Author(s): Jenny Gray
If you've visited a zoo and come face-to-face with a magnificent creature, such as a tiger, elephant or gorilla, you may have paused to wonder if the animals are happy or felt guilty that the joy of your visit comes at a cost. Modern, well-run zoos and aquariums do important research and conservation work and teach visitors about the challenges of animals in the wild and the people striving to save them. They help visitors to consider their impact and think about how they can make a difference. Yet the question remains - can modern zoos be ethically justified? Zoo Ethics examines the workings of modern zoos and considers the core ethical challenges that face those who choose to hold and display animals in zoos, aquariums or sanctuaries. Using recognised ethical frameworks and case studies of 'wicked problems', this book explores the value of animal life and the impacts of modern zoos, including the costs to animals in terms of animal welfare and the loss of liberty. It also considers the positive welfare and health outcomes of many animals held in zoos, the increased attention and protection for their species in the wild and the enjoyment and education of the people who visit zoos.
A thoughtfully researched work written in a highly readable style, Zoo Ethics will empower zoo and aquarium professionals and students of animal ethics and veterinary sciences to have an informed view of the challenges of compassionate conservation and to develop their own defendable, ethical position.