Zoos have been around for thousands and thousands of years. The reason for this is very simple; humans are immensely and inexplicably fascinated by wild animals. While some people may visit zoos because they are great educational tools, most go simply because it is amusing and more inexpensive than traveling across the world to see a white tiger in its natural habitat. Zoos are thought to be sanctuaries for animals, revered and recognized because it has always been morally acceptable for animals to be used by humans as long as they provide for their needs. The main purposes zoos claim they serve are conservation, research and education. Certainly, zoos do take part in some part of wildlife well-being; however, the negative effects seem to massively outweigh the benefits. I believe all animals are sentient beings that deserve love and respect. Zoos manage to exploit and use animals to their own advantage and that is why I think they should be banned.
One of the major claims that zoos make is that they take part in animal conservation and breeding of endangered species. Zoos claim they are saving threatened species and preparing them for release back into their natural habitats. What most don’t know is that zoos merely maintain, and seldom improve an animal’s welfare. The truth is only about 2% of zoo animals in breeding programs are actually endangered and even less are likely to be released back into the
wild. Zoos mainly have and breed animals they think people will most be attracted to, thus increasing revenue. Resources and money that could be spent on threatened animals is being used to incarcerate animals that are doing fine on their own. I believe that a true sanctuary does not buy, sell, breed, or exploit its animals and then claim it is for their own welfare. A true sanctuary takes in unwanted, injured animals that would otherwise not survive. “Zoos create a false sense of security about the survival and welfare of other animals. A zoo filled with empty cages might be a more realistic way to convey impending loss of species” stated Marino (26).
Educating the public is also a crucial part of animal welfare. As Patrick states, zoos argue that education helps develop lifelong knowledge and skills for conservation action. Education affects the attitude, awareness, and behaviors of people towards animals (53). I believe this to be false; people don’t necessarily need to visit zoos or pet animals to care for them. I have never seen an elephant in real life, but that doesn’t mean I’m not concerned for their well-being. I’ve read books, seen movies, and even...