Wilderness Ethics


     Wildlife can be found all over the world. Animals come in all shapes and sizes and some
still havenít even been accounted for. Animals were on this planet long before
man, but they may not be here when man leaves. The animalsí downfall results
from the extensive studying, exploitation, and the destruction of their
habitats, which should be against the law. There is a lot of information that
can still be learned about certain species of animals. This information is good,
only if it furthers human knowledge and the animalís well being. Studies done
on animals involve clinical research. Taking an animal out of the wild simply to
research it for common knowledge is unnecessary. Information on any animal can
be gained by observation of the animal in its own natural habitat. Altering the
behavior of animals is a different form of "injustice." The best example of
the behavioral alteration is the circus. Under the big top of the circus, wild
animals are taught to do tricks upon command. The audience sees obediently
trained animals; but cannot see the process that it takes to tame those wild
animals. The wild animals have a home in the circus until they lose their
ability to perform. When the animals lose their ability to perform, they also
lose their ability to fend for themselves in the wild. Therefore once their
career in the circus is over, they must remain in captivity for the rest of
their lives. Zoos are another business that profits at the expense of animals.

Wild animals are hunted down and purposely taken from their habitat only to be
put in cages. Over the years, zoos have become nicer and can accommodate a large
number of species, but they are not the best home for animals. A life behind
iron bars cannot compare to the life the animals would have running or flying
free in the wild. The zoosí only justification is that the animals are taken
care of well. Animals must be treated better, and their environments need to be
saved if they are going to survive. Studying animals has a few benefits; but
when the research is over, the animals are no better off. Despite the fact that
zoos and the circus do more harm than good for the animals, they both will
probably be around for along time. Therefore humans must learn to coexist with
animal species that inhabited this planet long before man arrived.