Price of Life

A couple of Saturdays ago, my dad and I went out to get some breakfast bagel sandwiches. As we were waiting for our order we decided to go to the pet store next door. We looked at the kittens (briefly because my dad is allergic), the mice and guinea pigs (briefly because how long can one entertain himself by staring at a gerbil?) and then the birds. They were all given a lot of space to be free and chirp and what not. We looked at the parakeets and finches, but then something caught my eye.


I looked down at one of the prices and was stunned: $17.99 for a Zebra Finch. A relatively small bird, the Zebra Finch is a colorful bird that does not require a very specific environment and can be cared for easily…for only $17.99. If I wanted to, I could’ve walked out with a couple of Zebra Finches that day. I could’ve walked out with two breathing, fluttering lives that day. If I had “membership” for that pet store, I could’ve paid only $14.39 for each bird and I could’ve walked out with three!


Shouldn’t it cost more to buy a bird? Or am I just crazy? I don’t think I am. I understand that the pet store makes its money off of the cage, cleaning supplies, and food so it can afford to charge less for the Finch, but it seems careless to charge so little for a living entity. The price of the Finch is belittling, reckless, and rude.


Any old Joe with a couple of extra bucks (let’s throw in tax and call it about $15) could waltz into the store and, with membership, buy a Zebra Finch with the same money that he could buy:


1 Jazz JDC-230 1.3 MP Digital Camera or

About 14 items from anything on McDonald’s Dollar Menu or

1 Baseball from the Cardinals at Dodgers Game on 5-23-2008 or

1 Acrylic Display Case to show that beauty off (with some money to spare) or

3 copies of the Jillian Michaels’ Fitness Ultimatum 2010 Wii Game or

1 Miley Cyrus “Bangerz” CD or

1 US stamp from 1893 featuring George Sherman or

1/3 of a steak from Capital Grille



I hope that I make myself clear with this list. At only $15, a person could buy a bird without a second thought; it would be just another purchase. If the price was moved up to around $50, someone would realize that he is buying something of worth. I would feel better if the prices were higher and I’m sure the Zebra Finches would too.