The Smallest Hill: Zoos are overrated

Lions at the Zoo by Jeremy Avery via Unsplash.

For many people, going to the zoo was a vital part of their childhood and created lifelong memories. It is time to recognize that zoos are overrated. Enjoying the outdoors and seeing animals may seem like an unbeatable combination, but the zoo experience can be replicated in other ways. 

Zoos are ridiculously overpriced and completely over-commercialized. Although I recognize that it’s expensive to maintain a zoo, the cost of entry is too high and everything inside the zoo from the food to specialized experiences is a money trap. The commercialization of exotic animals seems disingenuous as animals are used for profit and exposed to unnatural conditions. I can’t help but feel bad for animals who are constantly being bombarded by loud humans and strange smells. Although I enjoy learning about different animals through seeing them in the zoo, their living conditions often seem cramped. 

To enjoy the outdoors and take in nature, parks are a great alternative as they are much more affordable and offer a more authentic experience. State and national parks are filled with wildlife and animals in their natural habitat rather than in an artificial setting. The conservation efforts of parks allow visitors to experience wildlife in a natural way and preserves the wonder of observing animals. Observing animals in their natural setting sparks more curiosity and teaches people how to respect wildlife rather than viewing animals as a commodity.

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