Patrick Lyons

Zoos: A Moral Investigation

Monday, April 8, 2019, 3:00 PM | Room 8


This project will investigate the enduring dilemma of whether or not zoos are morally and ethically acceptable. This issue is very hotly contested, and there are substantial and sound arguments for both sides. Those who oppose zoos cite the separation of wild animals from their natural habitats, commercialization of zoos, and adverse health effects on zoo animals. According to this argument, animals deserve to live free and in the wild, and do not belong in zoo exhibits for people to stare at them all day. On top of this, many zoos focus too much on making money without taking into consideration the health of the animals. Most unsettlingly, multiple studies have shown negative developments in the mental health of animals living in zoos, especially those animals which are the most popular. Those who support zoos, however, have their own set of equally valid arguments. In their eyes, zoos do great work to aid conservation movements, through captive breeding programs as well as fundraising. Furthermore, while some zoos certainly do not meet ideal standards of animal care, others provide fantastic care for each and every one of their residents. Most importantly, the vast majority of animals who reside in zoos today would not survive in the wild, due to either being born in captivity or to being injured in the wild and unable to be reintroduced. While in a perfect world zoos would not need to exist because animals would live safely in the wild, our world is far from perfect. With threats such as poaching and habitat loss touching virtually every ecosystem on planet Earth, zoos that focus on conservation and top-level care prove to be a top alternative to the best-case scenario.
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Catholic Memorial, the Christian Brothers School of Boston, prepares boys for college, manhood and a world full of unknown challenges, ambiguity and complex problems and the importance of relationships.

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