Zoos Affecting Animal Rights

by angelinefournier on September 10, 2016 - 5:33pm

In this article, the author outlines the major ethical issue of zoos. This is a major issue because zoos go against many elements of moral reasoning. In his article the author’s position is mixed because she believes that there are good zoos and bad zoos. As she states in the text, animals in zoos should not learn to be entertaining for the public. The role of zoos is to help research and animal conservation. The author believes that animals in zoos should not be kept in cages and entertaining for the public. The role of zoos is to inform the visitors but also to protect those animals that can not live in their natural habitat. Animals in zoos should live as if they were in the wild, not pet animals. Obviously there are two views of this ethical issue. The first point of view is that zoos should not exist at all. Zoos go against principles of moral reasoning such as respect of animal’s autonomy, animal’s should not be used as a mean to an end, and do no harm. These are all principles that applied to humans but that also applies to animals. Animals should not be kept in captivity because they are not free, they also should not be used as a mean to an end for example, to make money and attract tourists. Wild animals should not be kept in zoos only to be trained to learn something because this goes against their natural purpose which can make them harm. By keeping animals in zoos we also make them harm because we make them loose their autonomy so they can not go back in the wild because they would not survive. If we look at the other point of view, zoos should exist because they can protect the animals that were already hurt and it can also help the conservation of endangered species. With zoos we can respect moral claims such as always act for the greater good. It is acting for the greater good when protecting endangered species and saving injured animals. These animals would not survive without a human intervention and this is why we need to have zoos. When I look at both sides of the debate I do not hesitate on my opinion which is that zoos should not exist. I believe that wild animals deserve to be free. Those animals do not deserve to be kept in cages. The principle do no harm is one of the most important principles in this situation because it can be taken on both sides of the debate. Those in favor of zoos could say that it would make harm to the injured animals if they were not saved because they would probably die. Those against zoos could say that zoos harm animals because they do not have the freedom to do what they would normally do in the wild. Also, when animals have to learn tricks to entertain the public, this is harm to them because they do not want to do it but they are forced to. I strongly believe that animals should not be kept in captivity in zoos because they are not in their natural habitat and it goes against their freedom. Wild animals without freedom are not wild animals because they can not do what they would normally do. Animals without injuries have no reason to be in zoos. The case of injured animals is different. I still believe that we should let them in the wild but try to help them with their injuries. How could we help them without keeping them in captivity?

 

Soosayraj, Loretta A. "What are zoos for?" Sunday Mail, Kuala Lampur, 2005, http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.champlaincollege.qc.ca/pqrl/docview/3...

 

Comments

Wow, I really like your subject, it's strong, it's a part of our actuality and I think it's really nice that you decided to take position on this question about if zoos should exist. Personally I think that for the moment it doesn't exist for goods reasons, like you said.
But I think that your text could be more convinced, of course we see how you believe in what you're saying, however it's not enough. The problem is that your arguments are circularity. Example: ''Animals should not be kept in captivity because they are not free.'' So, your reason to not kept animal in captivity it's because they're not free, but it's obvious that if you're in a cage, you're not free. It's just another way to say your argument. Then, by using that kind of fallacy, you can't convinced people that zoos prevent animals to be happy (I think that's what you tried to explain in your text).
You have to go further in your premise to convinced people about what you believe here; Why animal should not be kept in captivity? Why they're not happy in cage? Why it's better for them to live in wild? Same if the answer looks obvious to you, the objective still to convinced people that there's no other way to think that zoo should exist.

It is an interesting and debatable topic to talk about it . After reading the summery, I thank it needs more justification on both sides which are should we keep the zoos or not? I am also confuse about the point you made that we should help animals when they are injured but also kept them to be free. I think keeping animals in zoo is a way to protect them, help them not to make them suffer or to take away their freedom.

Your post is very pertinent, and depicts both sides of the situation. You clearly give us the moral claims that are in cause in this article and they are well identified. However, I would suggest to develop your line of thought in more detail when you talked about the moral claims and why they fit with the zoo situation, and also structure your argumentation in order to go in more depth with each statement. What I mean by this, is that you could have deepened your analysis of why animals should stay in the wild if they are injured, if zoos should consider taking in only the injured ones etc.?
I 100% agree with your claim that we should not keep wild animals in zoos because we are harming them in a way that they are losing their autonomy if ever they would be reinstated in the wild. It is true to say that animals are not made to be circling in a cage all day long, trained and congratulated for spinning a ball on their nose, and that they should be roaming free in the wild where they belong. Very good and strong argument.
Overall your post is very good, I agree with you that animals should not be kept in zoos as a means to an end, meaning for the visual pleasure of the attracted individuals, and should not be used as paintings or sculptures are used in a museum. At the very least, I would draw the line between taking in free healthy wild animals, and taking in free but injured wild animals.