Discussion in 'The Senate Floor' started by SuperWatto, Jan 14, 2013.
All in the name of keeping the Senate alive, ES!
Sure. First we'll just need a time machine to go back to the 70's or 80's when most of what you've been saying was probably more relevant.
That was a rebuttal? Miana basically argued that Sea World is doing God's work by giving sea mammals that dream of show business a venue for being on stage.
It countered the more hysterical claims being made in the thread (seriously, this sits there with "Jews did 9/11!" and "The gold standard is viable") and deserved more than a "Um, no, Moving on" response.
No, I was arguing against the claims that my place of employment is a horrible place for animals to live and that we capture poor creatures and take them from their homes.
In terms of all the dodgy zoos that are not comfortable places for the animals to live, the only way to really shut them down is if people stopped attending them. Zoos do not make much money at all, so, like any place, if people stop going, the money would stop.
I guess my question is whether you're arguing should zoos be shut down, how to shut down zoos, or is captivity necessary?
I don't disagree with you. Sea World is the animal kingdom's charitable equivalent of giving Britney Spears her own Las Vegas show.
I'm not sure if that's a positive or negative thing, but i like the analogy.
I was helping third graders do some research in a wildlife encyclopedia today. Several kids chose to research lions; their findings included the fact that lions in the wild live around 8-10 years, whereas lions in zoos live around 20-25 years.
That's one hell of a difference.
The North Carolina Zoo rescued a polar bear from a traveling circus in Mexico where it was kept in worse conditions than the OP described. He's got a pretty good spread where he is, although we aren't exactly an arctic climate. He has several caves and a large deep pool of water. I'll try to find pictures when I get home.
The NC Zoo has its animals kept in an expansive enough environment that the average walking time between exhibits is eight minutes. The bison have a damn prairie--no exaggeration.
I'm as sensitive as they come regarding animal cruelty issues but I don't think most zoos in the United States even come close; in fact I think they do more to help the animals than hurt them.
I'll explain it. No one has enough of an incentive to protect them. They have more of an incentive to kill them. It's not enough to say they deserve to live and they have some basic rights. I believe that. But most people, especially those in struggling nations, could give * all about such talk. They're trying to survive and make a living.
My proposal: allow conservation groups and activists to buy and own animals and their breeding grounds. Then they can hire security and establish property boundaries and such.
But really what needs to happen is these nations need to advance to a point where theyre more stable. We likely will see many species go extinct before that happens unfortunately.
I think my son's determination to believe that his grandfather just shot the antlers off the deer is a decent metaphor for our general willingness to believe that human institutions like zoos will be able to do anything lasting to prevent the catastrophic decline of biodiversity on earth.
I'm not sure anyone will do anything particularly lasting, we can only attempt to delay the process and hope to restore enough habitat to make species return more viable.
Especially if we close all zoos.
But I agree with your overall point, poor people have little incentive to protect wildlife that is either a food source for them or a pest that threatens their livelihood. There are various financial incentives and reparation schemes that are in effect but often poachers and others can offer anyone paid to protect animals more money which they will most likely take. Also some governments may turn a blind eye to stuff like illegal logging in reserves if they get a cut, because to them that is more important than protecting animals that the west mostly cares about.
The key is education. Teach people to understand animals better as well as the importance & the problems they face. And not just in places like Africa, but in the west too since we have the money and will raise the generations with the means to do something about the problems facing the world.
ES, I agree that Miana's post could have benefited from a more thought-out response and maybe even a point-by-point answer from me. Thing is, though: she didn't address the basic premise of the topic: that zoos are, by their nature, entertainment - and that that's a reprehensible notion. At least, it is if you maintain you love animals. If you don't, it's fine. If people would just come out and say that animals are there to entertain people, then by all means, lock them up and throw nuts at them. If not, let's just set them free.
None of the talk of rescuing endangered species actually changes that, because you can also rescue endangered species without having them on display. Probably in most cases even better.
So, it's not actually about animals. It's about hypocrisy.
The main polar bear in the North Carolina Zoo is actually in Milwaukee right now while they renovate his den, but here's the information I was talking about:
The exhibit itself
Well, you do raise a point that the vast majority of extinctions occurred long before industrialization.
But wait, why is it reprehensible to you? Being entertained by animals is reprehensible? Zoos are not the circus.
Erm, yes, technically. But the vast majority of extinctions caused and exacerbated by human activity are happening right now.
Which is what percentage of extinctions to ever occur in world history?
No nuance about when people or animals are forced to entertain, or mistreated, just a blanket statement that entertainment is inherently reprehensible?
Basically, what you're saying is that zoos are fine with all the work they do to preserve biodiversity and all that... but only if they're funded entirely by hippies and rich people looking for tax breaks? Why, if they charge admission to see the animals, it's a tremendous crime and we should all be ashamed!
Are you sure this is a Senate thread? I feel like we're arguing with a Flarestorm sock.
There are endangered species (in fact numerous species in big collections) that aren't on display in some cases I'm sure. I've been do Zoo work for 3 years and never once seen London Zoo's Mountain Chicken, because only those involved in the conservation project are allowed to have any contact with it (being that it is susceptible to the fungus). I've barely seen a Bali Starling either and there are a plenty of UK zoos that are involved in conserving them (Bristol, London, Edinburgh, Belfast, Jersey). Some species are sensitive and need isolation to breed more effectively or are simply too endangered or even too shy to risk exposing to the public (who 98% of the time are the problem, most stress-related issues if any occur are caused by people not knowing how to behave around animals and upsetting them. I assure you they return to normal once big groups of people have stopped bothering them).
And I will say that never in my experience have I met anyone working in any zoo who says "animals are here to entertain people". You think they train Lions to dance around and do backflips? If Lions don't feel like doing anything (and being cats they tend not to do much anyway), then they aren't doing anything and there's no-one gonna make them do anything either.
I'm not seriously sure what people expect when they go to zoos. So the Gorrilas are lying about, you really expect me to go in their house and prod them with a stick or something? Yeah, that's not happening.
You expect cold-blooded reptiles to be running about like they drank a litre of Red Bull? Fat chance, they spend most of the day under a heat lamp sitting still.
Feeding time is about the only time most animals seem to do anything, and that's just eating. The most fun animals to see feeding are penguins because they swim around or reptiles because the big ones eat goats or hares, rest of the time it's worth it just to see Lions & Tigers actually get up and move 10 yards to pick up food, or sloths who would have been asleep the whole day up until then.
Is that entertainment? Sure if you like that. Is feeding animals cruel? I don't believe so.
And if you don't like the fact they don't do much.....go home. Plenty of other people are happy to come and pay just to look, not to be "entertained" by shows which they can go to a circus to see (at least there they can legitimately complain about unethical treatment).
Arguing to close zoos because they are "bad" or "cruel" (seeing as not all are) is not just an insult to all of those like Miana who work for such institutions and treat all the inhabitants with love and care because they are passionate about them and their plight, but to many great people such as John Aspinall and Gerald Durrell who established renowned organisations which have done great things for helping preserve many species (the work of which is funded through the zoos those organisations oversee).
There are zoos with under-sized enclosures and even some where keepers might not treat animals with respect and care, they should be closed and the industry should regulate that better. That is not indicative of all zoos, neither are the good ones but they show what others should be aiming for.
Anyway, this whole thing seems to be going in circles again. I think some of us must agree to disagree.
To be fair, North Carolina isn't exactly the ideal location for Polar Bears. I mean, it's kind of tough to argue that they're not there for entertainment purposes.
It's definitely not the ideal location. The area with the Arctic animals is highly air conditioned (colder than I keep my house, and I keep it cold) but not Arctic conditions.
Yeah, Wilhelm and the other polar bear are there for entertainment, and I wouldn't argue that they aren't, but IMO they're still better off than they were before they were rescued.
But harpuah, how many kids are inspired to even see those animals whatsoever? I think there's an educational and awareness benefit too. I know how much in awe I was seeing "killer whales" for the first time at the age of 7. Watching them at Marineworld for the first time in the Bay area was unforgettable.
Personal attacks are frowned upon in the Senate
Okay let me clarify my position for those who don't bother to thoroughly question their own motivations for visiting Sea World and the like.
That places where animals are locked up and people pay to see them are, by their nature, entertainment - and that that's a reprehensible notion. At least, it is if you maintain you love animals.
"World history"? Does that mean you're including the giant objects that fell from space periodically and killed 70-90% of all life on the planet? Sure, human activity pales in comparison so far. But I don't see how you can deny that habitat loss, hunting, pollution, and other factors caused by humans aren't magnifying the "natural" rate of extinction.
Funnily enough captive orcas are good examples of the kinds of issues wild animals can have in captivity.