05 December 2009

Of Zoos and Animals in Captivity

In a petty attempt to embarrass me and score cheap political points at last Thursday’s public consultation on the city budget, Cllr Jang started off his questioning of my presentation by asking after my dog. He then went on to ask my views on zoos and animals in captivity, attempting to find fault with my perceived support of the farmyard at Stanley Park. If Cllr Jang had done his homework he would know that I do not support wild animals in captivity. The petting zoo keeps lizards and other reptiles in glass cages and I have always thought that this made it into more of a zoo than a farmyard. I said as much to Cllr Jang and then went on to say that I was ambivalent to the keeping of farm animals in Stanley Park.

It is believed that humans domesticated animals during the Mesolithic Period (more than 10,000 years ago) and that this is what led to our development of sedentary cultures. A documentary I show my students suggest that without the domestication of dogs, civilization could never have begun. Farm animals are domesticated for work and for food. Without them most of us wouldn’t be able to have meat for our suppers.

I think that if people want to show their children farm animals they would be better off visiting a working farm, but for some city dwellers this isn’t possible and so the Farmyard at Stanley Park is the next best thing. I told Cllr Jang that while I was personally ambivalent towards the Farmyard, I would not oppose it if the citizens of Vancouver indicated they wanted to keep it. The Farmyard has already indicated that they are willing to stop keeping wild animals.

1 comment:

  1. "I do not support wild animals in captivity."

    YES! Me either, my whole life, people think I'M selfish.