It is not based on a universal morality. If a husband who is not bothered by them acquiesces to clean them to make dating men in uniform wife happy, he does so as a favour to her. Not because her opinion is right and his is not.
If you know she takes pride in keeping a clean house, why not acquiesce out of respect. This is the most important and basic thing I can say. Respect does not go one way. If she realizes that her husband needs down time, and does not see the socks on the floor as a problem, she should realize that getting on his back to clean them is creating a problem where none need exist, because she is prioritizing her clean house over her marital happiness.
Her desire for cleanliness is not a moral imperative to which her husband must acquiesce in an argument the two may have.
Back at the Ponderosa, Joe has a business deal at Fort Bragg and Ben is counting on him to take care of the deal for him. Jamie expresses he would rather go with Joe, but he has his homework, school and Ben to answer to. Joe sets out on a brown horse and makes camp at night. A figure approaches from beyond the campfire and it's Tanner.
Joe assumes he's in the Army when his eyes spot the Army saddlebags on the horse Tanner has stolen. Joe offers him dinner and as the two converse, they get into an argument about man killing for sport and animals killing only for food.
The debate ends and they both say good night, although Tanner is having flashbacks in his mind to his being sentenced to life at the asylum. Joe hears him and asks Tanner is anything is wrong, and he says no and Tanner bids him a dating men in uniform night's sleep once more. Joe awakens at sunrise the next morning to find his horse and supplies have vanished and he is all alone.
Maybe it is as simple as a deterrent to keep the pests and other critters out. Much like putting an owl on your roof to keep pigeons away. Some municipalities use hawks or kites to keep pest or flock birds from roosting. All good theories,, also pots with buffalo and elk on them were probably way heavier than ones with birds.
This is all speculation, but It seems logical that birds would represent a higher spiritual domain. They are not earth-bound, they migrate from other places and appear in different seasons, bringing pleasing sounds.
They move with grace through the spaciousness of the sky. And, as Emerson wrote: So perhaps a culture that paints birds on pots, which hold precious water and food, represents one that recognizes such naturalness and indescribable beauty.