Instigator / Pro
0
1469
rating
3
debates
16.67%
won
Topic

Zoo's should be banned

Status
Finished

All stages have been completed. The voting points distribution and the result are presented below.

Arguments points
0
0
Sources points
0
0
Spelling and grammar points
0
0
Conduct points
0
0

After not so many votes...

It's a tie!
Parameters
More details
Publication date
Last update date
Category
Nature
Time for argument
Two weeks
Voting system
Open voting
Voting period
Two weeks
Point system
Four points
Rating mode
Rated
Characters per argument
10,000
Contender / Con
0
1500
rating
1
debates
50.0%
won
Description
~ 72 / 5,000

Affirmative Debaters: Addison & Maryn
Negative Debaters: McKenna & Jason

Round 1
Pro
Zoos attract many families to look at the ‘happy’ animals; walking around the zoo is considered a ‘learning’ experience. They learn all about the different animals but what they do not understand is that these animals are being tortured and forced to be in small enclosures. These animals are forced to do fun, interesting tricks for the entertainment of the families that have come to watch. Is this entertainment truly more important than the safety and health of the animals? Zoos should be banned because there is a lack of space for the animals, healthy animals are taken away from their known habitat to be used for entertainment for people, and finally when it is time to go back into the wild, they are not prepared because they are so dependent on the zookeepers. These animals are caged in for the rest of their lives. They miss out on many opportunities to develop a full range of their interests and needs. Zoos lack space for the animals to roam around. These animals are put in enclosures that are a fraction of the size. For example, according to New York Times and National Geographic, the typical zoo enclosure for a polar bear is one-millionth the size of its home range in the wild, which is around 31,000 square miles that they are missing (Derr, Draven). There is not enough space in zoos for their animals to do their daily activities, including running, swimming, hunting, etc. Many healthy animals are taken to zoos but have no reason to be there. Approximately 8,700 species of animals, across the world, are taken away from what they are used to and are forced into enclosures. National Geographic states only 15% of these thousands of species are considered to be going extinct, meaning that 85% of these 8,700+ species are animals that are not going extinct therefore there is no reason for them to be in zoos (Draven). The 85% should not be taken from their natural habitats to be used as entertainment for humans. According to petkeen.com, 75% of animals that are kept in zoos have been abused at some point in their life at the zoo (Jones). This includes using instruments that threaten and/or force the animal to do certain tricks. Animals are being used and forced to do tricks for entertainment. The final reason is that animals are so dependent on the zookeepers and people that take care of them, that when they do get released, they often die because they were used to being dependent on having food given to them and they did not have to worry about predators around them. BBC Earth states that captive animals rarely learn crucial survival skills and often adapt to human contact because of the lack of the natural fear of humans, they are vulnerable to poachers and ill-equipped for life in the wild (Cormier). Animals that are put in zoos will never be able to go back to how they were used to living before. This is sad and animals do not deserve this. We believe that zoos should be banned all around the world.
Con
Zoos have been around for as long as we have known. Zoos are a way to enjoy an afternoon with family and friends. It is an education tool for the public to learn about animal conservation and zoology. There are many benefits to having local zoos around. Zoos help the preservation of animals, they help people to better understand species of animals, and zoos help the economy. Zoos can help support endangered species, keeping they alive and able to breed. Zoos ensure that certain species of animals don't die out in the wild. The Children's Nature Retreat says "Breeding programs help preserve genetic biodiversity and help reintroduce critically endangered species into the wild. Having animals in protection provides a reservoir against a population crash in the wild. Zoos have helped remove animals from the endangered species list and have saved many from extinction." Without our zoos, who knows what animal species would have died out. Zoos ensure that enclosures and habitats are accurate to their natural climate for the best living experience. Zoos all animals to eat every day with worrying about the dangers of the natural food chain. Animals don't ave to go out and hunt and run the risk of being killed themselves. They get special attention and get specially catered to in order for them to live a full and happy life. Animals are facing the threat of extinction everyday because of human life and how we as human effect the planet and their natural habitats. But, with the help of zoos, humans are actually able to help expend animal species and preserve their kind with breeding programs. When you think about it, when animals are in zoos, they have a better quality of life. They don't have to be in the dangerous wild and if they are sick or if they get injured somehow, they are treated. Animals that are initially brought into zoos may be injured or sick from the wild, but they are healed and are given a second chance at life. Zoos also help animal research and give education to animal conservation to the public. Zoos offer closeup studies of animals and their habits. The Children's Nature Retreat also had this to say about animal research, "Modern zoos act as a place for observation and research to study issues such as animal disease or infection and to help develop treatments." Animal research can not only help species from all around the world, but also help human life. Seeing an animal up close can give a better perspective for animal conservation to the public. When people see and appreciate these animals, they can figure out way to help the preservation of animal species. The Guardian posted an article about zoos and discussed animal conservation, "Many zoos also work directly to educate conservation workers in foreign countries or send keepers abroad to contribute their knowledge and skills to zoos and preserves helping to improve conditions and reintroduction all over the world." A better education of animals and their habitats can help the preservation of endangered species. The Association of Zoos and Aquariums said "AZA SAFE: Saving Animals From Extinction, the Association’s flagship conservation program, brings AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums together to focus their collective expertise and leverage their massive audiences to save species like sea turtles and American red wolves." Zoos alert the public and researchers about endangered species and they are a symbol for change. They help protect their animals so others can learn and enjoy. Zoos are also a great source of revenue for the economy. Zoos offer many jobs for others and can allow animal lovers a once in a lifetime opportunity to work up close with animals from all around the world. If zoos were banned, millions around the country would lose their jobs and they would have to separated from animals that they have made attachments to. The Association of Zoos and Aquariums says "The 215 AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums in the U.S. serve more than 183 million annual visitors and support over 212,000 jobs, generating $24 billion in the total value of goods and services generated directly and indirectly as a result of annual outlays by AZA members and their visitors." Zoos help to boost the economy by bringing people in to see things that they have never seen before. People pay to see these animals in order to support these animals, not to hurt them. If zoos were banned, our economy would take a significant dip and many would be left unemployed. Zoos are very important to the world. It allows for enjoyment and a new experience. People see things that they have never seen before. People get a better idea of what wildlife is like. Zoos alert people of the importance of animal conservation and they protect endangered animals from going extinct. Overall, zoos help animals, people, and the economy and, therefore, should not be banned.
Round 2
Pro
Zoos should be banned because of the negative impact they are having on animals. There are many reasons why zoos are more harmful than not. The “enjoyment” that friends and family can get from an afternoon at the zoo is not worth the suffering that the animals have to go through. These animals are being forced to perform and do tricks and in many zoos, visitors are allowed to get close to them. The USDA has made it clear that handling these animals is a violation of the Animal Welfare Act (Woodside). Although there is some level of education that can come from zoos, the conservation claims that come are false. Mimi Bekhechi, director of international programs at PETA says, “Zoos are prisons for animals, camouflaging their cruelty with conservation claims. Animals in zoos suffer tremendously” (Draven). And as stated before, only 15% of the thousands of species held in zoos are even considered to be threatened (Draven). How does this make animal conservation one of the main purposes of zoos? In an article from PetKeen.com, World Animal Protection says that of all of the animals held by the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums, about 75% of them have been abused (Jones). If anything this shows that zoos are neglecting and harming animals and not conserving them. The statement that “zoos ensure that enclosures and habitats are accurate to their natural climate for the best living experience” is simply not true. As said above, in a New York Times article, the typical enclosure for a polar bear at the zoo is one-millionth the size of its home range in the wild (Derr). This shows how inaccurate habitats are for animals that are being held captive in zoos. Scott Woodside says that since zoos can be housing animals that are not native, they can end up suffering because of extreme weather they may not have faced in the wild. Animals can also develop dangerous habits because of the stress of the small living area and the lack of normal social interactions. These behaviors are putting both the animals and the workers at risk (Woodside). Animals that thrive in colder temperatures are placed into enclosures that are a lot warmer and they have no variety in what they are fed. Animals will be dependent on humans and unable to survive on their own, losing their natural instincts (Schaefer). The living conditions that animals are put through in zoos are extremely harmful. Jobs are provided by zoos, but it is often dangerous. Scott Woodside states, “This is often seen as a consequence of the fact that their workers have little to no training when it comes to the welfare and safety of the animals in their care. A ban of zoos or at least more regulation could also protect these untrained workers from serious injury or death due to unpredictable animal behavior” (Woodside). So, while zoos are a source of revenue and can provide jobs, is this worth the harm that is placed on both the animals and the people working? Making a profit is not worth the lives of thousands of animals being abused and neglected in zoos.
Con
First off, it was stated that animals in zoos are tortured and forced to be in small enclosures. To begin with, the second part of this statement is worded in a way to make the animals living environment seem worse off than it actually is. An animal’s home inside a zoo tends to be specifically designed for that said animal, and have all certain aspects of life needed for that animal to thrive and survive. While the size of most of the animal’s homes inside a zoo are very small compared to the true wildlife, for most of the animals which are born into captivity, it’s all they know. This shows that while it might tend to be a lot smaller than wildlife itself obviously, the animal doesn’t necessarily feel that way because it was born into that home, and provided with an adequate space to live in. Anna Fletcher Jones, who was a zookeeper for 22+ years states “animals on the whole prefer familiar surroundings and are afraid of strange things” (Jones). This goes to show that the animal is actually not as distasteful towards it’s enclosure as the affirmative statement makes it seem with when they say the animal is forced into the small enclosure. Sure technically the animal doesn’t have a choice to be in the enclosure in most cases, but that doesn’t mean the enclosure isn’t good enough, or maybe even better than the wildlife for that animal. Most of the affirmative’s statement was based around the animals not having enough space inside a zoo, when the animal doesn’t necessarily need more space, as long as the zoo is providing the adequate enclosure for that animal (which is usually the case). The animal would actually rather stay somewhere it is used to, rather than have to encounter strange things, unfamiliar places, etc. Second off, the affirmative looks at the issue of zoo animals being released back into the wild and how that’s not good for the animal while right before that in the statement the affirmative said that these animals are “caged up for their lives”. So why worry about being released back into the wild when the animal will be “caged up for life”. Either way, in non common cases that the zoo animal is released back into the wild, it is done so through reintroduction programs. “Reintroduction programs, by which animals raised or rehabilitated in AZA-accredited zoos or aquariums are released into their natural habitats, are powerful tools used for stabilizing, reestablishing, or increasing in-situ animal populations that have suffered significant declines. These reintroduction programs have been used on various species such as the Asian Wild Horse, Black Footed Ferrets, Golden Lion tamarin and more, proving to be very successful with their initiative” (Reintroduction). So in the uncommon case of an animal being released back into the wild from captivity, it can now be done so using a program such as reintroduction programs so that they slowly, and smoothly make their way back to life in the wild. Finally, the affirmative’s final statement is the abuse that goes on in zoos. The Children's Natural Retreat states “While there are underfunded and neglectful zoos out there, the good ones positively contribute to the animals’ health and well-being. Animals can have a quality of life as high or higher than in the wild. They don’t suffer from the stress and threat of predators, the pain of parasites, injury, or illness, and they won’t suffer from starvation or drought. Instead, they enjoy a peaceful life with a high-quality diet filled with all of the supplements they need. They won’t have to endure the bullying or social ostracism that often happens in nature. Many dreadful things happen in the wild that aren’t present in zoos” (How). And while the abuse still does occur in zoos, it has also recently been getting drastically better. According to ScienceDaily, “Zoos have made great advances in "environmental enrichment" -- making changes to encourage natural behavior and improve animal well being” (University). On top of this, zoos also play a big role in saving animals from extinction and endangerment. So all in all, while yes like all things zoos have their faults, they do help save the animals from endangerment/extinction, they provide the animals with enclosures that the animal will feel familiar and comfortable in, and animal abuse in zoos is getting drastically better, while being in the zoo also helps the animal stay away from the uncertainties of the wilderness.
Round 3
Pro
We believe that we have won this debate and proven that zoos should be banned.  As stated before, zoos should be banned due to a lack of space for the animals, healthy animals are taken away from their known habitat to be used for entertainment for people, and when it is time to go back into the wild, they are not prepared because they are so dependent on the zookeepers. Animals are taken from what they are used to and forced to be put in a small enclosure for the families that walk around the zoo to look at the “happy” animals for a couple of minutes and then move on to the next “happy” and “healthy” animal. There is a very small amount of animals that are being rescued when put into zoos, but there are many that are being neglected. The improper habitats and climates that these animals are being forced into causes them to lose their natural instincts and abilities. Being dependent on humans for survival when they would otherwise thrive in the wild is immoral and wrong. We should not have the right too imprison these animals for our own benefit of profit and entertainment.
Con
We believe that we, the negative, have won this debate and shown that zoos should indeed not be banned due to many reasons. Zoos have many benefits, and their pros outweigh the cons. For one, as stated before, zoos help the preservation of animals, allow for better education of the animals, serve as an educational tool for the public to learn about the animals, and also provide the animals with their ideal living environment so that they won’t need to face the uncertainties of the wild. Zoos can help endangered species of animals, survive, and help rebuild that broken species. They also help us all learn about the animals, and prove as a very viable learning experience for children, school students, and even grown adults. On top of this all, zoos also provide the animals with an enclosure that matches that animals needs, while providing them with food, water, and more so that they won’t ever need to run into any uncertainties, and can always feel like they are in the right place. Zoos give the animals a home, with their family, and all the things they need to survive. This all is why we believe zoos should not be banned, and why we won the debate.