The very idea of locking animals so that people can see them sounds wrong. And this has become a reality that people live with every day. So, is a place to watch species that have their home elsewhere totally bad?
It all, of course, started with the rich who wanted to show off their goods. And how else to show them if not through wild animals? These first zoos were called menageries. The origins can be traced back to 2500 BC when the first menageries were created in Egypt and Mesopotamia. There is evidence that there were expeditions to acquire exotic animals. The owners hired the right people to look after these animals while they got them.
Later, the zoo also existed, but the ones known today date back to the 18th century. It was related to the Age of Enlightenment. It was then that science came first, so people also wanted to learn more about the animals on the planet. To do this, scientists had to keep them locked up, which resembled the natural habitats of the animals. The first modern zoo was established in Paris. In France, zoos were more like museums of living animals than natural habitats. Animals were kept in small display areas, with as many species as space would allow.
The history itself shows how much evil there is in the zoo. One of the main reasons for creating this place is to provide entertainment to man. People pay to be able to see the animals they cannot on a daily basis. This alone causes animals to be deprived of their liberty. Kept in confinement, they cannot be in their natural environment. So they are regarded as the achievement of human goals. It is wrong to keep animals in a place where their life would be less pleasant than outside of it. Although the government has power over many zoos, this does not make the conditions in which the animals live are appropriate—quite the opposite.
Zoos are not suitable for animals for many reasons. They are deprived of their natural habitat. Due to poor conditions in some zoos, they may not have enough space to live. It is unnatural for animals to be deprived of the natural social structure and companionship and to be forced to stay in close proximity to other species, and most of all, humans. This causes these animals to feel bored and depressed many times. And although the conditions provided by the zoo mean that many species live in them longer, the quality of life is often much lower.
Suffering in confinement is an appropriate description of a zoo. Animals, like humans, are made to live in freedom. The space provided by the zoo is much smaller than that in the wild. Observation by humans every day causes animals to suffer not only because of the place where they are, but also because of the surrounding environment. Noisy children, repeatedly taken photos, harassment of people is not suitable for animals.
Zoos explain that they are keeping animals threatened with extinction in order to be able to extend the species, which is not entirely true. The vast majority of species kept in zoos are not endangered. So instead of releasing these species into the wild, they are holding them up for people to see. And people love to watch babies, especially little animals. The zoo’s programs under the guise of protecting species are getting rid of surplus animals. Because a vast majority of the animals kept in a zoo will spend their whole lives in captivity, which will end up dying or being killed. This practice happens, especially in Europe.
Some say that zoos are a suitable place to save endangered species and protect animals. However, these arguments fail to win with humans reaping many benefits of keeping animals in cages. There is little difference between the rich boasting wild animals in their resources and the people visiting the zoo today.