Talons Philosophy

An Open Online Highschool Philosophy Course


Captivity aint cool

From movies to the news many have talked about what zoos and aquariums are really like for animals. its movie like Blackfish that really open eyes of those who watch it, the movie talks about how orcas self harm because they don’t get enough exercise, food and space. It then goes in-depth about the death of orcas that were in Sea World, and how they were shipped from one country to another. If you haven’t watched it I proudly suggest you too, because it’s an eye-opening movie that would help you understand more about animal in captivity.

Explore Gram – Boycott Aquariums

Premise 1) Some animals need to be in the wild to live a healthy life

Premise 2) Zoo and aquariums keep animal in captivity
Conclusion: Therefore all wild animal in zoos and aquariums tend to live an unhealthy life
First thing first, what is a healthy life style to me? A healthy lifestyle is the same for both animals and humans, it includes getting the sleep we need, exercise, eating right and a good mind set.
Premise 1: It is true, most animals are used to living in the wild and that if they are being kept in a smaller space they are more likely to change. Wild animals like tiger, polar bears, and elephants are used to roaming the wild and getting their exercise, they also searched for their own food which makes them strong (senses). A healthy life consist of have a healthy mind set, body and living style (exercise and such).
Premise 2: Is also true because most zoo and aquariums do keep their animals in captivity, where they are sometimes isolated (socially too). Some zoos and aquariums like Sea World are said to have animal rehab programs, where they take sick or hurt animals and nurse them back and put out into the wild. But sometimes they don’t release them, rather keep them in captivity or “sell” them to another zoo or aquarium.
Conclusion: Many animals that are kept in zoos and aquariums are neglected and isolated, most animals that are in captivity is found to be socially awkward, depressed, stressed and have other abnormal symptoms. When they are in a small space they don’t get the exercise they need, for example orcas swim up to 100 miles per day, but in captivity they swim a few laps around the tank or just float. Most animals are usually feed each day and performance animals are fed when they do tricks right (practices and shows), doing that it stops animals to hunt their food which lowers their brain usage making them lazy and depressed.
Predators are now being kept in small spaces and that they later develop self harming behaviour, that were rarely seen in the wild.
  • Elephants swaying back and froth
  • Birds plucking out their own feather
These signs were not only in zoos but in public aquariums too, a study by Captive Animals’ Protection Society found that about 90% of those animas have shown a neurotic behaviour.
  • Orcas hitting their head against the wall
Zoos and Aquariums have their pros and cons (mainly more cons) some do support animals in need of care but most don’t. A lot of animal advocate website like Peta and Born Free have talked what we need to do to prevent more animals being breed (since its dangerous and irresponsible), and to stop zoos and such, from bring more wild animals in captivity. Animals should be in the wild where they are free to roam, search for their own food and not have to perform shows. It’s important to know what they (zoos and such) are and how it affects us as humans. I hope that my presentation has given you more insight (if not, sorry) and help you form a new perspective on zoos and aquariums. To me it’s important to know where you are visiting and what it is actually like for animals, and to know that zoos, etc. are more than just a cute place for a date or fun but its rather more than.
Validity: It is valid because the conclusion that is reached comes from the two premises.
Soundness: Soundness is when all your premise is true and that it s valid, which is in this case. Both more premise leads to my conclusion and is backed up with information.

11 Responses to Captivity aint cool

  1. Aiden D says:

    Hello Rosa

    I did like your post, it clearly displays your passion for the subject and has an easy to follow flow to it. However, a section I was confused about was when it sounded like you said that all the animals should be released and their breeding should be halted. I am curious what reasoning you have behind this, because although some poorly constructed, low budget menageries lack the resources to properly care for the animals, many larger ones offer sufficient space, food and care for them. The Vancouver aquarium for example serves to educate the people of BC about their environment, which we can all too easily destroy. Also, the breeding of endangered animals for later release is literally the only reason some species have continued to survive, such as the red wolf, or freshwater mussels even.and releasing all animals would have horrific consequences due to territories of certain species, as well as habitat destruction. Releasing tigers back into Asia would kill many of them.

    Of course, this is assuming that preventing extinction is the end goal. It may be better to maintain the happiness and comfort of some organisms but lost them all in the end.

    I appreciate the passion and research you’ve put into this, but I’m curious to hear your thoughts on this perspective.

    • rosa says:

      Hey Aiden,
      Thank you for replying to my post it means a lot to, and especially I’m not that good with getting ideas or whatever through words so I’d be glad to explain my perspective on your question. When I said that animals should be released back into the wild I know personally that that would be a challenge, because most animals are use to living in captivity and would rather have a difficult time to adjust. But there are different ways we can kind of prevent animals in captivity from harming themselves or others, one of the way is to stop breeding. The movie Blackfish explains why certain breedings should come to an end, Tillikum is a killer whale from Sea World and he has past issues with being to aggressive and even killing 3 of his trainer. In our human world when an animal (ex.bear) attacks a person let alone kill them they are to be put down, but thats not what happen with Tillikum. Tillikum instead is known to be one of the main breeding whale there, and his genes are spread down to many of his babies (54%). So if an animal is known to have been aggressive why are we still breeding them? For the money. Thats why.

      It’s their genes and environment that they live in which causes death of performers, other animals and themselves. Sea World didn’t conform this as a reason but many experts have said that to be it. So if Tillikum is known to be aggressive, breeding him and make more babies with his genes would make problems worst. And the fact is they don’t just keep their sperm or baby orcas in one aquarium they ship it to other aquariums around the world, which once again expands the problem. Also some places sell their animals that are breed to circus and such. This is what I know about breedings in aquariums so I’m guessing zoos might have the same ones too?? And as you pointed out Vancouver Aquarium do help educate some people and its one of the better aquarium out there, they do help animals, have clean up projects but if you ever go and see the dolphins or orcas their fin aren’t straight but rather “collapsed” looking and this is because they are stress, diet etc. I personally can’t go back again and see dolphins or any animals locked up in a small because it physically/emotionally hurts me, after watching Blackfish and learning more my views changed. Don’t get me wrong some places do help animals and release them back into the wild which is great but how many places actually do that? It’s important to prevent extinction so we can still have beautiful animals when were years into the future, and I guess thats a dream for some people. But should animals who are almost extinct be put into a small places where they get feed (okay portions), away from everything, alone etc. is that where they should be? Yea they are away from danger but they are also not themselves, they don’t have the ability to live if they were put back into the wild. I hope that helps answer your question or it might just confuse you, I did try to explain but yea..

      more learning links yay!


  2. Rita says:

    Your post drew my interest because I frequent tumblr and I’ve heard this argument thrown around a bit. I also remembered hearing about Blackfish though I never got around to seeing it.
    I think you’re trying to say that there are animals who are harmed by being in captivity, therefore we shouldn’t have any in captivity so we don’t hurt them? But I don’t think the argument is valid, because you said only some animals need to be in the wild to live a healthy life. Therefore you can’t draw the conclusion that all animals live unhealthy lives in zoos/aquariums.
    Though I’m not very informed, I’ve generally heard arguments on animals being found hurt and rehabilitated in captivity, then released when they’re better, or endangered animals being kept safe. Here’s an article about the positive sides of having zoos: https://www.theguardian.com/science/lost-worlds/2014/aug/19/why-zoos-are-good
    Thanks for reading this comment, if you read it. It was cool writing it, I haven’t thought about this topic for a while.

  3. mei123 says:

    hey rosa

    I really love this topic because it’s 2016 and I too believe there should be a better alternative than zoos and aquariums to keep endangered species alive. Unfortunately it is required that some animals are kept in captivity in order to keep them from going extinct. Which is why I believe an argument against for-profit zoos and aquariums would be more valid. You also quoted PETA (which is not a very credible source) and mentioned Seaworld as one of your main targets. Do you also feel this way about the Vancouver aquarium which is a non-profit organization and like Aiden mentioned, uses their platform to educate the public on the destruction of critical ecosystems? This is definitely a powerful post that most people still need to educate themselves on and bringing up this conversation is a great start. A reply to my question would be appreciated. – mei

    • rosa says:

      Hey yo,
      I just replied to Aiden’s comment which kinda touches on your questions, once again I know that some animal should be kept in captivity but there are other ways to do that I personally feel. Like having expanding more so wild animals can live and grow still, space is one of the biggest problem many places have and it would help if they found a better alternative some thing safari life would help animals like tigers and elephant. Getting a good diet and care is also important, performance animals don’t get enough food if they don’t a trick right which ends up having them saving effect their good health. Like you and Aiden mention Vancouver aquarium which Im glad to say (Again) is one of the better choices out there and they do really make a difference in the environment and having the education opportunities, unlike many. But still I can’t say I don’t feel hurt when I look at the animals there swimming in circles to get enough exercise or living in the small spaces. Yes PETA isn’t a great source but other sources have touched a lot on the topics of Sea World, animal captivity and breeding. This is a topic that more people should learn about because it is important to us and to our environment, and I hope this helps also thanks :)

      I think this is what we both have in mind as a better alternative

      • mei123 says:

        Thanks for your reply rosa! i scanned through that link you sent me and I actually dislike the idea of humans and baby tigers interacting. Lots of studies have come up on tiger cubs being hit and thrown into the water so they can swim with humans. There’s definitely still a long way to go and find the right way to save these endangered species. -Mei

  4. katherine says:

    Hey Rose,
    first of all, congrats on your post!! Not only is posting things for philosophy kinda stressful, but you made a great post about a topic you are clearly passionate about. I have to agree, because the care for animals in captivity is a subject that interests me too. I only have one question about your post (mostly about syllogism cause that still confuses me)

    In your first premise, you say that “some animals need to be in the wild to live a healthy life” but by the third premise, you have changed it to “all animals in captivity tend to live an unhealthy lifestyle”

    How did it change from some to all?

    Thank you!

  5. benedict says:

    Hi Rosa! I love your post as it’s a subject I’m very passionate about, as I’ve been intrigued with aquatic life as long as I can remember and that has led me to have a great interest in visiting many aquariums. I know a lot of other people have already left comments, so I’ll try to keep it brief.

    From what I gather from your argument, you’re saying that on the whole zoos and aquariums negatively impact the animals living in them, and that zoos and aquariums are not beneficial for said animals. I’d simply like to point out that many animals, especially marine mammals at the Vancouver Aquarium for example, are in captivity because they are incapable of surviving in the wild. This is usually because they have been brought up and nurtured in captivity, either by misguided pet owners or because they were bred in a zoo with parents that are incapable of being in the wild, or it is because the animal is permanently deformed in some way. This can manifest in torn or bent fins in fish and marine mammals (like the dolphin fin drooping you mentioned) or broken wings/limbs in birds and other animals. Therefore, if these animals are to survive, they must be nurtured in captivity. Also, to move on to the point of breeding in captivity, this is usually done because the species is endangered and will otherwise go extinct if not allowed to breed in a safe environment. Later on, their young are usually released back into the wild to increase the population, this is largely beneficial for many species, and over the years has saved the dwindling population of pandas in China. In terms of animal health, places like the Vancouver Aquarium and the San Diego Zoo create habitats with ample space for their animals, and separate enclosures for when they want to rest and are exhausted from too much human exposure, making them very humane for the animals.

    I’d love to hear what you think of my argument, and maybe discuss this further with you!

  6. wallabar says:

    Yo Rosa!

    Thanks for your post, it definitely caught my attention as marine biology is one of my interests, and it clearly is for you too! Your post much reminded me of a project I once did on dolphin captivity.

    I liked how you underlined the physical and mental stress these animals go through, and the reasons as to why captivity isn’t always the best answer. I think you wanted to emphasize that animals value way more than just our entertainment (correct me if I’m wrong), to which I completely agree with.

    Although, I already skimmed through the comment above, I have a pretty similar point.
    I think it would’ve added a lot of validity to your post if you touched on the contrast between the advantages and the disadvantages of animal captivity. Like Aiden said, there are plenty of places (i.e. the Vancouver Aquarium) that serve a positive notion, and not only that, but actually save lives. I think some validity of your premise was taken away because it generalized all zoos and aquariums; please tell me what you think, maybe I’m completely wrong!

    I would have liked to see some further statistics and links to credible sources, even though you probably did research on your own time in prior to this post! Although, for people like me, I would like to hear more in detail about topics like this!

    Thanks for your post, and feel free to let me know what you think! :)

  7. wallabar says:

    omg this is Ashlee by the way! xD

  8. hana says:

    Hi Rosa!

    Thank you for taking the time to do some research on such an important topic! Your post clearly demonstrates your understanding on how many animals suffer from claustrophobia and emotional abuse when kept in captivity. In terms of your arguments and premises, I believe they support your thoughts and effectively represent a large portion of people’s opinions. Your conclusion does make sense and so do your premises, however I think your conclusion can be reworded to more thoroughly support them. In your first premise you explained how “some” animals need to be in the wild to live a healthy life but in your conclusion you stated that “all” wild animals in zoos and aquariums tend to live an unhealthy life. While this may be true, your conclusion does not support your premise. To fix this you could probably add another premise or change all to some in the conclusion (or change some to all in the first premise). I believe more people should be exposed to the truth behind zoos and aquariums so once again thanks for making an excellent post that shines a light on some of the horrors.


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