Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 26 April 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Zoos and aquariums have been traditionally and commonly regarded as august civic institutions that save animals from the immediate perils of a besieged wilderness and from extinction. Zookeepers say that their institutions inspire audiences to work to make our planet a place that is respectful of all living beings. But a more ecologically and ethically critical reading of zoos suggests that they are prisons for kidnapped, alienated, tortured specimens who are forced to live their lives in vastly unsuitable compounds for the titillation of ignorant crowds brought in by marketing and advertising campaigns that promise highbrow ecological experiences but actually pander to audiences’ less noble cravings for amusement parks, or even freakshows. Zoos’ efforts at ecological education fail because patrons show no inclination to improve their records as plunderers of natural resources or to acknowledge the pain inherent in the forced displacement and captivity of other animals.

Keywords: zoos, aquariums, captivity, animal rights, environmentalism, spectatorship

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.