeat same sencence above* "So why do you feel you need to color your doves" -And it just goes on and on like that, you can never win with them or prove them wrong. They way I usually close the conversation is by saying something to the effect of how horse trainers have their horses, go to horse shows and that's how they make money. This is what I love doing, I've raised these birds since they were mere months old and most have lived past a dove's expected live span. etc. I just give them positives saying how they go everywhere with me...in the plane...fresh water...etc. In the eight years I've been doing doves I have only had two incidents where people have actually come up to me. You just have to keep ensuring them that the doves are fine and healthy, if they weren't -as Dave said above- they'd be dead already. If done properly, coloring the doves won't hurt them at all. Just be careful of putting two doves of different colors together because the coloring can smudge onto the other bird. If you have a yellow bird and a blue bird together, the yellow bird will start turning a green tint.

sperris
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JustinDavid
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Very good points. I haven't been working with doves as long as you guys, so I've never experienced anyone questioning me about my colored doves.

daffydoug, have you tried coloring them yet?

Justin
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Ron Reid
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Hello:

Personally, I agree with Irene (and the late Bill) Larsen who say that it really is a shame when magicians choose to color their birds. White doves are so beautiful, it's really a shame to change them. It is also my understanding that the dyes are harmful to the doves - I remember an article about this subject by Irene and/or Bill in an old Genii. That by itself should be reason-enough not to color them.

Ron
sperris
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That's okay that you don't know me. Its okay that you haven't heard of me either because I don't think either of those issues has an effect on how I color my birds nor my decision about PETA. I don't expect you to know me or hear of me either so no worries, I haven't heard of you either. However I do color my birds the same way as some of the people you have heard of and would maybe like to know. I'd be more worried about some of the so-called Pro's who mis-treat their birds and parrots and produce them half naked because they pull their feathers from neglect than me painting a little food coloring on my birds. Yeah I'm only 19 but I've seen enough to know to stay away from too much magic. I've done my homework, I've read all the books and seen all the crappy videos. I like freaking broke tapes of Channing and Shimada and Cardini as I was growing up, those were who I looked up to not these new whip em' out as fast as you can on invisible harness folk. What you're saying to me is like me saying you don't like my purple hair and colored birds. But you're old so I'll take that into account.

sperris
[update/edit]...well now that Ron edited his post and took out a paragraph about me and womach ignore about half of what I posted earlier.
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Dave Scribner
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If you're coloring your birds just to color them, then I tend to agree with "what's the point". But if you color them to blend into your act then that's a good thing. Greg Frewin juggles yellow tennis balls then throws them to the ground changing them to yellow doves. It would look strange to change them into white doves now wouldn't it?

Jason Byrne opens a ball of yellow playdough to produce a yellow bird. Again, it fits with the act.
Food coloring in just that. Food coloring. We eat food everyday that has been colored and it doesn't have a negative effect on us and it doesn't harm the birds either.

Look at General Grant. I don't think I've ever seen him produce a white dove. They're all colored and he has been doing this for a loooong time.

As David said, PETA is just another organization that happens to be a pain in the butt and I wouldn't worry about them. I know my birds are healthy and well cared for and to me, that's all that's necessary.
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Bob Sanders
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You could ask the folks from PETA if they have any piercings or tattoos. Did they cut off their dog’s tail or trim his ears. People dock lambs’ tails, dehorn cattle, declaw cats and debeak baby chicks. We don’t do any of those things to stage animals. We don’t kill our rabbits testing cosmetics either. Should we catch up with the others? I even quit using my Flat Rabbit.

OK Dan, it’s time for dove to pizza! Pass samples out to the audience.

I ran for a statewide office years ago. I will never forget a long day in Birmingham where an irate woman about eight months pregnant relentlessly blew her killing cigarette smoke in my face and demanded to know if I planned to make the public utilities take a stand on abortion. Where do we get these people?

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sperris
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Dove to pizza -hold the feathers is more like it. I'm just kidding Uncle Bob, well at least one person doesn't think I'm a "cocky, foolish, punk, who only cares about himself and doesn't treat his doves very well young man". ...I think that covered everything. That's messed up when you have to quit using a flat rabbit prop and you can get away with using the head chopper in a family show...
sperris
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Bob Sanders
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Magic life is easy and fun. We leave people happy and entertained. Have you ever lived as a rodeo clown or contestant and had these people ask you if running from bulls hurts them? They ask! Rodeo bulls lead a good life too. It is not rare that the bullfighter is also in charge of security and even sleeps in the bullpen after the shows to protect the bulls from drunks and other "visitors". The only part an audience ever sees is the clown protecting the cowboy from the bull. He does both.

I never dyed a bull, but I doubt it would hurt him. The need was just never there. My favorite uncle was a rodeo producer. He taught me to protect bulls and cowboys because they were both sacred. We also enjoyed good steaks and bucking bulls that were hard to ride. Balance is an important concept.

Abusing doves or bulls or cowboys or children rank about the same to me. My doves are not dyed. It doesn’t fit my act. However, if it did fit my act to dye doves or bulls, I would do it unless it harmed the animal. I don’t believe the animal is hurt. I see more show animals hurt by neglect than attention. Accidents do happen. But I firmly believe that a dyed bird in safe hands is better off than a naturally colored bird in careless, abusive, or panicky hands. Ethically, there are people in our business that shouldn’t be allowed to use animals. I don’t think color has much to do with it. It is just a costume. I think we are majoring in the minors. That might also be translated into the notion that we are minoring in the majors.

As has been pointed out before, it is commendable that the question is asked and that the health and safety of the dove is considered. There is no evidence that I have ever seen that shows any indication that properly dyed doves suffer for health or safety because they have been colored. It does divert time, energy and other assets. Those are not ethically questioned. There may be states where it is simply against the law. Law and ethics are not the same thing.

Some good points have been raised. What difference does it make to the audience? Audiences are different. What fits my audience may not fit yours. A casino audience is different from a trade show audience and a school audience. The audiences at magic competitions are very different from lay audiences.

Dan is right. I don’t think he has ever seen me work. (That lucky soul! There are tapes but nothing should be commercially available.) I dropped the flat rabbit years ago but I do a guillotine segment in the two-hour show. I even use a power saw to saw someone in half. My audiences are more accepting of one than the other. Perhaps it because I show the human is unharmed at the end but the rabbit was simply gone. Maybe transpositions are more puzzling to the audience than a head chopping or sawing in half. But the decision was made because of the reactions of those buying the tickets. In shows that have a lot of children in the audience, I make sure that they see that the vanished birds are alive and well at the end of the show.

People who know very little about animals or magic are free to jump to erroneous conclusions, and as entertainers, we have to live with them. Why should it surprise us that they can misinterpret something? We depend on it!

Bob (and Uncle Bob to some)

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g0thike
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A PETA person first confronted me about 5 years ago. So I realized, if I can’t beat them, might as well join them. I am a member of PETA for convince, I have a nice PETA card to pull out if I get confronted by animal rights activists. I would not call myself even an active member since I don’t their strong viewpoints or attend their meetings. I just keep my birds and animals safe and happy.

But even though I have a PETA card, some PETA people still confronted me. But I had a great response. I just asked them, “Do you eat meat?” and they all said, “Yes”. So I replied, “I am Vegan, I don’t eat meat or consume animal products because of my love and caring for animals. You people disgust me, you are not animal rights activists, and you are hypocrites”. They all looked stunned and said “What?” and I replied again, “Cows, pigs, chickens are animals and you are eating them. You are supporting the cruelty by the meat industry. You are wannabe animal rights activists and hypocrites, get away from me before I throw up”.

They left me alone after I started attacking them even more. I actually made one of the ladies cry. Then I finished the show, packed up and I enjoyed a steak dinner at the Sizzler.

G0THIKE
Mr. Muggle
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Quote:
On 2004-02-10 18:19, sperris wrote:
I have discussed the idea of coloring doves with other dove magicians and what colors work best and look good, etc. It is nearly impossible to get a multi colored dove, although it has been done, it usually -in my honest opinion- looks like crap.



I was in a pet store the other day, looking at exotic birds. I found a small Mexican parrot, just a bit larger than my dove. He had 3 colors in all, with the primary color being a green body.

Reading your post, have you ever heard of anyone attempting to make their dove look like a parrot? I know this sound's silly, but I was talking with a friend about coloring birds just before seeing the parrot. The color pattern appeared to look really easy to duplicate, with the head and chest only being different colors.

I neither have the knowledge, or the experience at dying birds. I'm just curious, and looking for more information.

Nothing on coloring doves is found in my library.

MM
"Now you're looking for the secret... but you won't find it because you're not really looking. You don't really want to know the secret... You want to be fooled." - The Prestige (2006)
sperris
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Yes, I know of one person who told me he tried to color his doves to look like a blue and gold macaw. I knew it wouldn't work since when you color a bird it isn't really permanent. It rubs off and smudges. As I guessed it he later told me it didn't work because the colors bled into each other and turned the bird brownish/green. Something people don't take into consideration when they color their doves is the way colors work when mixed with each other as well as when diluted or saturated. They just go out and try to color their doves with only doing a half-hearted attempt at researching. Then their birds look terrible, but they perform with them anyway, and laymen see them, which can send a bad message. ...just my thoughts anyway

sperris
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Mr. Muggle
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Thanks Sperris. Im not going to color my birds, but was interested in the topic.

MM
"Now you're looking for the secret... but you won't find it because you're not really looking. You don't really want to know the secret... You want to be fooled." - The Prestige (2006)
Michael Bourada
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I always thought that if you have a dove act with music, (that is somewhat up-tempo) then color could be used but if you are doing the classical magic, then I wouldn't worry color. And as for those annoying orgs. who bug you about animal respect, tell them that this is your living and they are your source of income, they are like your own children and are treated fairly and with respect. As a matter of fact you don't have to tell them anything, they are not the police.


-Michael Bourada

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