User Tag List

Results 1 to 6 of 6

  1. #1

    Default Zoos and Animal Parks: What is the net result?

    Zoos and animal parks generally present one perspective and animal rights groups present an oppositional one as to whether or not captive animals are a conservation effort, or a destructive business. Is the net result positive or negative? Do they solve an existing problem or create the problem? This may be a "Which came first? The chicken or the egg?" discussion considering the collective decline of global animal habitat. Maybe they're a necessary evil... a stop-loss effort to buy time until we resolve some of our environmental and human population crises.

    This popped into my head after reading an article about OSHA's decision to investigate SeaWorld following several trainer deaths. The author's question is whether or not the trainers have a dangerous job. I think that's a no-brainer; they do. I think the better question to ask is if it's worth it. And maybe it is, maybe it isn't. I don't have concrete data on the populations of thousands of different species, aquatic and terrestrial, but I doubt "uniform flourishing" is the scientific community's conclusion.

    I also wonder whether people consider captive animals as a source of entertainment ethically acceptable? If we pretend for a moment that we lived in a homeostatic world where conservation was no longer an issue for animals, would we/could we still justify zoos, animal safaris, and oceanariums? Would standing behind "education" be feasible? Your thoughts.
    "The purpose of life is to be defeated by greater and greater things." - Rainer Maria Rilke

  2. #2
    4x9 cascadeco's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Enneagram
    4 so/sp
    Posts
    6,931

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by iwakar View Post
    I also wonder whether people consider captive animals as a source of entertainment ethically acceptable? If we pretend for a moment that we lived in a homeostatic world where conservation was no longer an issue for animals, would we/could we still justify zoos, animal safaris, and oceanariums? Would standing behind "education" be feasible? Your thoughts.
    I wish one of my good friends who has worked in the zoo industry for about 20 years was a forumer, as she'd have a lot more concrete/tangible data on what's really going on - both positives and negatives - and would have a better weigh-in on whether she views the positives as outweighing the negatives.

    I will say though that I think many of the more modern-day zoos are MUCH much better in terms of creating spaces and mental stimulus for the animals with an aim to keep them as 'happy' as possible, and animals in these spaces actually LOOK quite healthy. It'll always be difficult/impossible though to really be able to know, though, and we always run the danger of anthropomorphizing and thinking the animals actually care when in reality many of the species probably don't and are quite 'happy' that they are given food every day and are safe. They do have the benefit of not having the extreme physical hardships/pain of the elements and being hunted/starving/etc that they might have in the wild.

    Also the showcasing of animals - the 'zoo' aspect of zoos - is only a small piece of it. Many are quite active in conservation / working with parks in various countries around the world, giving money, etc, so many have a greater aim of the conservation element, and attempting to reintroduce species back into the wild. That sort of thing.

    But, yeah. It's not like I'm all excited and stuff to see these animals in a zoo. I much much prefer the 'real thing' - seeing things in the wild, and knowing that these animals are still thriving in the wild. I don't really LIKE the notion of all of them on display, BUT, I don't really see it as a wholly negative thing either, and I'm not against them (assuming the animals aren't literally in a cage and really are being mistreated -- which, unfortunately, still happens a lot I'm sure, but it's arguably not as bad in zoos, and is more of the private ownership that is far worse -- i.e. all of those sh*tty game parks in TX, the crazies in the U.S. who own exotic animals, the medicinal trade in Asia and cultures such as that, all of the illegal animal trading, etc... grr.....)

    Re. zoos - the other thing to keep in mind is that the vast majority of people will never ever have the opportunity to see any of these animals in real life. It's a select few - the wealthy minority of the world - who will be in a position to travel overseas and possibly see these animals 'in the wild' - in the glory of watching the cheetah or lion fell a gazelle and watching the gazelle in great pain - (I mean, that's the reality of the wild - the whole predaor/prey relationship).

    From my limited perspective/experience, having worked in a tiny invertebrate zoo/educational facility for a short stint, it IS pretty darn awesome to see little kids come in, and give classes, and watch their excitement as they view these live animals. I like to think that it gives them a glimpse of something else - a greater awareness of the world around them - and hopefully with some, it will put a seed in place for an appreciation/concern that will go forward with them into their adulthood, maybe one which would never have been placed had they not had the opportunity to go to a zoo or something like that when they were a kid. And so many of the kids who go to zoos/environmental education centers on school field trips do not have families who would be able to afford to do that on their own, or families who value that sort of thing. Esp. the kids who live in the inner city or who probably won't ever head out to a state park or national park for a family trip. These kids eat these zoos up - they get SO excited.
    "...On and on and on and on he strode, far out over the sands, singing wildly to the sea, crying to greet the advent of the life that had cried to him." - James Joyce

    My Photography and Watercolor Fine Art Prints!!! Cascade Colors Fine Art Prints
    https://docs.google.com/uc?export=do...Gd5N3NZZE52QjQ

  3. #3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by cascadeco View Post
    But, yeah. It's not like I'm all excited and stuff to see these animals in a zoo. I much much prefer the 'real thing' - seeing things in the wild, and knowing that these animals are still thriving in the wild. I don't really LIKE the notion of all of them on display, BUT, I don't really see it as a wholly negative thing either, and I'm not against them (assuming the animals aren't literally in a cage and really are being mistreated -- which, unfortunately, still happens a lot I'm sure, but it's arguably not as bad in zoos, and is more of the private ownership that is far worse -- i.e. all of those sh*tty game parks in TX, the crazies in the U.S. who own exotic animals, the medicinal trade in Asia and cultures such as that, all of the illegal animal trading, etc... grr.....)
    This sort of stuff angers me as well. There's no end of these sad cases featured on SPCA shows from cities around the country. For the life of me, I don't understand why legislators can't agree on how to close loopholes that allow Bubba Jones to own 14 African cats. That's how we end up with situations like this from earlier this year: Man Releases Exotic Animals, Kills Self

    An Ohio man released several captive exotic animals into the wild and subsequently committed suicide on Wednesday, in an incident that wildlife expert Jack Hanna described as “like Noah’s Ark wrecking.”

    ...

    At time of press, law officers had shot a total of 48 animals including 18 tigers, 9 lions, 8 lionesses, 3 mountain lions, 6 black bears, 2 grizzly bears and a baboon and buried them on the property, said Muskingum County Sheriff Matt Lutz. A gray wolf and monkey were still loose, and the monkey might possibly be carrying a virus, Lutz said. Six other animals were able to be contained, and were taken to the Columbus Zoo.
    As a result of this disaster, there was Exotic Animal Legislation Proposed in Ohio in November. I would like to see less reactive legislation, and more proactive legislation on stuff that seems like a no-brainer. Why did the State of Ohio not have functional legislation on exotic animals before this event? Was the jury still out on whether this was a good or bad idea? Did they really need to experience 56 wild animals galloping through a residential community to decide private ownership of large, exotic animals was a danger to the public? Ohio is not a stand-alone either.

    There are several states that have zero or minimal legislation concerning exotic pet ownership. This link provides a summary for each state's position on exotic pet ownership. It is not reassuring.

    Detailed Discussion of Exotic Pet Laws; informative article.
    "The purpose of life is to be defeated by greater and greater things." - Rainer Maria Rilke

  4. #4

    Default

    When a cage means freedom

    Animal rights advocates, and even many animal welfarists, decry the keeping of animals in zoos, especially the unregulated, private ones like Thompson’s. And I have to confess that when I see images of animals pacing in cages, mutilating themselves, being gawked at by human observers, or lining the road like they were in Zanesville, part of me agrees. My heart goes out to suffering zoo animals mostly, I think, because I feel fully identified with their precarious place in the world. But there are other truths that beg for consideration. The first is that we are losing our wild animals at a rate nearly a thousand times faster than background natural extinction. Global warming, climate change, deforestation, human development and human overpopulation are putting the lives of all wild animals in grave danger. Wild animals have no more room, no more resources. We humans have taken everything. We have doubled our population in 20 years and are now consuming not twice as much of the earth’s resources as we were in 1990, but 10 times as much.

    We should continue to pour resources into conservation, but at the very same time we need to recognize that the vast majority of these efforts are failing. Failing miserably. The harsh reality is that if we cannot find ways of accommodating and controlling wild animals in places like zoos and sanctuaries, we will lose them for good. Extinction really is forever.
    There are bad zoos out there; of that there is no question. Animals who are not treated well, lacking the kind of attention that will allow them to thrive. But the final truth worthy of consideration here is that there are really good zoos out there too. They do exist. Places where animals have enough room, good food, an existence where their “freedom” is somewhat curtailed in return for care, connection and belonging. “We Bought a Zoo” portrays one of those places. It is an experiment in learning how to live with and appreciate one another, not through dominance and power, but through attachment and connection.
    The author states that there are animal rights organizations with radical agendas, like Born Free that advocate ANY kind of animal captivity as tantamount to cruelty and that they should be "saved" (released) into their native habitat. --Also, that animals shouldn't be used for food, sundries, clothing, or any other human purpose, including education. I care about animals too, but we are long past the point where that idealism is even remotely tenable. Aren't we? Where would we release the animals to if we're annihilating their habitats at record rates?

    Plus... are tofu and various other dietary substitutes so nutritious that we can really afford to do away with all animal meatstuffs for everyone?
    Last edited by iwakar; 01-01-2012 at 09:37 PM. Reason: Plus
    "The purpose of life is to be defeated by greater and greater things." - Rainer Maria Rilke

  5. #5
    A window to the soul
    Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by iwakar View Post
    I also wonder whether people consider captive animals as a source of entertainment ethically acceptable?
    I just asked my pup how she rates being held captive for entertainment purposes and she gave it two paws up.

  6. #6
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    18,529
    When I was a little boy, my mother would take my sister and I to Taronga Park Zoo in Sydney. We would look at all the animals and ride on the elephant. And it was a happy family outing. But I feel no urge to go back by myself. I don't like to see the animals in cages. I think I anthropromorhize and think I wouldn't like to be in a cage. Also I know zoos were part of Colonialism where we exhibited all the exotic animals. Of course today they call it Conservation of Endangered Species. So Colonialism has morphed into Conservation. I dunno, I don't want to ride on the elephant anymore.

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 30
    Last Post: 11-10-2014, 01:22 AM
  2. What is the difference between INTP and INTJ?
    By Triglav in forum Myers-Briggs and Jungian Cognitive Functions
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 10-26-2009, 03:25 PM
  3. Net-worth and self-worth: what is difference?
    By coberst in forum Philosophy and Spirituality
    Replies: 22
    Last Post: 09-11-2009, 06:29 AM
  4. [ENFJ] What is the difference between ENTJ and ENFJ?
    By yenom in forum The NF Idyllic (ENFP, INFP, ENFJ, INFJ)
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 03-28-2009, 07:24 PM
  5. Evaluating sources of science facts and what is the current scientific viewpoint
    By ygolo in forum Science, Technology, and Future Tech
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 08-14-2008, 08:00 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Single Sign On provided by vBSSO