Thanks to Mega Friend Jools, Wonderful Husband and I have been hooked on a documentary, ‘The Vietnam War: A film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick”. The documentary stated that President Kennedy had stationed the American army in Vietnam with the idea of ‘saving’ the Vietnamese people from communism. In his mind, he was doing a good thing, but we also know that if he pulled the troops out of Vietnam (and inevitably saved thousands of American lives) then he would have, surprisingly, lost the support of the American people for backing down.

I said to Wonderful Husband, something along the lines of, ‘zoos are like President Kennedy, they’ve made themselves look like they are doing good things for the animals, but actually they are either misinformed or they are simply interested in their own self-gain’. Wonderful Husband responded by rolling his eyes.

You see, countries are now banning circuses from using wild animals (which is great!) However, the animals are not killed in circuses, it is claimed that they are not hurt or mistreated (not that I believe that), and yet nearly 40 countries across the world have banned wild animals in circuses but there is no mention of banning zoos. 

So why are zoos ok but circuses are not?

Ah, well that’s because zoos talk about all the conservation work they do. For example, arguably the most famous zoo in England, London Zoo, takes part in, what appears to be, a lot of conservation work. At the top of their conservation webpage is their #OneLess campaign – a great cause designed to make London free of single-use plastic, however I could argue that they didn’t need to make money from captive animals in order to promote this campaign. 

To be slightly more blunt, to do good in the world, we do NOT need to 

  • take wild animals from their natural environment or purposely breed them,
  • train animals to perform,
  • keep animals in cages.

So zoos, just like President Kennedy, are either misinformed or they are simply interested in their own self-gain.

I sound harsh, right? But guess what the definition of a zoo is: 

Definition: A park-like area in which live animals are kept in cages or large enclosures for public exhibition.

For. Public. Exhibition. 

Not to do good in the world. 

Finally, if your child wants to see the animals then please don’t take them to a zoo. Instead, show them pictures of animals in a book, get them to watch a documentary on YouTube, or even better, go and take them to see the animals in their natural environment, whilst respecting the animal’s space.

Teach your children that animals should be free and that your freedom is taken away regardless of the size of your cage. 

Thanks for reading (and boycott zoos) 💚