What do Zombies have to do with parrots, other than that the zombie meme appears to enter so many facets of our lives? For instance, Zombie parrots are everywhere, in games, on YouTube, in geocaches, and in art.
Why are they so popular? Maybe it has something to do with from where zombies originated – Haiti. They may have arose from that country's ties to Africa and voodoo, the slave trade, and perhaps even the indigenous people of this area, the Taino.
Rev. Meredith Garmon writes:
"Zombie stories originated as an expression of the fears of an enslaved and oppressed people. Zombies represent a loss of cognition, of independent thought – of rationality and of free will. As slavery and oppression led people to feel the loss of their minds, their freedom, their humanity, they told stories of zombies that represented what they felt like. It was a way for the enslaved and oppressed to depict what they feared they were becoming, and also a way to remind them that they weren’t quite zombies yet. Though their conditions deprived them, they could hold on to self-respect and dignity and refuse to be like zombies in the story. Zombies never get tired. For Haitian slaves, that was about the only kind of hell worse than the one they were living – nothing but constant toil, without out even the possibility of death as respite."
From Haiti, popular culture then took hold of these traditions, which resulted in a worldwide phenomenon, suggesting that a sense of oppression or disconnection haunts many individuals and cultures.
Many perhaps fear that they have become the living dead.
And perhaps they also fear that so have many other species on the planet. This includes parrots, the majority of whose species are endangered in the wild. Many individual parrots live in diminished situations far from their homelands with little ability to live out their evolved and natural behaviors.
Here at One Earth Conservation we want to turn that around. We don’t want humans to go mindlessly into the future or live by unquestioned societal practices that have basically “eaten away our cognitive function.” We want to bring life to ourselves and our parrots.
Towards that aim, Rev. Dr. LoraKim Joyner, Co-director of One Earth Conservation wrote a book, Prion, that is about how we might just set us all free. She set this hope and dream in the context of a novel in the genre of "zombie parrot, science fiction, apocalyptic pandemic, thriller." It looks like it is destined to be the best in its genre, as it is probably the only one.
We’ll be reading the first chapter at our fundraiser on October 30th. We won’t be raising any dead, but fun and funds, so we can bring true and vibrant life to parrots, and the people and ecosystems over which they fly.
Please join us. For more information and to get tickets, go here.
Don't hesitate - the decision to go is a no brainer!