Essay on Are Zoos Necessary
3326 Words14 Pages
Are Zoos Necessary
As a child I can remember when I misbehaved the absolute worst punishment my parents could inflict: I would be banished to my bedroom, the length of time depending on the seriousness of the "crime." It seemed that every possible want and desire I had while being punished was related to an activity just outside the confines of that bedroom. The hours seemed like days and the time spent "locked" in my room was unbearable. When I look back on those "torturous" days of my childhood, I can't believe what the big deal was. If I hadn't been punished, most likely I probably would have spent my free time in my bedroom anyway. Who was I kidding, locked in a room with a TV set, all of my toys and comic books, who could possibly…show more content…
A century later, the Greek Stoic Chrysippus claimed that horses and oxen existed so they could labor for us and that "as for the pig, that most appetizing of delicacies, it was created for no other purpose than slaughter, and God, in furnishing our cuisine, mixed soul in with its flesh like salt" (Wise 10). It is the belief that non-human animals are somehow made for our benefit that causes us to treat animals the way we do. Our DNA and that of chimpanzees are more than 98.3 percent identical. Scientists now believe that humans and chimpanzees may differ by only several hundred genes out of approximately 100,000. A mere fifty genes may control differences in our cognition. If Aristotle and Chrysippus were aware of how similar we are to chimps, would they still have held their beliefs? If most people today were cognizant of this fact, would they still feel comfortable putting animals in zoos?
Zoo conditions can range from being a fairly accurate although drastically smaller version of an animal's habitat to small, cold, sterile "cages" where little thought or feeling for the animals' mental or physical condition is given. Animals who naturally live in large herds or family groups are often kept alone, and their natural hunting and mating behaviors are virtually eliminated by regulated feeding and breeding regimens. Because of their close confinement, animals get little or no mental or physical
Zoos Should be Banned
- Length: 344 words (1 double-spaced pages)
- Rating: Excellent
Zoos are an unsuitable environment for wild animals and should, therefore, be abolished. Firstly, zoo animals are kept in a very confined area compared with their vast natural habitat. Secondly, breeding programmes are far less successful than zoos claim. Thirdly, zoo animals are exposed to many diseases and other dangers.
Zoo animals are usually kept in very cramped enclosures and do not behave like their wild counterparts. Polar bears, for example, are given about 10 metres of walking space whereas in their Arctic home they roam for many hundreds of kilometres. Similarly, primates, big cats and birds are often confined in cages where they lack exercise and stimulation. Many animals develop unnatural habits such as pacing back and forth or swaying from side to side.
Supporters of zoos argue that they help to conserve endangered species, but in fact they are not very good at this. Even the world famous panda-breeding programme has been very costly and unsuccessful. Also, zoo life does not prepare animals for the challenges of life in the wild. For example, two rare lynxes released into the wild in Colorado died from starvation even though the area was full of hares, which are a lynx’s natural prey.
The zoo is an unnatural environment that exposes animals to numerous dangers. Diseases often spread between species that would never live together naturally. For example, many Asian elephants have died in US zoos after catching herpes from African elephants. Furthermore, zoo animals are often exposed to chemicals, solvents and other toxic substances. Finally, it is common for visitors to tease and provoke caged animals.
In conclusion, therefore, it is not true to say that zoos are educational or they help to protect endangered species.
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Zoos Polar Bears Endangered Species Breeding Unnatural Cages Exposes Publicity Panda Starvation
In reality, they only teach us how wild animals behave when they are confined in small spaces. Breeding programmes provide zoos with good publicity, but in fact most of them are failures. Finally, zoo animals are probably more at risk of dying from disease or poisoning than their wild counterparts. It is time that we abolished these cruel institutions!