article was written by Michelle Carr.
Confused Animal Lover from St. Louis writes, "I'm a huge
animal lover, and I understand why the circus is bad for animals, but what
question! Many people aren't aware of the cruelty behind zoos, so it's good
that you're thinking about animals used for entertainment. When I was a kid, I
went to the zoo all the time with my family. I loved pandas as a kid (still
do!), and I thought being able to see them in person would be neat. But once I
saw them "up close and personal," I realized that the animals were
miserable. It instantly became very clear to me that the animals imprisoned in zoos
are sad and don't want to be kept in artificial environments, have people gawk
at them, listen to children who bang on the windows of their enclosures, or have
cameras flashing in their faces. To put it simply, zoos are imprisoning animals
who want to be free.
animals are deprived
of everything that is natural and important to them, and as a result, they
become bored and lonely and many even suffer from a condition called "zoochosis."
If you've ever witnessed a captive animal rock and sway back and forth, you've
seen the disease firsthand. This condition is so rampant in zoos that some zoos
give animals a mood-altering drug, such as Prozac, because the public has
started to catch on.
animals are so unhappy that they risk their lives in desperate attempts to free
themselves. At the Dallas Zoo, a gorilla named Jabari tried to escape by
jumping over the walls and moats of his enclosure, only to be fatally shot by
police. A witness later confessed that teenagers were taunting him by throwing
are unable to thrive in small enclosures, especially with unnatural weather and
climates. For example, elephants typically walk up to 30 miles in just one day,
the lone elephant at the Edmonton Zoo,
is locked inside a barn when the zoo is closed and during Edmonton's frigid
winter months, which means she spends most of her time indoors, without much
room to move. The near-constant confinement because of the harsh weather has caused
Lucy to develop painful arthritis.
reality, most people only spend a few seconds at each display, waiting for the
animals to do something "exciting," but they gain little, if any, true
understanding of the animals. In addition, captive animals don't get to choose
their mates, and they are sometimes artificially inseminated so that their
babies can be sold or traded to other zoos. This often results in miscarriages,
death at birth, or the mother's rejection of her young. The Chinese government "rents"
pandas to zoos worldwide for fees of more than $1 million per year!
and roadside zoos are even crueler. Animals are often kept in barren cages,
such as concrete pens, and in stressful environments, with nothing more than an
old tire or a log to stimulate their minds and enrich their lives. People have
also been sickened—and some have died—after contracting diseases from animals
in petting zoos.
of going to the zoo, you can learn about animals by watching nature
documentaries or observing the animals in their own natural habitats instead. Now
that I know the reality behind zoos, I don't go to the zoo, and I encourage my
friends and family to boycott them as well. I love animals, and I want to see
them free, not held captive behind bars!
activities do you enjoy? Leave a comment and let us know!
Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.