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A Philosophical Tour

Zoos by Keekok Lee
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What do visitors see in zoos? 'Wild animals in captivity', say zoos. They are simply wrong. You may sue them under the Trades Description Act, as the captive animals they exhibit are not wild, but tame. However, they are not quite like cats and dogs, although, like them, they, too, are artifacts. Zoos mislead you, too, when they justify themselves in terms of conservation via captive breeding or in education-for-conservation; these are deeply flawed. Zoos define themselves as collections of animal exhibits open to the public, just as museums exhibit their collections of cultural/artistic artifacts - the sole difference between them lies in the fact that zoo artifacts are alive, not dead matter, like paintings or stuffed birds. Zoos should concentrate instead on providing wholesome family recreation and entertainment, an important cultural task, which they are uniquely placed to promote as their animal exhibits themselves are, indeed, unique.
Palgrave Macmillan; November 2005
183 pages; ISBN 9780230503809
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Title: Zoos
Author: Keekok Lee
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