For a long time the question has been around: should zoos become illegal? “We don’t own the planet Earth, we belong to it. It is our responsibility to share the planet with wildlife. -Steve Irwin Zoos restrict animals’ freedom and make them feel lonely and stressed. Zoos are harmful to all animals around the globe.
Zoos have very limited freedom for animals. Wild animals can roam thousands of kilometers and still be free. Zoos have animals locked up in small cages, and the floors are often made of concrete. Neil Strauss, ghost writer, journalist, and author said that rather than actual freedom, it felt like we were living in an artificial environment in the zoo. We wouldn’t know that we were not free if we didn’t try to get out of the cage. This environment is very different from the animal’s natural habitat.
Habitats that have no grass, sand, or plants on the floor and insufficient space are not like an animal’s natural habitat. It is wrong to take an animal from its family and put it in a small enclosure with glass, or gates around it. Robert Breault states, “The only creature on Earth who has a natural habitat is the zookeeper.” However, most zoos provide very little space for animals and are often filled with artificial grass and plants. It can be extremely stressful for animals to have so much going on around them.
Animals often live alone in their cages, and can become isolated. They may not be able to bond with their fellow animals. Zoos can be very busy and can become very stressful for animals. Sundaram Mani says that ‘within the prison walls at every zoo, there are the tortured souls, with empty eyes, and broken spirits.’ This sad statement speaks about the horrible suffering that some animals endure in zoos. Animals can become anxious and stop drinking and eating. If they are not closely monitored, they will starve to death. This trauma is not something that any animal should experience. Even though they can live longer in zoos, they are often bored and may display anxious behaviors. Zoos are cruel and should be closed.
After considering all of these factors, zoos should not be allowed to exist. Zoos are an unnatural environment that causes animals to become socially isolated and disoriented. Any creature would be severely affected if they had limited freedom. This issue is so serious and cruel for animals that it needs to be addressed. Jane Goodall stated, “The least that I can do is speak up for those who are unable to speak for themselves.”