Yesterday for work we went to the zoo.
It was the first time I'd been there in a while. I guess I've become a little uneasy about the whole idea of keeping all these animals on display for our amusement.
I know, I know, we also get to study them, learn to appreciate them, and in many cases, help to save them from extinction.
Extinction that we're causing.
It's the apes that make me the saddest. Their faces are capable of showing all these emotions, and the only emotion to see at the zoo is sadness. Sadness at being trapped. Sadness at being stared at, pointed at. Even the ones born and raised in captivity are sad - they just don't know why because they don't know anything different.
At least on a conscious level - or whatever passes for a conscious level in apes - they don't know what they're missing but they know they're missing something.
I don't know, I guess I think that by taking these animals from where they belong, we're taking a lot more than just their freedom. We get to look at them, and study them, but we're only seeing their physical being. The rest of them, their wildness, their spirit, their soul if you will, is long gone.
If it ever had a chance to exist at all.
Now, after writing this, I feel like a hypocrite because I've got three cats that never get to leave the house.
It's for their own good, I keep telling myself.