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From: Jo Stepaniak (
Subject: Re: Your opinions please - zoos/aquariums.
Date: March 6, 2010 at 7:05 am PST

In Reply to: Your opinions please - zoos/aquariums. posted by Joanna D on March 6, 2010 at 2:09 am:

Hello, Jo. I cover this topic in-depth in my books The Vegan Sourcebook and Being Vegan (in much greater depth than I could go into here). The short answer is that vegans do not endorse maintaining animals in captivity for any purpose. My personal feeling is that if a group or organization is concerned about conservation of endangered species, the best solution is to preserve the animals' natural habitat (and preserve the animals IN their natural habitat), rather than take the animals out of their habitat to an unnatural, minuscule space for breeding purposes and then charging the public to view them. If an animal cannot survive because all of its habitat has been destroyed, then the earth can no longer sustain that species. The issue to be addressed is not how to preserve the species but how to make space for the animals in their natural environment to meet THEIR needs (not to meet OUR needs or wants or desire to be "entertained"). If you work in a place like that and are vegan, you will constantly be rationalizing it to yourself (and others). Regardless of what an organization calls it ("conservation" or another benign-sounding term), it's still exploitation.

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