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All zoos should close
October 5, 2021
As a kid, my family adored the zoo. We would go every weekend and buy zoo passes every year. But as I got older, it got harder to ignore that twisting feeling in my stomach very time I passed an animal in an enclosure or saw the sad, bored expressions on their faces.
I now firmly believe because of my experiences that zoos are unethical and misguided. Zoos are advertised as beneficial for their animals and educational for children, but the bad outweighs the good in most cases, and there are better ways to achieve those goals.
In reality, zoos are for profit businesses. The animals that live in enclosures are used to make money, and their purpose is to be human entertainment. And though some animals are protected inside said zoos because of injury or scarcity, conservatories can do the same without putting these animals on display for the public.
Animals do not exist to be human entertainment. The idea that they are is a self-centered, dangerous view. It’s not uncommon for animals to show signs of depression inside their zoo spaces, and restoration into their habitats isn’t always possible after they’ve lived in zoo environments. Allowing zoos to continue to operate creates this quality of life for many zoo animals and furthers the exploitation of animal life.
Zoo advocates may argue that zoos are educational and bring in more donations for conservation efforts. While these are both true, there again is no reason a national park couldn’t achieve the same things.
The difference between national parks and zoos is that national parks let the animals wander in their own ecosystem. They aren’t showcased, people may or may not stumble across them. Memberships and admission still cost money, but humans still get similar interaction, while animals actually live in their habitats. This at least is a better alternative.
Obviously zoos aren’t actually necessary to protect animals, they exist for human enjoyment. There are ways to conserve species and teach humans about them that aren’t so negative to their well-beings.
People have to learn to accept that animals are not objects they have a right to. They are their own creatures, and all zoos should close because of it.