There’s no denying going to the zoo was by far my favourite pastime when I was younger. I have visited countless zoos all over the UK over the years, as well as a few overseas. I would have taken any opportunity I could to visit one. A few years ago, I had a very sudden and very definite change of heart and since that moment, I have not stepped foot inside a zoo and here’s why.
1. If someone breaks the law, they go to prison… Zoo animals didn’t do anything wrong and yet, there they are.
2. Imagine your entire life being observed by a constant stream of people. They’re shouting at you, banging on your windows, pointing at you and laughing at you whilst at the same time, ignoring the fact you are a living being.
3. No amount of space or enrichment could ever replace what it is like to live free, in the wild. Who are we to take that away?
4. Many zoos would say they are ‘educational’. There is nothing educational about looking at animals in an unnatural setting. If you want to educate about wild animals, may I suggest you pick up a book.
5. Many wild animals are still stolen from their homes and family, so they can be sold to a zoo.
6. Zoos are all about profit. Regardless of what they like to say about the animal’s welfare being number one priority, at the end of the day, they are a business.
7. The animals have no control over what they eat, when they eat, who they live with or who they mate with… Just imagine yourself in that position, would you be happy?
8. An abundance of zoo animals are depressed. It is not uncommon to see animals showing stereotypical behaviour such as rocking, pacing, mouthing at the bars, wall staring or self-mutilation. It’s not unheard of for zoo animals to be on antidepressants.
9. When animals are no longer a ‘worthwhile attraction’ they can be killed and fed to other animals in the zoo, auctioned off to other meat industries or sold to game reserves.
10. The feeling you get when you see an animal in the wild is indescribable. Would you rather see an animal in it’s natural habitat, living it’s life as it’s meant to be lived? Or trapped in a cage, just waiting to die.
As soon as I realised there was nothing fun about gawking at animals locked in cages, that was it for me. Animals do not belong to us. Just remember, when you’ve had a day out at the zoo, you get to go home. Those animals will never get to go home. Ever.
So if you think there is nothing natural, enjoyable or fair about wild animals living a life of loneliness and misery…