Animal and Environmental Ethics
Animal and Environmental Ethics

Animal and Environmental Ethics

Available Only on StudyHippo
  • Pages: 2 (952 words)
  • Published: November 19, 2021
Text preview

The holding of animals in captivity has always been a subject of debate in many societies. The keeping of animals in zoo has ethical undertones. While some say that animals, just like humans, have a right to freedom, other contest that zoos act as safe havens for animals to breed and be protected. Zoos are sustained by the profits generated when humans visit to watch the animals for entertainment. The relationship between the keeping of animals in captivity for profit triggers the debate in an ethical perspective. Are the animals being denied to live their lives naturally and is it moral that man exploits his power to generate profits at the expense of animals. From an ethical standpoint, zoos should be abolished because they highlight the greedy nature of humans and demean animals. It is not justifiable to put animals in captivity for entertainment or educational purposes.

Proponents of zoos argue that zoos offer animals a safe environment to live. These environment are free of predators and have constant food supplies to sustain the animals. They also add that zoos protect the endangered animal species, a concern that should be the priority of humans in times when animals are affected by human actions. While animal protection happens in many zoos, the entertainment or education agenda deprives the animals of the freedom that comes with free roaming. Confinement of animals is a contradiction to the natural course of things (Cochrane 14). It is unethical to confine the animals against their will. Instead, it shows the self-centered nature of humans who seek entertainment

...

from withholding the rights of animals to be in their rightful places in nature. Even if keeping animals for entertainment or education purposes leads to activities for the benefit of the animals such as breeding, the animal rights perspective holds that man has no right to capture, confine or breed the animals. In all aspects, the confinement of animals for pleasure or educative purposes is unethical because it is against animal rights.

It is not justifiable to keep animals in captivity because it affects their wellbeing in a number of ways. Scientists have identified that animals in captivity are likely to suffer from boredom and stress.The zoos sell or trade animals to other zoos. Intergenerational bonds are broken in the process, further worsening the plight of animals. The influx of visitors and money in the zoos also creates incentives for zoo operators to breed animals on a large scale (Evans 55). The incentive can lead to overpopulation where animals are put in circuses or even slaughtered.There have been numerous cases of animal abuse in circuses. This shows that keeping animals in the zoo serves as a catalyst for other inhumane acts to animals. It only increases the greed of people to use animals as a source of income.

According to virtue ethics, every person is supposed to have moral convictions that guide behavior. As such, a person should not only operate through the rules in place. Early philosophers such as Aristotle and David Hume had strong convictions that animals think, feel, and even have beliefs. Additionally, modern philosophers argue that it i

View entire sample
Join StudyHippo to see entire essay
View entire sample
Join StudyHippo to see entire essay

ethical to respect the place of every component of the universe (Cochrane 37).Applying virtue ethics, a person is supposed to apply moral judgment and behave accordingly. In this case, moral judgment inclines towards allowing animals top have the same freedom in the wild as humans have on earth. It would also be virtuous to reason that it is possible for humans to see animals without confining them in zoos. If people intend to see animals, they can see them in a sanctuary of visit the wild(Evans 92). This attribute is devoid of unethical treatment of animals because it does not violate any of their rights to interact freely in the world. It is not justifiable to spoil the quality of life of animals for the entertainment or educational purposes. It is virtuous to let them be free in the wild.

The argument that zoos save endangered species by bringing them to safe environments and breeding them is not solid. Proponents of keeping animals in captivity for education purposes argue that zoos extend a preservation agenda. While it is true that zoos help in understanding the biology of animals to protect them, it has also been proven that getting animals from the wild and keeping them in zoos interferes with the natural breeding process (Cochrane 41). It can endanger the wild population of animals because there remains less genetically diverse animals in the wild. It is unethical to interfere with the breeding process for education or entertainment. The endangering of animals mostly come from human activities. As such, keeping animals in the zoo for supposed protectionist motives from education would not be necessary had man acted in a more responsible manner.

Marine animals and other mammals should not be confined in any way. They should be allowed to roam free in their natural habitats. This would facilitate normal interaction and breeding processes. It is not viable to argue that confining animals to protect them from predators in their natural because animals were designed to live with the predators. The natural processes involving animals should be allowed to prevail.
In conclusion, it is not justifiable to keep animals in zoo for educational or entertainment.Interfering the natural order of animals is unethical, more so for entertainment purposes. Zoos should be abolished or controlled to ensure that the quality of life of animals is ideal. Humans should respect the freedoms of all living things in nature.

Works Cited

  • Cochrane, A. Animal rights without liberation: Applied ethics and human obligations. New York: Columbia University Press, 2012. Print.
  • Evans, K. M. Animal rights. Detroit: Gale, 2010. Print.
View entire sample
Join StudyHippo to see entire essay