on 16 January 2012
A couple of months ago one of my friends mentioned that she was interested in working at a zoo. Actually, she was interested in enrolling in a 2-year program that would qualify her to work as a zookeeper (at a community college somewhere outside of Los Angeles). My friend, Shannon, is also a vegetarian, so I thought her interest in zoo-keeping was a bit odd. So I asked her.

"What are your thoughts on zoos?" She responded that she understood that the animals they led a more or less miserable existence. But that their sacrifice was necessary in order for the public to have greater exposure and understanding of animals in general. With greater publicity and understanding will come more conservation efforts and, possibly, more loving of animals and less eating of them. At the time, I thought the argument was valid. Now, however, I no longer do. 

I base my new conclusion on the work of the National Geographic Society. I have no data to support my belief, but I'd be willing to bet that there is not a single zoo in the world that has fostered greater awareness of animals and their environments than National Geographic. And I'm pretty sure they haven't used many cages in the process.