zoo (short for zoological park or zoological garden, and also called a menagerie) is a facility in which animals are confined within enclosures, displayed to the public, and in which they may also be bred.

they often contain rescued or endangered animals that would not have been alive or even around if it was not for these zoos. I hear  animal rights  organizations hate zoos because like circus they are overcrowded and entertainment for people. the zoo here in the US is really clean, my boy's ex wife has a sister who works at one and it is always maintained and the animals are happy. we would never have known about other exotic animals or even be able to  save them  from being extinct  if it was not for zoos. also nobody talks about the safaris which is open range but still entertainment for people. is this not important ?  I just do not understand why Zoos are so bad. yes circuses are.I agree to that but zoos are helpful at least here in the US. as a New vegan I will like to understand why zoos are so bad. thank you. 

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I'm glad you posted this, because I would like to know also. I'm a new vegan as well and I completely agree with circuses being cruel and I'm against them, but zoos dont seem that type to me, but who knows? Same thing with Seaworld. The animals look happy and healthy to me, but who really knows what goes on behind doors?

I know of a few here in the UK that protect them and give them lots of space to roam.

Sadly, I know of a lot that don't. I know of zoo's that have been in trouble more than once for the way the staff treat them, there have even been undercover videos showing cruelty. They aren't given nearly enough space, not to mention some of the animals are left alone with no companions, toys, etc, and they aren't kept in the right environments - some have just concrete and a little bit of grass, some have no shelters.

I understand some are set up to protect endangered species, but that only means that those species' are going to spend the rest of their lives in that environment. It's very rare to see animals returned to the wild because their instincts have been bred out of them.

Here in the UK, I believe there is a law being put forward that bans wild animals from circus's :)

Sadly, in another news, the efforts of the BUAV to get the goverment to ban animal testing regarding household products isn't going as well.

ah I see. so perhaps it depends on where you live?

As if! I just wrote a massive reply and it didn't even post it all!

lol try again! I had so much more info in my last post but I can't remember what I wrote :(

I’m not saying all places are bad. It's a rightsThe UK definitely has some good ones, but not all places are up to standard, even though they are required by law to be.

Some places have trouble breeding animals in captivity, usually elephants, and some don’t have very long lives. A lot of zoos are just there to entertain little children and to make money, which reflects on the kind of staff they hire. I’ve heard of zoos where animal protection groups have had to step in. There’s nothing entertaining about seeing a monkey in a caged enclosure the size of my bathroom.

Obviously there are good ones though, places where animals have plenty of land and “faux-natural” habitat, plenty of room to run, and swing, or swim, around. Obviously they have health checks, and obviously a species is being preserved in the hopes of one day repopulating. It’s so nice to see happy animals and know they are safe. Some places will just throw the meat to the lions, where other places will hide the meat, or put it in hard-to-reach places, making the lions work for it and keeping those “hunter” instincts alive.

There are safari parks where animals can roam for miles and miles, completely cut off from predator animals and that I whole heatedly support.

But a part of me believes that we shouldn’t mess with the animal kingdom. Definitely not to the point where they are shipped off to live in cages.

Here’s a small, yet kinda interesting, article: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/may/04/ethicalliving.wil...

And another here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/ethics/animals/using/entertainment_1.shtml

I’m (hopefully) going to Uni in September and will get to intern at Chester Zoo, which is one of the best in the country.

I think it depends on the zoo. In the US for example, there are many terrible zoos, which are out to make a profit instead of protecting the animals. There was a huge issues recently regarding Elephants. Studies were conducted and showed that without a proper habitat and space, they were developing health issues and dying prematurely. Many zoos sent their elephants to sanctuaries or build better environments, but some refused and they still put their elephants down to this day for preventable problems. I think just in instances like this, I am very upset. I don't know much else about zoos to form an opinion; some could argue it's a prison, but like you said, some of these animals wouldn't be alive otherwise. It is truly sad to think that one day, people will HAVE to go to a zoo to engage with certain wildlife, because there will be no "room" for them elsewhere, as we overbreed.

hi lauen i love elephants n i hate circus as well

The article called "Whats wrong with Zoos" by Gary Yourofsky on this page is exactly what i agree with.


Instead of going to zoos and aquairiams im going to take my children snorkeling on coral reefs to farms for saved animals, get them involved with helping animals, go whale watching, on a safari etc.

It lets them experience different animals in cruelty free places.

I have a few vegan friends that really don't like zoo's. But, you have to visit a zoo to know if the animals are kept well and decide for yourself, I think. I went to a Dublin zoo, most of the enclosures were good but then we saw the seals. It was horrible, not the cleanliness, the act they made them perform for food. I thought it was totally disgusting. They would have one seal perform tricks for fish whilst the others watched, banging themselves against their individual cages, it was awful to see them in such distress. They may have just wanted food, but it was completely unnecessary. I actually cried when I saw them and had to walk away. Whats worse, the public watching didn't seem to care.

However, I regularly visit Chester zoo, one of the best in the UK because I do believe they don't just care for animals in the zoo, but also overseas they are campaigning against deforestation etc. 

So, it depends on your personal choice, don't let any other vegan/vegetarian let you feel guilty for visiting one :) 

Although there are indeed some wild animal parks that do their best, I disagree with the concept. To some extent, it is a necessary evil in that some of these places are the only ones that can help a species outside of its natural habitat. I don't go to zoos, though because it is very difficult to enjoy myself when I see an animal fenced in, even if there is room and space. I like what Christine said about taking her kids diving and such! I think this is the best way to see them. ECOTOURISM is the way to go; more expensive and more planning involved, but it is conscious vacationing, local populations benefit and have options other than to hunt or deforest...it is a real experience, one that is appropriate for veggie-conscious people.
Oh, and boycot ABSOLUTELY any parks that have dolphin or whale shows. I won't get into this, but chek out the movie "The Cove" (viewer discretion highly advised). It's pretty awful and traumatic, but it reveals a lot about this bloody industry and to some extent the ignorance of those who continue to visit Shamoo...like people who say they LOVE meat, really aren't aware of the industry they support. Peace to all.

Zoos or poachers... That is the choice in many cases. I choose the lesser evil. 


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