GESB011-003 Written Assignment One: Argument
NG IAN IAN, SB519310
The advantages of the zoo far outweigh its disadvantages
Millions of people visit zoos around the world every year, whether zoos provide benefit more than harm has always been a controversial issue, people take different opinion on it, some people argue that zoos helps to provide education and conservation about nature, some opinion argue that zoos are unnecessary prison to the animals. Zoo is a facility which kept animals, especially wild animals, and displayed them to the public for public viewing, with the development of society, zoos’ specification is also become more diversification, beside to displayed to the public, most of them also have the function of the conservation institutions. As far as I am concerned, I support the view that the benefits of zoos are more than harm, there are some reasons behind my opinion.
First of all, zoos are the only direct position for the majority of people to have close contact with animals, close contact with animals helps a lot to increase public attention to animals, and provide environmental education and conservation education for the public, meanwhile zoos also can be function as an attractive place of entertainment. Swanagan (2000) implemented a research to determine the effectiveness of conservation education in zoos, he predicted that compared to those who only see elephant in exhibitions and pictures, Zoo Atlanta’s audiences who had an interactive experience with the elephant in the demonstration are more likely to actively support in the elephant conservation, the survey randomly selected 471 zoo visitors, 350 of them completed the questionnaire, signed the petition and took the conservation-action solicitation cards, the result shows that visitors who had higher degree of interaction with the elephant had a higher return rate of the solicitation cards. This research shows that zoos really raising people’s concern about animal protection issues and promoting animal conservation by provided an opportunity for the public to know and interact with animals. When I was in primary school, school has organized us to visit the Seac Pai Van Park, the staff introduced us about the animal’s habit and information while we are looking at the real animals in front of us, even if there are just few kinds of animals, it is impressive and further understanding than reading books or watching video because we can feel the vitality of animals, as I mention at the beginning, zoos not only contribute in education, but also conduce the development of tourism, zoos all over the world are attracting hundreds of visitors every year.
More importantly, zoos bring positive benefits to animals because they effort to protect and manage animals especially endangered species mutually with government, they contribute to conservation efforts. For instance, China owns the pandas, Zoo Atlanta in the United States rented pandas from China, helps breeding giant pandas and increase their numbers since panda population is endangered, Zoo Atlanta also donated more than $10 million to China’s conservation project of giant pandas, which funding eight panda nature reserves in China and support in building stations, reforestation, equipment and research project (Gulledge, 2016). Aside from protect animals through captive breeding, zoos also endeavor in environmental enrichment, support to protect habitats. The Toledo Zoo cooperate with the Nature Conservancy, helping to restore the butterfly habitat in Ohio, and the Bronx Zoo has allocated more than $3 million funds for the zoo’s conservation projects in central Africa, all those funds were come from Bronx Zoo exhibit’s admission fees (Fravel, 2003).
In contrast, some people hold the idea that zoos destroy animals’ live, zoos are a prison that immorally deprive the freedom of the animals. However, to play the role of conservation, research and education, it can only limit the freedom of a part of animals to develop the whole, Regan (2005) argued that people need to recognize that animals live in the wild do not mean that they live in ‘paradise’, in the wild, the threats of predators, diseases, starvation, extreme climate will continually harass them, which eventually make them suffer from pain or suffering, these threats are all removed in a well zoo environment, many wild animals are live in relatively small, clearly defined areas, similar to the concept of habitat.
To conclude, the arguments I have proposed above, shows that zoos have a very positive impact on the environment, ecology, education and even the economy, in terms of the rapid development of social economy in recent years, I zoos management will be improved and better managed. Undeniably, there are hundreds of animals in the world, certainly will be some zoos cannot provide good mange, good environment and facilities, and then there are some news about zoo’s animal attack visitor and animals died in the zoo, but I believe that these are in the minority, and the relevant departments will keep to the zoo specifications. On balance, the disadvantages are relatively less important than what zoos contribute to animals and society.
Fravel, L. (2003, November 13). Critics Question Zoos’ Commitment to Conservation. National Geographic News. Retrieved from https://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2003/11/1113_031113_zoorole.htmlGulledge, J. (2016, March 29). Zoo Atlanta’s mission to help save pandas. CNN. Retrieved from https://edition.cnn.com/2016/03/29/us/iyw-panda-conservation-zoo-atlanta/Regan, J. (2005). The Manifesto for Zoos. John Regan Associates Ltd.
Swanagan, J. S. (2000). Factors Influencing Zoo Visitors’ Conservation Attitudes and Behavior. The Journal of Environmental Education, Volume 31, 2000 – Issue 4