Zoo's!

Damo

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Here's a tricky one...

How do you feel about Zoo's?

Personally... I feel as though as it's wrong to keep wild animals actually any animal caged up for it's whole life for entertainment, you could argue that keeping animals in a zoo is better than poachers killing them in the wild?

What are your views, let's hear them :)
 
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winter.frost

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I am a self-confessed Zcrooge (Zoo-Scrooge).

Actually I was offered a well-paid job at a zoo once but I turned it down. I do not agree with zoos at all. These animals need to be rehabilitated back into the wild. The issue is with the poachers - redirect all the money and resources from zoos at tackling poachers and creating safe wildlife reserves. Hell, redirect some of the money from the agriculture industry - that'd cover it!

The only exception I have for zoos, say, is when an animal is unable to fend for itself due to some kind of permanent injury or - perhaps - birth defect. But then what it really needs is a veterinary centre, not a place to be ogled at on display. There is also no need to fly these unfortunate beings to all corners of the globe and thousands of miles away from their natural habitats, only to be placed in smaller artificial environments. We don't like it when we take the natural food source, honey, from the bees and replace it with corn sugar (well... vegans don't) and in many ways this is equivalent to what we artificially substitute in zoos. Even when it comes to preserving a species from extinction, you don't need a zoo to achieve this. A reserve would be sufficient. Why are we monetising the preservation of a species? Yuck, I hate human arrogance.

Of the 5,926 species (mammals, birds, reptiles and others) classified as threatened or endangered by the International Union for the Conversation of Nature, only around 120 species are involved in international zoo breeding programmes, and from these just 16 species have been reintroduced to the wild – often unsuccessfully. - Viva la vegan

Most animals in captivity actually are not classified as endangered [...] their priority lies in getting hold of animals popular with visitors, rather than those who face extinction. - Vegan Society


So they want a burger and they kill the cow. Now they demand to see a tiger and so it gets captured, shipped, caged, and bred (let's not forget that WE choose their mates for them as well). And when they have babies it makes headline news 'oh look at how wonderful we are we have bred a new generation of animals in captivity'. *Facepalms* The life-spans of captive animals is also considerably less than what they might achieve in the wild (predators, including humans, notwithstanding).

“Surplus” animals are a huge problem for zoos. Baby animals bring in visitors and money, but the incentive to breed new baby animals leads to over-population. It is estimated that at least 7,500 individual animals in European zoos are surplus. What do they do with the surplus animals they don't kill? They sell these poor animals to other zoos, separating families, and to research facilities [where they often become subject to animal testing]. The Captive Animals' Protection Society estimates that some 7,500-20,000 animals are deemed “surplus” at any one time. - Viva la vegan

Animal contraception is routinely practised as well, in order to reduce 'surplus' births. Sounds familiar, doesn't it? Much like culling male chicks and calves.

It is VERY telling that the vernacular term for 'animal psychopathology' (the study of behavioural disorders in animals) is ZOOCHOSIS. You can read a shocking example of this happening in Bristol Zoo, England (which is regarded to be a 'model' kind of zoo). Animals are also more likely to suffer ARB (abnormal repetitive behaviour) if living in zoos. Some zoos opt to control this kind of behaviour with pharmaceuticals, and often these drugs are still classified as 'unsafe' and the companies will use the zoo trials - particularly on 'difficult' primates - to support their case for human approval. Meanwhile there are very few regulations to protect the animals themselves from unsafe drugs (I believe any drugging of an animal to alter its behaviour is profoundly, ethically, wrong in the first instance).

Exotic birds that are kept in zoos are far more likely to suffer from osteoporosis due the lack of freedom to fly at will and for long distances. Species that are not usually meant to cohabit often unwittingly spread disease which the other is not resistant to; because they each originate from different continents and therefore have radically different immune systems. Again there is an over-ready tendency for zoo-keepers to address this issue with pharmaceuticals.

Zoos are basically just animal prisons for 'lifers', for which farms are merely the Death Row equivalent. In zoos animals are still bought, sold, and even loaned. Zoos are a business, after all, and operate for profit - exploitation is still in the equation. Zoos will not exist in a fully-vegan world.

Friends not food.
Friends not felons.

 
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Damo

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Wow! Okay there's a fair amount of information there I did not actually know like this for instance...

“Surplus” animals are a huge problem for zoos. Baby animals bring in visitors and money, but the incentive to breed new baby animals leads to over-population. It is estimated that at least 7,500 individual animals in European zoos are surplus. What do they do with the surplus animals they don't kill? They sell these poor animals to other zoos, separating families, and to research facilities [where they often become subject to animal testing]. The Captive Animals' Protection Society estimates that some 7,500-20,000 animals are deemed “surplus” at any one time. - Viva la vegan

I hadn't actually thought about overpopulation within zoo's, didn't think it was a thing... I'd imagine the above happens where most animal overpopulation exists? I mean.. They're sold and killed etc..?
 
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winter.frost

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Well, you know me. I'm nothing if not thorough!

Overpopulation is different depending on the species/circumstance. But generally this is how I feel about the way it's handled: :worried::confounded::tired_face::mad:
 

Damo

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Well, you know me. I'm nothing if not thorough!

You definitely are!

Overpopulation is different depending on the species/circumstance. But generally this is how I feel about the way it's handled: :worried::confounded::tired_face::mad:

Yikes... I'm sure everyone that cares feels the same.
 

Sally

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I hate zoos. I know they can't rehabilitate all the animals to the wild, but they can stop breeding them. I can't see the point in breeding animals that have no habitat in the wild to go to.
 

Damo

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I hate zoos. I know they can't rehabilitate all the animals to the wild, but they can stop breeding them. I can't see the point in breeding animals that have no habitat in the wild to go to.

I've been to Midlands Safari park before with school which was a long time ago, I remember our coach driving through the Safari on this stupidly hot day I literally couldn't breathe on the coach it was that hot anyway I wonder how the animals deal with this cold weather we're dealing with right now I'm sure most of their natural habitats are not going to be reaching subzero temperatures. :(

It's all for money...
 

ty brant

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Zoos, Sea World, Jurassic Park I hate them...Ok Jurassic Park was a movie but they are prehistoric garbage that doesn't help save a species but only line the pockets of the directors who run these hell holes!!

How can they say their animals love their environments withing their cages when you only have to look at a Tiger or Lion and all they do is pace their cages up and down up and down.

It's a dark age experience with the power of the internet we can see animals in all their glory on screen. As suggested put more money in saving the animals in their own habitat. Africa is the richest continent on earth but the West and China are decimating it's wild life.

Why are world governments not sending troops to protect Elephants, Rhinos etc etc in their own habits???

Zoos are a Victorian idea that should stay is the past.
 
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Rainey

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Zoos are terrible and upset me. Its just prison for a poor animal that should be roaming free. People are so cruel - money and power
 

fzjohnson

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Hi,
I don't go to zoo so I don't tend to form an indepth opinion. My gut says they are predominantly wrong, although I recognise some good intentions wrt researching ways to help the species. Similarly I don't go to circuses, although many are animal-free from what others have told me.
I have taught at a college that ran a wildlife course for those wishing to care for animals (including exotics) in reserves and Nature Parks. What surprised me is that some of their animals came as rescue animals from individuals' private collections. I was naïve about how many people in the UK and USA choose to buy licences to have non-domesticated animals as "pets", something I find abhorrent if the animal has insufficient space and cannot live in community/herd/whatever its natural state would be. Once they got to the college they were living as close to natural state as possible. Nobody chose their mates. They did, if they did. It can take a long time to un-do "pseudo-domestication" by those who think owning a lynx or a meerkat is cool.
I think I feel about "wild pets as status symbols" the way you feel about zoos, Winter.frost
 

Dookie

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I think zoos are great!! They are the places where kids can see animals that they would never see. With out seeing these animals they would not care about them. I remember seeing penguins at London zoo when I was 6 and I knew nature was great and losing it would be the worst thing in the world.

Sorry
 

fzjohnson

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I think zoos are great!! They are the places where kids can see animals that they would never see. With out seeing these animals they would not care about them. I remember seeing penguins at London zoo when I was 6 and I knew nature was great and losing it would be the worst thing in the world.

Sorry


No need to apologise for your opinion, Dookie. It's as valid as the rest of ours. :)
Besides, thoughtful dissent makes us all reflect and reconsider ... at least ai hope it does.
 
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winter.frost

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They are the places where kids can see animals that they would never see.

These animals do not exist for our spectacle. No living being, human or not, should exist for our spectacle. We should really try to avoid speciesism.

Do we really not care about the things we don't get to see? I care about the Amazonian rainforest, though I've never been there to see it. Kids can be emotive about all kinds of things they don't get to see - they care about fictional reindeer on their rooftops, and they never get to see those. ;)

I do not see how seeing a penguin in captivity would be any more inspirational than going out to the countryside and seeing deer, otters, foxes etc. in the wild.
 

Dookie

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Do we really not care about the things we don't get to see? I care about the Amazonian rainforest, though I've never been there to see it. .

Why do you care about the rainforest? Is it because you have SEEN the devastation of deforestation or is it because you have seen a tree in your local park!

So seeing is an important part of inspiration.
 
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winter.frost

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Why do you care about the rainforest? Is it because you have SEEN the devastation of deforestation or is it because you have seen a tree in your local park!

So seeing is an important part of inspiration.

If a single tree is a representational image, then other representational images can have just the same effect. I'm sure just as many kids fell in love with penguins after watching Happy Feet. I certainly can't see the same genus of tree in a local park as there are in the rainforest.

I just don't agree with your rationale. Especially given all the awful things we know about zoos as per my longer post above.
 

fzjohnson

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This is a really interesting & justifiably emotive topic. I imagine all of those "cute" animal videos- where a bear loves a tiger, or a chicken takes a kitten as her baby chick - must really incense some people. I mean to say, it's only that humans have either domesticated or partially domesticated (for wont of a better term) these animals that their inter-species relationships occur. Do you dis/agree?

I've recently seen the orangutan and dog one. On the surface it is a lovely relationship to witness, but is there something more insidiously anthropomorphic going on here?

Any comments/opinions?
 
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winter.frost

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I mean to say, it's only that humans have either domesticated or partially domesticated (for wont of a better term) these animals that their inter-species relationships occur. Do you dis/agree?

I've recently seen the orangutan and dog one. On the surface it is a lovely relationship to witness, but is there something more insidiously anthropomorphic going on here?

Any comments/opinions?

Scientifically speaking, there's nothing that humans have done in these instances. It's only when, say, a family brings a dog home to an all-cat household. The cats initially make a huge fuss, until eventually they see the dog being treated with respect and their own continuous exposure to the new addition changes how they behave towards it. True, some domesticated breeds are bred to be less aggressive in disposition but - again - there are plenty of examples of interspecies friendships in the wild.

No, the majority of inter-species relationships have no bearing on human involvement - they are spontaneous. This is why more research and effort really must go into the emotive perception of animals, their sentience, because there is so little we know and I do suspect more people would consider veganism if we could better enter the minds of animals. These animal relationships are complex, and do not necessarily mean ongoing friendship - in the same way that humans form friendships that fall apart too. It's not as simple as 'imprinting' etc.. Then again, some animals - geese, I think, among them - imprint upon the first living being they see regardless of species. It's just so complex... and utterly beautifully so.

In almost all cases there will not be something insidious going on. The insidiousness happens when we humans film and meme these relationships for our petty consumption during work breaks and mindless social media browsing; when we trivialise animals, we widen the species gap and reinforce our prejudice.

Yep, it's an interesting matter.
 

fzjohnson

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Y'know I'm not sure these inter-species relationships do happen in the wild. What does everyone think?

It may be a Heisenberg's Uncertainty principle situation (when we try to measure/record them we change them) ... or a riddle like the tree falling in the forest when there's nobody to hear it - does it make a sound? (If they are truly devoid of human contact, do they choose to have inter-spp relationships and if so, then who is there to witness it? ... obviously no one).

The rescue animals such as tiger cubs bonding with dogs or other rescued species, definitely have human causation (sadly, in the form of trauma) behind their need to form relationships ... so I guess I would respectfully disagree. But I'd be interested in what others think ...

Do wild animals in their native environment have inter-species relationships, assuming (in the wild) they have the capacity?
 
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winter.frost

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As I have already answered, yes wild animals do form inter-species relationships spontaneously - according to the scientific community. I wasn't just talking about captive or rescue animals. Also, a rescue animal isn't necessarily in need because of human involvement, there are all sorts of other reasons why an animal might require rescuing. We have learned how to observe without interfering, even if we don't always set out to do so.

These relationships in the wild are usually referred to, in the scientific community, as 'mutually beneficial'. This makes these relationships sound purely transactional, but it's far more complex. Almost all animals, wild or domesticated, have some form of observable social behaviour.

Other bonds might be created simply by growing up alongside the other - if two species come into contact from a very early age they become part of the other's development and understanding of their surrounding. In such a situation, without any human intervention, these species domesticate themselves to the other mutually - we can say it's due to immature pheromones, of course. Natural, behavioural, husbandry. Sometimes, though not always, these bonds break when one or the other species reaches a certain age - then again, sometimes not. There's no standardisation in the complex animal kingdom.

There's bonding under stress which, as I have mentioned above, might not be due to human involvement. And there are evolutionary reasons too - it is evolutionarily beneficial for a prey to get its predator to bond, as such many unlikely bonds do occur as there is evolutionary reasons for them to exist. Predators also like to be entertained, to 'toy', and sometimes this does not necessarily result in a kill. Furthermore predators have been known to adopt the orphan offspring of their kills in the wild - there are plenty recorded instances of this. And we do have tracking devices and telephoto lenses and satellite usage these days, amongst other distanced methods of recording.

Marc Bekoff, who has all kinds of amazing credentials, says of such wild relationships “the choices animals make in cross-species relationships are the same as they’d make in same-species relationships. [Eg] Some dogs don’t like every other dog. Animals are very selective about the other individuals who they let into their lives.” I recommend you look at something in his extensive bibliography - he is also a vegan, which is awesome.

There are also studies of wild animals grieving the death of companions from interspecies friendships. And other 'causes', but I do think that is too reductionistic. We should also avoid the arrogance - well, maybe that's not the right word - but it's wrong to believe that interaction with humans sullies the 'wild' in an animal (this is not necessarily the case). Our interaction with animals does not de facto mean that we make their behaviours impure. If you do ask any zoo keeper, or pet owner, they will tell you that - no matter how hard they have tried - some animals just don't get along.

...until recently, any suggestion that interspecies relationships might be based simply on companionship would probably have been met with derision, dismissed as Pixar-like anthropomorphism. That has changed as research has gradually eroded some boundaries... - NY Times 2015

http://mysteriousuniverse.org/2015/...mal-world-when-mortal-enemies-become-friends/ - Just an easy read if anyone wants it. Contains both wild instance and captive recordings.
 
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fzjohnson

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Gosh, sorry. I didn't mean to offend. I just wanted to hear other people's thoughts.
I'll shut up from now on. Sorry ...