The Zoo: the place for anyone who loves nature, animals, beauty, art, poetry, creation and diversity. It is where we can listen in to the song of the universe, the harmony of birds chirping, lions roaring, bears growling, monkeys laughing, and that sound of elephants spraying water with their trunks.
But rather than feeling inspired, my trip to the zoo last week left me sad, angry and frustrated. The zoo is nothing us humans should be proud of, it is a display of the very worst traits in our character.
While I was standing by the thick glass looking into the lion’s den, a thought suddenly disrupted my amazement. I approached a guide and inquired of the eating habits of the lioness, she told me that the lioness is fed 25 kilograms of meat thrice a week and has a constant supply of water.
I than started screaming and shouting [in my head, not to that innocent tour guide]
Does this lion know that she can run 50 mph? Does she know that she can go without food for 14 days? Does she know that every animal in all the jungle is terrified of her roar? Does she know that she is a skilled and brilliant hunter? Does she know that she can rip any beast to shreds with her claws and teeth? The answer is OF COURSE NOT! How in the world should she know all this?
You see, in manipulating nature for our selfish amazement, we turned a lion into a cow. We provide him with enough food, with the perfect climate and isolate him from any possible danger. “But his life expectancy is longer than his counterparts in the jungle”, goes the argument. To which I ask you a question.
Imagine you take a child and isolate him in a glass cage, with a healthy diet, the right temperature, and protected from any outside encounter, thus pretty much safe from disease. The child will probably live for a thousand years. He will never talk, read, think critically, crave for greatness, learn the wisdom we gathered, learn to survive or form intimate relationships. In other words, he would be a cow in a human form. What does he gain from living a thousand years? What does he need life for?
In the zoo, we stripped the lion from his glory, we robbed him from his pride, we weakened him from his might and worst of all, we molested his identity.
Sorry for ending so negatively.