Connect with vegetarian and vegan friends from all over the world.
Hey everyone,how do you all feel about zoos? I'm not sure where I stand on the issue... I'll give them credit for helping endangered species,but the whole idea of a zoo is strange to me and I don't like going to them. I wouldn't want to be stared at while I eat,so why would a gorilla? Just an opinion,though. Maybe they do more good then I realize.
I'm not a fan of zoos. Most animals placed in zoos are NOT endangered, they are a form of entertainment mostly and a means of making money. And I know none of which here in the UK that are bred to be released back into the wild. Conservation is a completely different matter all together, and there are rehabilitation programmes out there for animals but I'm pretty sure they don't occur in zoos. A great place to support or visit over here is Aspinall, because all animals are released back into the wild and are on an official breeding programme, to actually save endangered species.
'Even though there are thousands of endangered species, zoos have only been able to return about 16 species to the wild with varying level of success. Most zoo animals released in the wild don't survive. This is because zoos don't provide the right environment for a successful captive breeding project. The animals would need to live in habitats resembling their natural ones, especially in terms of climate and fauna. The animals would also need to be raised with minimal human contact and in populations large enough to provide a natural social balance and a suitable gene pool'
http://www.veganpeace.com/animal_cruelty/zoos.htm it's a great website I've found for a general overlook on zoos.
'Many zoo animals are kept to attract visitors and their money. This is often passed off as 'conservation', but several animals have larger populations in zoos than in the wild. For example, there are 15,000 privately owned tigers in the USA. There are only a few thousand tigers in the wild. As far as I know, the only attempt to introduce captive tigers in the wild is taking place in South Africa. It is very difficult and expensive to train tigers to live in the wild, therefore most captive tigers are being kept to make money, rather than to save wild populations.'
I'm not one to preach but there have been a number of people on here who think that zoos are OK cause they proclaim to be helping endangered species. If anything they cause more harm to the animals than what would occur when they are in the wild. Just like the meat and dairy industry state that what they do is good for you, its the same with zoos 'we only have them here, to help them' its a farce.
A zoo isn't far off from a circus. Animals are gawped at, kept in horrible environments, lots of cases have been made apparent where animals have been beaten, sometimes made to entertain and suffer severe stress. No matter how big that water tank is, it doesn't even compare to the vastness of the sea and no matter how big that space is, it isn't Africa.
Thank you for the links! Very informative!
And to further back what I've said, I've just looked on a zoo's website here in the UK 'Twycross zoo'
'Whilst we must fight to keep bonobos in their wild habitat in the DRC we have also acknowledged that we must keep a captive population of bonobos as a back up to the wild population. Twycross Zoo is the only place in the UK you can see bonobos. They live in a happy, healthy family group and are part of the global breeding programme that maintains genetic diversity.'
They must keep a back up to the wild population lol. These animals would never survive in the wild if placed there, so whats the point?
All the website has talked about is endangered species that are being affected around the world, no where have they stated that they help put the animals which are kept in the zoo back into the wild. They claim some of the money they make is put into some conservation efforts abroad, which were not set up by them. This is obviously to appease the public so that some conservation is taking place somewhere. Fact is, if they wanted to help animals they would have nature reserves in the actual animals habitats. They have the money to do it so why not.
I am not sure that other animals have the same perspective we have however i do have a freind who works at a primate refuge and according to that person "primates are very cognizant, sensitive and aware. They have their own set of social rules and they do not like to be stared at. She also told me that primates feelings do get hurt and so on and so on. All my pets are rescues, taken from enviroments that no longer wanted them or needed them or could handle them. I do not seek pets, pets seek me (or better yet they seek survival and i am the kind hearted thing th universe provided).
I think it is important when discussing ethics that we apply a simple truth. The truth i am speaking of is that " there are pros and cons in any debate".
Zoos, circuses, rodeos, puppy mills and the like depend on money to operate. Because money is the priority that would make everything else not the priority. How would you like to be "not the priority. ,...You see where i am going. That is why, in my opinion, a "refuge" is the only legitimate haven for animals that can no longer survive in the wild. now let's flip it.
Because of the fact that the "animal for entertainment industry" is popular and entertaining,.. because of that, "animal exploitation is funded, and it is then studied and and then it is regarded. In my opinion, unless we are broken individuals, we as humans have a natural inclination to protect life because "all of life" is a personification of our own and this commonality is an evocation to empathy.
Through the years Sea Worlds and circuses (that is what Sea World is lol) these industries keep evolving more and more to the mindfulness of life. We collectively no longer tolerate Hollywood killing horses to make a western. We as a country no longer are okay with "dog fighting". I have never heard a woman or a man say " I like this deodorant because of it's exstensive "animal teating". or "It's a good hairspray but i am concerned that it was never sprayed in a rabbits eyes.
We are evolving right along side the rest of all other setient beings. How do i feel about zoos?? If the zoo is dedicate to the preservation of life and the education of our children then "i'm cool with that". I like when the caretakers of animals are mindful and intuitive. now If the zoo is dedicated to revenue first and would put the budget before the well being of the beings within it's fences then "i am not cool with that".
Zoos are a place of research and therefore a place of the gathering of knowledge and as well perhaps a place of expoitation. Our children get close to things at the zoo that they would otherwise not be able to get close too realistically . Zoos can be a place of education. Zoos may inspire someone to realize the sacred nature of life. Zoos could be a refuge for animals who could not otherwise survive in the wild or at someone's house.
Whilst I agree with most of what you say. Knowledge can be attained by documentaries and books, if a person can't afford to see an animal in its habitat why should it be placed behind bars?
The pros in anything used to exploit animals is usually for the people, the cons are always at the animals expense.
Let's see......."The pros in anything used to exploit animals is usually for the people, the cons are always at the animals expense." hmmmmm I like that condensed logic Francesca_Bee and i agree with you.
I agree with the not wanting to be stared at all the time like....some animal on display (okay, there really is no better comparison I guess). I think a lot of zoos do their best with what they have, though, in terms of public education as well as conservation and habitat re-creation, at least from the US zoos I've been to. Obviously, some zoos do better than others because some zoos have benefactors with deeper pockets than others. This doesn't take away from the fact that a lot of people don't read those signs or don't donate or just don't care enough to change their way of thinking and/or lifestyle. I know there are several animal species that can only be found in zoos now, so, in regards to that I'm grateful for them. But again, I'm kind of like you. I'm not sure where my stance is on them....
II think that i can say my stand is " Unless it is a rescue situation, the purpose of keeping of animals is really for the persons' desire and is not mindful of the animals true nature"
(i had to copy, delete, edit and repost comment because spelling purpose as pupose was really bothering me,... lol moving to OCD Vegan Town)
I´ve seen a docomentary about zoos in Germany and I have to admit that it really shocked me. Before that moment I actually liked zoos because I had a kind of naive believe in the good advertisment like they rescue endangered species. Now after watching it I decied never to visit a zoo again.
If I went to a zoo I often thougt things like: Oh the tiger is walking in circles, wow it always shakes its head or things like that. I´m not good at describing it, but I hope you can imagine what I´m describing. In this documentary they explained, that all these behaviour is not normal. They are diseases (called stereotyps I think). Every zoo I visited showed me animals that accted like this in a way and as I now know that this means all animals were ill in a way, was a big shock.
Another point is that in freedom e.g. a polar bear swims hundereds of meters per day and it´s so beautifull to watch these amazing aminals doing this (like e.g. in a documentary), but if you now imagine that they may be able to swim 10 meters or less at once it makes me really sad - and guilty. Zoos can only exist because people like I didn´t know what is done to the animals and I personally think this critics should be much louder.
At last there was an example (which was I guess an extreme exeption) where they had elefants and rhinos in a zoo. The elefant enclosure was so small that they could only have one single elefant which is actually forbidden because they live in groups. The zoo wanted to close the elefant enclosure, give the elefant to another zoo with more space and other elefants and in addition increase the size of the rhino enclosure. But - and that´s really shocking - the city didn´t allow this, because the elefant is one of the biggest attraction of the zoo...
Of course as I mentioned this is an exeption, but I think if such things happen in a highly developed country like Germany, where there is actually a good awareness for animals, this might be the case everywhere. The public just does not know it.
I think you guys just made me realise that i no longer like zoos. And thank you, :)
I think wild animals in captivity is all kinds of wrong. they need to be in their natural habitats out in the wild...