Do You Really Want to Support Zoos

Supporting zoos is a near equivalent of saying that humans are better than animals. Although we were taught the saying, “Treat others however you want to be treated,” since we were in kindergarten or first grade, it is obvious that the human race doesn’t act upon it. A clear example would be that humans constantly murder other humans. Another example is that we treat animals with no respect because we only put them in cages for the education and entertainment of humans. Humans treat animals as if we were the upper race, that we deserve more rights than them. This is a false belief that Tom Regan counters

Tom Regan is a philosopher who believe in animal rights. People may argue against the idea I wrote in previous paragraph: “Another example is that we treat animals with no respect because we only put them in cages for the education and entertainment of humans.” People will argue that animals aren’t humans and we don’t need to treat them with respect like how we treat other humans. Regan counters these type of arguments with his belief,

“Well, perhaps some will say that animals have some inherent value, only less than we have. Once again, however, attempts to defend this view can be shown to lack rational justification. What could be the basis of our having more inherent values than animals? Their lack of reason, or autonomy, or intellect? Only if we are willing to make the same judgment in the case of humans who are similarly deficient. But it is not true that such humans — the retarded child for example, or the mentally deranged — have less inherent value than you or I.”

He emphasizes a fact that most of us have not thought about and brought it into light. We categorize animals as less than humans because of their inabilities to speak like us, to think cognitively. However, many humans are incapable of doing such things too because they were born with disabilities. We wouldn’t categorize these people as lesser than us — it would be immoral to do so. Therefore, we shouldn’t treat animals lesser than us and think it is okay to put them in cages for the sake of humans.

Animals activists such as PETA, constantly state that animals in the cages are stripped from their freedom. Also, the restricted area in the cage can make the animals suffer from a condition called zoochosis. The symptoms of this include the animals that sway back and forth in their cages, head-bobbing, bar biting, and etc. Supporting zoos would also say that we support this type of behavior in animals. Every website that talks about how zoos are a bad place for animals, state that they are bad because zoos impose these behaviors on animals because of the abnormal settings the animals are set in. This argument effectively tells the audience that zoos are bad because it makes the animals go crazy.

Another argument that animal activists make is that zoos do not help in conservation. Zoos don’t help because the environment that they put the animals are unlike their natural habitats. When the zoos release the animals back in the wild, the animals rarely survive because they cannot adapt in their natural environments from their imitated environment. This proves that zoos are insufficient and unreliable with their breeding programs. Others also claim that the purpose of zoo’s breeding programs were to make more money because people like to see baby animals.

After knowing the information that zoos do not advertise, it is always up to you to decide if you support zoos or not. No one should be given a one sided story and live by it. If you support zoos, think about the hidden effects of zoos and what zoos do to these animals behind the scenes before you fully support them.

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