Monday, February 4


Here's an interesting piece on an In-Defense-of-Animals-sponsored visit to the SF Zoo - you know, the tiger-attack zoo - by international "zoo experts," in which the latter denounce many of this particular zoos exhibits as "like something from the 19th century" or "third world" or "like a zoo you would see in Eastern Europe." They pointed to "unnatural" and "aberrant" animal behavior, "such as pacing polar bears and giraffes that have licked and chewed the side of their barn."

I can't decide whether the best quote is that the zoo demonstrates "a lack of animal-mindedness" or that it "seemed to be run like a department store, with officials putting emphasis on showing a varied menagerie instead of focusing on the animals' well-being."

But let's be frank: This is smoke and mirrors in terms of the real problem with zoos. "Animals" don't start zoos in order to have a nice place to stay; of course zoos don't have "animal-mindedness." The first symptom of animal-mindedness would be freeing the animals, something that would have to top almost all the animals' agendas. And of course it's run like a department store instead of a place focusing on animals' well-being: That's what zoos are all about. Sure, maybe the SF zoo is more egregious than some others in some of the particulars of this, but talking as though the problems listed are particular to this zoo obscures the point: Zoos are prisons for animals - the bigger the animal, the harsher a prison it is.

No comments: