Do the benefits of Zoos justify keeping animals in captivity?
Yes I think they do. Keeping animals in captivity isn't THAT horrible is it? People keep imagining how they would feel in a cage, but the essential flaw in that thinking is that these species aren't human, and do not possess that level of conciseness.
I have to admit that this is something I struggle with. Keeping an animal in a cage for our enjoyment. I have absolutely loved going to zoos. The Griffith Park, Sacramento Zoo, the one in Fort Wayne. All wonderful experiences and at the time very cheap entertainment.
As I got older I started to wonder about how right it is.
And animals do not possess our level of consciousness but they do experience depression. Watch a tiger in a small cage endlessly and mindlessly pacing the same exact route. Because they don't experience the same thought processes we do, doesn't necessarily justify taking them from the environment in which they are meant to live for our entertainment.
so I am torn on the subject.
Yes, I think so. First of all, most of the animals kept in zoos where born in captivity. They have lived their whole lives in captivity, don't know what it's like to be in the wild, and probably wouldn't survive on their own if set free. Some animals in zoos end up there after being rescued, and would have otherwise died if left in the wild.
Secondly, many of the species kept in zoos, even if they could survive on their own in the wild, don't have much of an environment to go back too now thanks to humans. Eventually, probably the only place some species will be able to survive is in captivity. Personally I'd rather see species survive in captivity than go completely extinct.
Not all zoos are created equal, but as long as a zoo takes proper care of it's animals than I do believe that the benefits they provide, both to humans and to the animals individually and as a species, justifies keeping the animals in captivity.
What is with all of these anti-zoo conversations around here? Is Hubpages a place for zoo-hating moms to congregate? Seriously, I feel weird being here sometimes.
The benefits of zoos far outweigh any negative repercussions that could arise from captive animals. I honestly cannot list them all. But let's consider for a moment that in many animals' native homes, they not only have to battle for their lives every day by eating enough food just to sustain themselves while also not being eaten by something else, they also have to traverse busy roads, dodge bullets from poachers or legal hunters, and try their luck raising a family in an increasingly diminishing territory. Even one injury from a feral dog, clip from a car's bumper, or attack by a rival or predator could result in lowered immune systems which could lead to nasty infections and a slow, but inevitable death. All of this isn't even mentioning parasites such as worms, mites, and ticks, which can also become rampant if an animal's immune system dips below a certain threshold from as simple a reason as stress. Animals must always be in on their A-game, they always have to be ready to run the fastest, fight the hardest, and eat the right foods. If they fall behind, they're liable to be picked off by predators, disease, etc. Animals are often romanticized as being "natural" and "free" in the wilderness, but in actuality they are literally fighting for their lives with everything that they do.
Do we see this kind of struggle in appropriately managed zoos? No. We do not. It is unfair to assume that all animals dream of being free and wild. Why would anyone want to be hunted instead of cared for? Anthropomorphizing aside, animals in captivity are safe, and keeping animals safe is good.
Zoos also imprint on young generations. They imprinted on me, and they still do today. They teach children that there is a vast array of multi-colored wonders of all different shapes and sizes waiting for us to discover, explore, and learn about. There are other living creatures we share our lives with, and zoos allow up-close encounters with these creatures. A zoo can be vastly more engaging than a documentary, or even when you're looking at an animal 1 mile away through binoculars. At a zoo, an animal can look at YOU, smell YOU, sometimes even touch YOU. It's in real time and it can be very humbling to see these rare creatures up close.
In addition to the satisfaction it may bring humans, zoos are largely volunteer-run organizations, and they donate or run programs such as Amphibian Ark and various Species Survival Plans.
I also feel as though my comments are getting voted down solely for my opinion that doesn't conform to some others' here. No matter how much factual evidence I present I receive hostility for my position. It discourages me from answering questions.
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