In “Are Zoos Morally Defensible?,” Tom Regan argues that zoos are not morally defensible based off of the rights (p. 392, 2014). I agree with his argument and I am going to defend his case against the morality of zoos. I will argue for the view that zoos are not morally defensible because zoos drive many animals into insane behavior, animals, as beings, have individual rights that are infringed by zoos, and zoos use these animals just to attract the public and their money.
The initial reason that zoos are not moral is that they drive animals into psychotic behaviors. Inside zoos, the animals often suffer from neglect and exhibit neurotic behaviors called “zoochosis.” This can be caused by small, inadequate spaces, a herd being broken up, not…show more content… Zoos claim to be standing for education, conservation, and research. Because animals, under the rights view, have their own rights, we do not have a right to keep animals for our own education. Before we, as humans, came into play, animals survived adequately without our knowledge. Therefore, we are not bettering them by learning about them, we are bettering ourselves. This is a violation of Kant’s Formula of Humanity. Kant’s Formula of Humanity says that we must act in such a way that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, never merely as a means to an end, but always at the same time as an end (Timmons, 2014). Using zoos for educational purposes disobeys this because animals are not used as an end themselves, but just purely as means for us. On top of that, conservation is a lost cause. Most of the animals in zoos are, in fact, not endangered, but there for our own means such as entertainment. Those that are endangered are hardly introduced back into the wild because they are stripped of their “wild” selves. Their individual rights are infringed because of their species membership, which is a breach in speciesism because their self-worth is being held because of their species. Furthermore, the research conducted in zoos is that of captive animals. It is difficult to learn about wild animals when they, in reality, are not wild. I feel that the research in zoos is not valid for wild animals because they live in an artificial world and most zoo animals are driven