Are animals for people's entertainment

Jada Hoffman, Contributor

Animals are not meant to be the entertainment for us humans. Zoos, circuses and any other place that uses animals to make profit should not be supported.

Animals deserve to be in their natural habitat and not be forcefully removed, for financial greed. 

Those captive animals living in an unnatural environment are at risk for several health issues. For example, elephants in the zoo do not exercise how elephants in the wild do, as they walk and stand around much longer and on rougher surfaces. This leads to foot infections and arthritis, the leading cause of death for captive elephants. 

Many people fail to realize this and go to zoos and aquariums for a selfish reason: to entertain themselves, their friends or their families. However, animals are not here for our entertainment. We must care for them with the love they deserve. It’s a disruption to their natural, daily lives to cater to us humans by balancing on balls, getting stared at, or any other inhumane activity one can think of that animals must go through. Instead they should be flying, sleeping or running when they please.

It’s a very hard and traumatic experience working as an animal. They are trained nonstop to perform tricks they are not meant to do. If they perform wrong, they will be brutally punished. Oh, and if the animal is “too old” and not lively enough they will be relocated, sometimes even killed or replaced by younger, more fun animals.

As a result of this, many captive animals experience what is called “zoochosis.” This is a stereotypical behavior common in captivity including self-mutilation, pacing, etc. Some animals are given antidepressants to ensure the visitors are satisfied, making the animal suffer even more. At the infamous marine zoological park, Seaworld, many trainers give their animals antidepressants. At this point they are treating these animals like property and removing all free will from them.

There have been several cases in which an animal has been shot or killed in order to protect a human being. Although humans lives do matter, so do animals. Animals should not be blamed for a stupid human action, nor should they have to suffer to ensure that people are happy.

Back in 2016, the 17 year old gorilla Harambe was shot and killed at Cincinnati Zoo after a young boy fell into his pit. Harambe showed nothing to make someone believe the young boy was at harm. It’s also not Harambe’s fault that the young boy’s guardian(s) weren’t watching him close enough. Despite this, Harambe was at fault and killed because of it. 

Some argue that zoos are educational. This is fake news. A study was done at four U.S. zoos that reported only 6% of visitors went for education, whereas 86% said it was for social purposes. 

For one, zoos aren’t teaching how wild and natural animals live, instead they teach about how captive animals live. In fact, many of those who work at zoos lack the knowledge of animals and the wild. They just say basic facts such as the weight, the appetite and that’s about it.

If people want to learn about animals, they should visit the wild or watch television. There are channels and shows created to give viewers an authentic perspective and teach knowledge on the lifestyles of these animals. 

Animals should not be used for profit. Zoos are ruining the lives of many animals left and right and it’s sad. Their reproduction system is being altered, their food is being scheduled and they are not allowed any liberation.

Zoos should not be supported by anyone. Money can be put to use for several other organizations. Organizations that want to help these animals, such as the Freedom for Animals Foundation. 

As the years pass on, it gets scarier and scarier for the world. However, there is definitely hope. With this being the generation of technology and social media, people can join the advocacy for the humane treatment of captive animals. 

As the weather gets warmer, find other fun activities to partake in and ensure it is not going to the zoo.