Thoughts About Zoos
Golden Drops of Bare Truths
"Ron Kagan, General Curator for the Dallas Zoo warns: 'We strongly believe that animals should not be used in any way that's damaging or degrading. Animals used to perform tricks/ other unnatural acts perpetuate a mistaken and disrespectful attitude towards wildlife.'" (St. Petersburg Times)
"Zoos. Incredibly cruel jails/bare cement floors/isolation/filth/ frequent brutal vandalism from the public AND from inside by 'caretakers' who neglect/abuse them. So-called 'habitat' zoo: a mockery/an affront to the animals, and to humans who truly respect them. Still slavery... with a few more yards... and luxuries for humans! Still confined to limited area/bored/ frustrated/ insane! Snatched from their families/real habitats by murdering their parents/robbed of their innate right to self-sufficiency in the freedom/warmth of their own families. Humans staring/ throwing junk food/making absurd/obscene gestures at them: Signs of humans' arrogant, lowly, scornful nature... Zoos breed, supply animals to labs, caged hunting, other Nazis, even from pet zoos! Zoos give one another 'animal gifts' subjecting them to the trauma of transportation, constant strange surroundings, psychological instability... IPPL reported 2 recent such 'gifts' of white rhinos shipped from San Diego, to Pittsburgh then to Chengdu, China, where they died horrific deaths after long physical and mental suffering! Request from PETA 'Zoocheck' fliers to give out to zoo visitors and others."
"It is the sadness of zoos which haunts me. The purposeless existence of the animals. For the four hours we spend in a zoo, the animals spend four years, or fourteen, perhaps even longer - if not in the same zoo then in others - day and night; summer and winter...In one of the new zoo concepts, which combines animals with the funfair, it is even worse. Animals are just part of the sideshow. This is not conservation - and surely it is not education. No, this is 'entertainment.' Not comedy, however, but tragedy." (Beyond the Bars) Quoted by PETANEWS
"Zoos' magnificent animals become mere shadows of their true selves. They are stripped of everything that makes life worth living: family, community, the freedom to choose how to spend time, the ability to lead their own lives - even if these lives aren't always easy. J. H. Williams' story reminds us that elephants are thinking, feeling creatures, and that love and bravery are not just human qualities."
"The elephant has been reduced to a bowdlerized Dumbo-Jumbo, a performing slave in a designer cage, with its tusks sawn off and a ring through a piece of flesh sensitive enough to read Braille."
Bill Clark (Friends of Animal's Act-ion Line)
"An infant chimpanzee (also other monkeys/apes) is captured for high profits (illegally) & sold to circuses/roadside zoos/research labs: Hunters chase the whole family group until they take refuge in some trees/they search the trees for the infant they want/shoot the female closest to the baby who almost always is the mother/ mother's body falls down/infant invariably scampers down and clings to the corpse/infant thrust into a sack!"
Julia Allen Field (1937-)
"We cannot glimpse the essential life of a caged animal, only the shadow of its former beauty." ("Reflections on the Death of an Elephant," Defenders, 42, Spring 1967)
"The term wildlife is no good, because it implies animals should be caged or things like that."
Costa Rica Environment Minister René Castro
"We are getting rid of the cages and reinforcing the idea of interacting with biodiversity in botanical parks in a natural way. We don't want animals in captivity or enclosed in any way unless it is to rescue or save them."
GOLDEN DROPS OF BARE TRUTHS collected by Adela Pisarevsky