The criminal and heartless punishment of zoos.

I have a deep loathing for the arrogance of mankind which finds nothing wrong in capturing wild animals and condemning them to life imprisonment without any possibility of parole or remission of sentence for good behaviour. For an animal sentenced to zoo, life really does mean life. A murdering paedophile or a serial rapist can be out and free in twenty years, and usually long before that.

I have stood before the miserable, dank, dark cell occupied by a demented leopard, crying my eyes out as I watched this wonderful creature, imprisoned for the delectation of children and adults alike, pace back and forth in a repetitive pattern of insanity born of desperation. Bears, elephants, antelope, apes, almost every species known to the Earth, subjected to cruel and unusual punishment by mankind. It is almost more than I can write about.

If, in certain cases, and sadly there are several, an animal’s natural habitat has been almost totally destroyed as a result of man’s madness and selfishness, then it is cruel and unusual punishment to breed those animals in captivity, on the criminally wrong basis that they or their progeny will, eventually, be released into the wild — because there is no wild for them to be released into.

No. The overwhelming reason for the continued existence of zoos is that there are still those of a Victorian or even older mindset who believe, in their insanity, that zoos are a form of theatre for bored humanity and must be maintained.

On the epitaph of the human species centuries from now when the Earth has finally had enough of its tormentors and has given itself back to insects, worms and very small animals, will be written the most complete condemnation of homo sapiens. Not that we invented the H-Bomb, or caused global meltdown, or over-populated every inch of the planet. We will have done all that, but we also created zoos (and circuses) to amuse ourselves and punished animals in order to do so.

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Broadcaster, academic, journalist, columnist, humorist. Show- off contrarian. Seriously centrist politics junkie. British Americanophile.

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Dr John Grierson

Dr John Grierson

Broadcaster, academic, journalist, columnist, humorist. Show- off contrarian. Seriously centrist politics junkie. British Americanophile.

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