The Zoo Controversy Essay

The Zoo Controversy Essay

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Everybody’s been to the zoo; they’ve either enjoyed a dolphin show, or fed the penguins. Zoos have been a part of American culture for centuries. At first, a zoo could be seen as nothing more than a jail cell for animals, but today, zoos are being completely transformed. What used to be confined cages are now being revolutionized into acres of land for different species to reside in. The opponents of zoos feel that they are inhumane and harmful to animals. However, zoos are beneficial for several different reasons, including, animal conservation and captive breeding, scientific studies, healthcare, and education.
Daniel Martin, writer for, wrote an article about Angela Smith who works as a Labor’s Charities Minister. Smith is strongly opposed to zoos and thinks they should be banned in Britain. Smith describes zoos as “cruel relics of the Victorian Era,” (Martin 1) forgetting about all the advantages that come with zoos. Martin writes, “Ms Smith, patron of the Captive Animals’ Protection Society campaign group, earlier this year boycotted an event because it was being held at London Zoo,” (Martin). This article touches on the moral injustice of keeping animals in captivity. In response to Smith, David Field, the director of the London Zoo, replied “To say stop bringing wild animals into zoos just shows Angela Smith’s incredible naivety about why zoos exist,” (Martin). Field goes on to say the remarkable things zoos are comprised of, including the incredible power zoos have to directly connect you with nature (Martin).
First off, opponents of zoos need to understand that zoos are not what they used to be. When zoos were first created, animals were treated like prisoners, locked up in small cages. But ...

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"Minnesota Zoo takes education and conservation to the world of online gaming." Endangered Species Update 23.4 (2006): 156. Gale Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 1 Dec. 2011. .

"Research in Zoos." AZA Elephant TAG/SSP Homepage. Association of Zoos and Aquariams. Web. 02 Dec. 2011. .

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