As I delve further into the field of animal medicine, I come across people who have vastly different views on certain animal-related establishments and issues. For example, some people are very supportive of zoos and the educational programs they put on, not to mention all the donations they make towards wildlife rehabilitation and conservation. Other people, however, condemn zoos for their small enclosures and lack of mental stimulation provided for the animals.
Personally, I feel that without zoos, many of us today would not be as fascinated with animal life as we are now. When we are children, zoos are often our first experience seeing non-cat or non-dog animals, and I feel passionately that it's important for us to instill that same sense of wonder into the next generations through means of those same venues. Zoos are also key figures in countless rare animal repopulation programs.
I am curious to know if any of you have any strong opinions on this matter as well?
I pretty much agree with you, I don't think it's asking too much to maintain captive animals considering the emotional and educational benefits to people, but only if the care standards are adequate. I also think it would be rather unusual not to preserve species in captivity even if we can't restate their populations in the wild, over some romantic idea that all animals 'belong' in the wild.
I think the concept of zoos began a long time ago when the world was still this vast uncharted place where the "alien" still existed right here on Earth.
It's not anymore. The global population has more than quadrupled since the first zoo appeared. Way more. Media has advanced to such degrees that what only a generation ago was a marvel on "Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom" is now really tired and boring footage of creatures we're all tired of seeing over and over on TV... really, isn't there anything new? (Yes, we are a jaded populace.)
As habitats are subsumed by human expansion, as climate change (whether man-made or just in keeping with the habits of the planet doing what it has always done) changes landscapes, the function of zoos changes.
Recreation becomes conservation. For those who give a crap. Many don't. Given a truly vital "us vs. them" scenario, we'll all get to that point eventually. (And, so you true animal lovers don't get started... you have a choice, you and your baby starve to death or you eat the last elephant on Earth. ... I know you'l say something like "I'd find another way." But, if it came down to watching your baby starve, you'd eat that elephant, so, you can make all the noise you want, but, you wouldn't watch your baby die to save an animal. And if you would... wow, you suck, I'm so glad you're not my mom.)
I personally hate nature documentaries despite surrounding most of my life's interests around nature, but I think they are still vastly popular. At least when you look at the recent HD docs trend that started with 'Planet Earth' and the latest one that has advertisements popping up in my face on popular websites is 'Frozen Planet'. And yeah, eating the last elephant on Earth, it's not like a single animal can reproduce anyway
Oh my goodness, Planet Earth brings me to tears almost every time because it is so beautiful. I agree, nature documentaries definitely have not gone out of style just yet. There are still many of us out there who love watching animals do their stuff
The documentaries I like are the ones that show the real weird stuff you haven't seen before. I saw one a while back that had these colorful little finch-sized birds that did the most hilarious little shuffle dance up and down tree limbs, and there was another bird on there, kind of like a pheasant as I recall, or a peacock, and it could do impressions of chainsaws and stuff like a parrot speaks. Neither were as "cool" as a lion or a giraffe, but THOSE were cool shows to me; I like learning about critters I haven't seen a zillion times. If I have to seen another lion eat another gazelle, or another penguin or killer whale show, I'm going to throw myself off a cliff.
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