So my family is planning a visit to the zoo tomorrow and I have already told my mom I wouldn’t go. On impulse I wanted to say yes because I would love to go see animals. I know some vegans and vegetarian do in fact visit zoos and I would like to hear different opinions on this so I can figure out where I stand on this issue. Thank you.
I have a very disturbed thought process my cousin once told me. As a teen I was once forced to go to zoo as a school trip. which I totally don’t believe in, So I stayed up a night before the visit I made few small cards with a note on it why we shouldn’t visit zoo and handed over to people visiting there and to my classmates. My field teacher caught me doing that and next day presented me in front of our school principal. She saw that card and cracked up laughing and patted my shoulder 😀
I have always been conflicted about zoos, but recently I started interning as a Zookeeper at a state Zoo. I was able to see first hand what animals lived like, how they were treated, and why they were there in the first place. The motto of our zoo is “Animals First, Guests Second, Staff Third.”
-The first thing I learned was that the animals weren’t confined to the exhibit. All the animals had a second area behind the scenes called ‘holding’ in which they were switched in and out of it either every other day, or halfway through-out the day. Therefore you can always take the exhibit and basically double it to get a good idea of how much room that animal actually has.
-Most animals are bred in captivity, not captured from the wild. They are bred in captivity in hopes of one day being able to release them into the wild and end their endangered status. Those that are not bred in captivity were often ‘rescues’ or orphans from the wild. If the zoo didn’t care for them they would have died.
-The keepers actually do care. I cannot tell you how much these keepers give up to care for these animals. Their entire lives are dedicated to it.
From my experience working as a zookeeper I have come to accept that zoo’s aren’t ‘prisons’. Now granted there are some zoo’s out there that don’t treat their animals right but not all zoo’s are like this. I do think that we should have more laws revolving around captive wild animals as right now zoo’s don’t have any regulations on how to treat the animals and this is why some zoo’s stink and others rock.
Does the zoo provide proper enclosures and care for the animals? If so, feel free to go. I know our zoo has large, open airy enclosures for the animals and they seem to like it. Hang around, looking gorgeous, eating and snoozing. Heaven for them.
I went to the zoo once, and there was this polar bear, that was mentally unstable/messed up, as being in confined areas will do to those animals, it just kept backing up and walking forward in the water non stop, like I stood there for 30 mins straight and it just kept, stepping back several steps, then forward several steps, it was so sad, it had it mouth open and it was just staring at the glass, you could tell by looking at its face it was mentally messed up. tigers tend to pace back and forth when they get that way… its soo sad to see, there use to be a time when I loved the zoo, but after seeing that and learning about how bad off some animals in zoos really are, its horrible, just think about what they might had gone through to end up in that zoo, and what is natural for them, and then think how horrible it must be to live in such a small area compared to what is natural for them. hope this helps.