The end of an era

In the old days, people would rush into circuses and zoos to see the exotic and entertaining animals do tricks and stunts. However, these days people just see lawsuit after lawsuit from people who are supposedly looking out for what is best for the animals.

Recently, Ringling Brother’s had to close due to money problems. Their Asian elephants taken off stage due to opposition from numerous animal rights organizations, which was the last punch that put this 100-year-old icon out of business. This is not the first controversy involving a family-friendly company. Remember, perhaps, the SeaWorld lawsuit that was eventually dropped. It seems like whenever a famous animal show comes into town, there is always some animal rights group claiming that the animals are mistreated.

The fact stands that Americans like animal entertainment. Everyone loves to see a cat try to catch its toy and a dog roll over. This generation’s active captivation with cat videos is a great example. However, according to numerous animal rights groups, separating animals from their environments and making them do tricks is inhumane. By this logic, everyone should release their dogs, cats and birds along with the elephants and orcas back into the wild.

What is so wrong with petting zoos and aquariums that make them so-called prisons for animals? Not everyone can fly to Africa for a safari, so they simply take their children and visit the giraffes and elephants at the zoo. I do think that zoo animals deserve a more lifelike environment, but if they are not beaten, tortured, or killed, why must people say that these animals are being hurt or mistreated?

I respect advocating for the humane treatment of animals, but when did defending animals turn into irrational lawsuits? Almost every parent has taken a child to a zoo, aquarium or petting zoo, and have built lasting memories. If we cannot put animals into a simulated environment to better understand their physiology, then how can we advance? There is a line between ethics and advancement, but we need to find where this line actually is.




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