Why We Protest Zoobilation
The Indiana Animal Rights Alliance and supporters will stage a demonstration Friday, June 8 at 6:00 p.m. on the public sidewalks near the entrance of the Indianapolis Zoo in continued protest of the exploitation of animals at the Zoo. The demonstration will coincide with the Zoo’s annual fundraiser, Zoobilation.
Animal lovers often view the Zoo as doing positive work, so we are often asked why we protest.
The purpose for the protest is twofold. We don’t believe animals should be confined and kept in small, unnatural enclosures simply for our entertainment purposes. Additionally, the fact that Zoobilation serves up dead animals as part of this fundraiser seems counter to the goal of caring about animals.
We have always thought it was strange to raise money for some animals in a fundraiser centered around killing and eating other animals.
Cows, pigs and chickens are no less deserving of their lives than giraffes or zebras or other animals at the Zoo.
Do you think a cow values her life less than a zebra? Of course not, yet we butcher her for a fancy dinner to raise money for the other animals. That makes very little sense.
Most zoo patrons do not see the disconnect between their INTENT, which is to help animals, and their ACTIONS, which directly cause harm to animals. We would like to see them align their actions with their intent.
Farm animals have thoughts and lives, social orders, likes and dislikes just like giraffes or zebras do. The Zoo claims to care about animals. I’d like to see them start to show that by not supporting a fundraiser where many, many animals are killed.
Not only is the money being raised through a fundraiser where animals are killed…that money is going toward building and maintaining unnatural environments to incarcerate innocent individuals. The zoo does very little true conservation work.
For those who say they love animals, the very least we can do is stop killing them to eat. We may always have disagreements with the Zoo about whether captivity is okay in the first place, but we should surely be able to agree that we shouldn’t intentionally kill animals unnecessarily for food… especially in a fundraiser designed to raise money for animals.
How does the Zoo decide which animals deserve their love and which animals it’s okay to harm? The only reason it’s acceptable to eat cows but not zebras is because humans have deemed it so – but both of these animals are capable of forming emotional bonds with both humans and other animals alike, and suffer fear and pain when faced with death.
In the wild, many animals must kill others in order to survive; in our society, there are a plethora of other food options available that do not necessitate the exploitation and slaughter of sentient creatures.
Despite the fact that animal agriculture is the number one contributor to species extinction worldwide (http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2015/08/meat-eaters-may-speed-worldwide-species-extinction-study-warns) Zoobilation proudly serves up pounds upon pounds of slaughtered animals, apparently oblivious to the loss of life that occurred not only from those animals being eaten but also in the destruction of natural habitat of endangered species in order to feed and raise said animals.
Though all human development inevitably results in the unavoidable death of some creatures, eating a plant-based diet has been shown many times over to minimize the harm done to other animals on the Earth.
Furthermore, there is growing awareness as to the harm that is often committed by zoos against the animals they house (http://www.natgeotraveller.co.uk/smart-travel/travel-talk/hot-topic-time-zoos-banned/).
Although many zoos were formed with genuine intentions to protect animals and educate the public, the truth is that most zoos are not able to adequately care for the animals that come to them from all over the globe. Animals at many zoos, including the Indianapolis Zoo, exhibit classic signs of mental stress by pacing back and forth in their enclosures. Animals from arctic regions are forced to endure Midwest or tropical summers with only a small tank of water to relieve them in the heat. Certain animals at the zoo are also forced to learn unnatural behaviors and perform for humans.
True sanctuaries allow animals ample room to roam, attempt to recreate their natural environment as closely as possible, and help the animals to develop natural behaviors. Sanctuaries put the interests of the animals first, not the interests of paying customers. When the model is not set up to directly benefit animals, the animals always lose out in the end.
While we’re sure many people who work and volunteer at the Zoo try their best to care for the animals, the structure of modern zoos, including the Indianapolis Zoo, is not set up to benefit animals.
One example of this is their use and treatment of dolphins. Although 26 baby dolphins have died at the Zoo and only 5 have survived, they continue to breed the dolphins. Even at a time when other countries are banning dolphin shows and captivity, the Indy Zoo doubles down on their efforts to keep them in captivity and continue to breed them. Bottlenose dolphins are not endangered and little can be learned about dolphins in captivity. Despite this, they continue to breed them because dolphin shows increase ticket sales.
Consider the sad story of Nova: www.inanimalrights.com/meet-nova
And the heartbreaking story of Ripley, who spent most of her life at the Zoo and died this past December: www.inanimalrights.com/dolphin-dies-at-indy-zoo
For more information, visit www.ZooBlues.info