Saturday, May 28, 2005

Caged animals

Went to the Taipei Zoo yesterday, mostly because I wanted to get some exercise and it's a nice place to walk around, very lovely grounds. I realize now that I don't enjoy zoos as much as I did when I was a kid. Back then I was oblivious to the fact that these animals are kept in habitats that confine and constrict their movements and in no way resemble their natural habitats. After watching some of the big cats pacing manically back and forth, some of them in nothing more than concrete pits with dead trees, no form of green plant at all, my heart was aching. Oh sure, many of the animals have nice little homes, but the zebras are in what's basically a mud pit with a little grass, and the hippos are in a concrete enclosure with a very shallow pool of water at one end. These are creatures that should be in a river, completely submerged!

What right do we humans have to take these animals and put them on display for our pleasure? Should the day come when some higher civilization discovers our pitiful little planet, how would we like it if they thought we should be a paid attraction?

Saddest thought of all is that at the rate we're destroying the environment and depleting our Mother of her wild lands, eventually a zoo will be the only place to see these animals. Assuming, of course, that we don't blow ourselves to space dust first.....

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