Fear of the Animal Planet The Hidden History of Animal Resistance
I would dearly like to read this book myself but budget constraints mean that this is not going to happen anytime in the near future. All I have to go on is what others have written up to date and on that I have much to disagree upon.
I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that some animals do plan escapes and some do their planning well in advance. I equally have little doubt that of those who do escape that a return to the 'home' of their enclosure is the thing they want to do most after their adventure.
- Many years ago a zoo I was in was blown up. There was tremendous damage and many people were killed (happily not in the zoo). Within the zoo however the doors were blown off many animal enclosures and animals, probably more out of curiosity than anything escaped. We are not talking about ones and two's here but large nimbers of Gazelle, Deer, Antelope and Wild Sheep. This was in the middle of the night. All I could do was walk around the zoo and prop doors into place to prevent further egress. First light I returned and all the animals waited at their doors to be let back in.
- Another Zoo. We had lost a number of birds under mysterious circumstances. The deaths suggested the work of a Stoat as we had had problems in the past. On the fourth day we trapped the culprit. It was a Pine Marten. One of our Pine Martens. He had located a tiny hole in his cage and had been squeezing out through this every night and back in after he had had his fun. He was always there in the morning with a 'butter would not melt in my mouth' expression on his face.
The reviews I have read of this book appear to suggest in a typical Animal Rights manner that zoos are cruel.
Here are some quotes:
"Zoos, circuses and theme parks are the strategic hamlets of American’s long war against nature itself"
"Jason Hribal takes us behind the zoo scenes, the phoney exhibits, and cute displays to reveal an ugly economy of exploitation, international trafficking in exotic animals, over-work, cruelty in training, incessant and insolent teasing from the public. He chronicles the escapes, the assaults, the demand of food, and the refusals to reproduce that resulted. Here is"
"leaving the keepers, trainers, and showmen in shameful anonymity"
"Hribal argues persuasively that these escapes and attacks are deliberate, that the animals are acting with intent, that they are asserting their own desires for freedom"
Sorry but I don't agree. I am not saying that everything is rosy in the garden in every zoo. There are many that need closing but to collect the bad and condemn the rest is a typical Animal Rights approach.
I believe though the book will be a good and worthwhile read. Worthwhile because you will be aware just what sort of opinionated data that is going to be thrown your way in the not too distant future.
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