Are Zoos Ethical or Unethical?

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Are Zoos Ethical or Unethical?
2.14 42.86% 7 votes

by Camille Chen, contributing reporter

Zoos, we look and enjoy. When we look at these exotic animals in enclosed spaces we find them fascinating, but have we ever really thought about if zoos were the right place to have these exotic animals? Animals are being captured against their will, but do zoos think that since animals can’t talk that they don’t have a judgement call. How will you you think if someone was staring at you and taking notes on your behavior? Zoos are unethical, and it’s about time people start to realize that.

Polar bear at a zoo. Photo attribution to Pardee Ave. on Flickr.

Zoos are unethical because they give animals a brain condition called zoochosis. On a website called “Wisegeek”, it says “ Reciting the fact that some animals do indeed become psychotic.” They become psychotic by being locked up in a cage only one-eighth their natural size. Also in the most recent Junior Scholastic it says, “Some develop zoochosis a condition that can cause them to sway and pace continually, chew on their own limbs until they bleed, or pull out their own fur or feathers.” They develop this condition when their natural benefits are ignored and their health benefits go down.

Zoos claim to be educational but really they are not educational at all. Professor Dale Jamieson (a Professor of Environmental studies and Philosophy) made a valid point. He says “To what degree does education require keeping animals in captivity?” We can learn about animals without them in captivity. Also according to the most recent Junior Scholastic article entitled “Are Zoos Ethical,” it says, “According to a study people report they learn almost nothing after seeing each enclosure.” Why do we need zoos if we can’t even learn anything?

Some people feel that zoos are ethical and needed. They say that zoos are a great places to learn about animals. On discovery.com a video called “The learning of animals” stated, “Zoos introduce people to animal population all around the world and educate people about conservation efforts.” We can learn in zoos. Also in the most recent Junior Scholastic it says “The zoo’s might be the only place where we can learn.”. The truth is that they really don’t teach us anything because we just look.

Unquestionably zoos are unethical. They keep animals from portraying their inner self. Their wild part. Zoos claim to be a safe haven to animals but what they do is they make animals feel as if they are in prison.

Featured image attribution to Kevin Galens on Flickr.

1 Comment

  1. Ruth Moore June 24, 2017 at 8:03 PM

    Concern for animal welfare is very important. With regard to zoos there are some very important issues. Nowadays zoo animals are not “collected” they are bred from zoo stock and like many animals that are no longer in a totally wild state need careful management. They cannot just be set free because it makes a human feel better or they will not thrive.
    With regard to collecting; without the efforts of the Gerald Durrell and other naturalists, hundreds if not thousands of species would have died out altogether and are now doing well because of them.
    Finally, if we want future generations to care about animals and advocate for them, then exposure is necessary. It leads to knowledge and passion, and that is how we grow animal champions.
    Thank you for reading and considering this angle.

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