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“Elephants in the wild travel up to 50 miles every day” and hundreds of those elephants are captured and bred into captivity (Dahl 1). Keeping them would be inherently cruel, for they would have to live the rest of their lives confined pacing back and forth in their small enclosures. Animals play an essential role worldwide. People should respect animal freedom and ban animals in captivity because we are essentially stripping them away from their natural habitat and forcing them to train in order to entertain people. Animals should not be kept in captivity because it is morally wrong and it can bring harm to their health and behavior.
People have researched that animals in captivity start to develop behavioral problems due to their stressful environment. Researchers pointed out that animals living in trapped quarters can “sabotage neurotransmitters in the brain” preventing animals from using their natural instincts (Lord 1). The neurotransmitters send signals to the brain to help perform behavioral functions. Due to their conditions, they aren’t able to hunt prey or burrow like they do in the wild. Therefore this causes chronic stress altering the brain neurochemistry. People, who studied autism found that animals like humans are vulnerable to the same damage to their control system. Although they may be from different causes, the variability of repetitive behavior that can be displayed by autism can parallel in animal behaviors. This relates back to the topic sentence that barren habitats can result in changed behavioral patterns for animals that can eventually harm them. It is certain that “stereotyping animals injure themselves and show signs of poor health” when placed in captivity (Lord 2). People may say that the simple solution is to enrich their environment, however it is impossible to replicate their natural habitat. Conditions in zoos, farms, or labs have not been able to provide these animals with the right treatment that they need. Now researchers have encountered animals who show signs of obsessive compulsive disorders which activates repetitive movement sequences that hinders their instinctive behavior, leading them to become more unstable. These behaviors have become more apparent as animals continue to live their lives in captivity. Many animals have fallen victim to unstimulating and small environments which lead to stereotypical behaviors such as pacing, bar biting, or plucking out their fur or feathers. The disruption of a proper home and family can ultimately impact them negatively if they continue to live in confinement.
Inadequate space and care can lead to animals suffering from poor conditions, malnutrition or debility. The Federal Animals welfare act establishes only inadequate guidelines for equipment such as cages, fencing, or conventional healthcare. For example, on Octopus farms, they are treated cruelly as they are all dumped in freshwater and left to die slowly as they absorb the water. Octopuses on the farms are subjected to, “high mortality rates and increased aggression, parasitic infection, and a host of digestive tract issues ‘ due to the conditions they live in (Singer 1). Farmed octopuses in asian and northern european countries are a delicacy, however there is much controversy about the issues of how their raised and prepared. Due to the vast amounts of octopus packed in cramped tight spaces, they violate some of the health codes in order to maintain a clean and proper environment. Animals should not be kept in captivity to prevent possible health problems. Sadly, facilities such as zoos keep numerous different types of animals that can be victim to any potential diseases when the zoos provide mediocre care.
According to statistical data among three different zoos, “ 74.3% died from infectious diseases” their mortality rate is classified according to their digestive system. Tests were run by PeerJ, a peer reviewed scientific mega journal covering research in the biological and medical sciences. After the death of animals in zoos, they are advised to perform an autopsy. The cause of death for each animal were mostly because of parasites, nutritional deficiencies, or dental diseases. Depending on different zoos their may be other factors such as their management and enclosures. However, considering the study, the data confirmed that most animals that have passed away have suffered from illness. This is significant because it proves as evidence that animals should not be kept in captivity because people aren’t able to supply their needs. Therefore they should be left in the wild to protect them and their health.
Respect for wild animals means leaving them in the wild as they should be, and keeping them would be ethically wrong. Places such as zoos, aquariums, or circuses keep animals in confinement for brief awe and entertainment. In 1979 Bristol Zoo acquired a male polar bear named Misha, he was a popular attraction among the tourists. Misha swayed from side to side in his enclosure and displayed evocative behavior. This caught the attention of media account which spread the controversy whether animals should be kept in captivity or not. Misha used to work in a circus and it eventually, “sent him mad” which lead to him having his personal psychologist. Zoos uphold a facade that they are similar to nursing homes to animals and they teach and educate children about wildlife. The appearance of a cute and cuddly victim at the zoo is faced with maltreatment, and in Misha’s case it has illuminated animal fragility and welfare debate. Animals like Misha are abused and exploited, they are only used as a tool to gain profit for humans greed. Animals are often viewed as expendable, and people learn to treasure and protect these innocent creatures from their suffering. They, “are not ours to eat, wear, experiment” or entertain. Animal rights activists have been working hard to counter captivity and end humanity’s abuse of animals. The pain we inflict on these animals is devastating. We continue to use them in commercials and advertisements when they should be roaming free in the wild. After their job is done they are tossed away and forgotten. The sad reality is that people take these beautiful and astounding animals for granted and we strip them away from the places they flourish. When people trap them in small environments it exposes the dark and deep problem that people have yet to address.
Animals should not be kept in captivity because it can cause mental illnesses, multiple health problems, and bring up the ongoing trouble of animal morality. It is pitiful to see such strong and unique animals be bound to shackles and chains of oppression. People should advocate the release of these animals because it is inexcusable to confine them for our own selfish needs. Wild animals are called wild for a reason, and they deserve the respect. They should not have to suffer from any mental illnesses or neglect by being in captivity.
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