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Are Zoos Ethical or Not

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Assertion: Zoos are built to entertain tourists, but it is not ethical for animals and do not fulfill their basic rights (living environments, living space, lonely and segregated from family). Also, it is morally wrong to ruin an animal’s life by taking away its freedom.



When animals are caught to live in the zoo, they are segregated from their family.  When they are segregated, their freedom will be taken away to live in that small space. When their freedom will be taken, they tend to become inwards and lonely. When animals become lonely, sooner or later they will lose hope and rest until death.


During the cold wars, western politicians and activists tend to support for democracy said that we should give freedom and basic right of education, welfare, and speaking in a country. We succeeded in turning the world into a free place, but have we ever considered about their animals?


Animals in the zoos are trapped in a small space, where they can’t run or hunt like wild animals can. They lose their basic freedom in having their own life, but instead, they are captured into the zoo without any wrongdoings. If it’s you today that has been captured by a kidnapper that tortures you and ask you to live as an entertainment, is it morally correct? NO. What will the kidnapper be classified as? A criminal, a bandit, a hoodlum or a rogue? That is what humans are pressuring to animals. To animals, we are the ones that take away them from their family, that take away their wildlife, that take away their freedom.


In the zoo, I see 2-3 hippos that are trapped in a man-made pond of only 4 meters wide and 10 meters long. According to online sources, hippos’ lifespan are normally 12 to 15 years, and they are captured to the zoo when their only a few month old. Would you like to spend your whole life in a “prison” of such small environment and without traveling to anywhere else? Sometimes, even if we stay at home for a short while, we may get bored and travel outside. Would you like to spend your whole life at home? If not, how is that morally correct? How is putting animals in a zoo ethical.


Pretend you’re in college, and the administrator finds a roommate for you. You don’t know him, you have never seen him. Somehow, you have to live with him your whole life, never leaving that room. Of course, a janitor will come to feed you every day, and a cleaner will help you clean your teeth and body. How does that feel? You may argue that it’s comfortable, but you can’t go to the shopping mall, you can’t go exercising, you can’t go meet with your family. Now how do you feel? Constrained? Or under pressure. Animals in a zoo do feel this too. When I saw the lion and tigers lying down by the rock watching our bus pass, I feel the sense that it belongs in the wild, in the jungle, where it can hunt as a wild lion does.



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