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Failure at Humanity: Animals in Zoos and Circuses

Due to the pronounced focus that the rights and well-being of animals have received owing to the efforts of PETA and similar organizations, the idea of using animals as the source of amusement seems barbaric to most audiences. However, despite the rise in the levels of empathy toward individual animals, the fate of wildlife, as a whole, appears to be far too nebulous a concept for most people.

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The described standpoint reinforces the problem of invisibility by which the suffering of animals in zoos and circles can be characterized. Since zoos and circuses typically offer an environment that provides unbearable conditions for animals, the legitimacy of allowing the specified types of organizations to use animals must be seriously questioned.

First and most obvious, due to the large variety of animals that circuses and especially zoos typically hold, a range of different environments must be provided for each species so that all of the animals could be provided with the setting where they feel at least moderately well. However, for animals that require very cold environments, such as penguins or polar bears, most circuses are unlikely to have the budget to provide appropriate conditions (Iftime 100).

Likewise, healthcare support for animals contained in zoos and circuses is likely to be nonexistent, especially as far as smaller zoos and circuses are concerned. As a result, animals suffer from a variety of health complications, yet they continue to be exploited for the audience’s amusement.

In addition, the fact that circuses and zoos profit from exploiting animals makes visiting the specified organizations and supporting their business a highly unethical choice. Studies and the available evidence show that, in most cases, most zoos, not to mention circuses, have little to no interest in providing animals with decent living conditions.

Quite the contrary, the environment in which these animals live is often unbearable (Brando 298). Similarly, the fact that circuses and zoos profit financially from displaying animals shows that the intentions of the specified organizations are far from being geared toward assisting animals and supporting them. Quite the contrary, most of the specified organizations tend to view animals merely as a disposable source of income.

Finally, the fact that a range of zoos and most circuses ignore the needs and even capabilities of animals, instead, using them as the tool for attracting audiences, indicates that both zoos and circuses must be prohibited from holding animals. For instance, popular elephant rides ignore the fact that most elephants suffer from carrying the weight of a human, not to mention the fact that most circuses start exploiting animals as early as possible, which affects cubs firsthand (Lucassen 2). Thus, due to the violent, exploitative, and cynical nature of how circuses and zoos view animals that they possess, the specified type of entertainment must be banned from holding or using any type of animals in the future.

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Due to the particular source of vulnerability for animals, namely, their lack of agency and independence, as well as the nature of circuses and zoos, which seek to exploit an animal rather than provide home and support for it, the specified organizations must be prohibited from using animals.

The use of animals as the source of audience’s amusement is a blight upon the modern entertainment industry and a remnant from the past since it fails to represent the present-day ethics with its focus on meeting and recognizing the needs of every living being. Failing to represent any shred of humanity toward living creatures and striving on the exploitation of animals, circuses and zoos must be prohibited from using animals in their acts.

Works Cited

Brando, Sabrina. “Wild Animals in Entertainment.” Animal Ethics in the Age of Humans. Springer, 2016, pp. 295-318.

Iftime, Oana. “Circus Animals – How Much Is ‘Unfair’?” Eubios Journal of Asian and International Bioethics, vol. 1, no. 1, 2017, p. 100.

Lucassen, Sacha. “The Use of Animals in Circuses and Shows.” Da Derecho Animal: Forum of Animal Law Studies, vol. 8, no. 3, 2017, pp. 1-4.

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