And this old geezer ain't taking it quietly!
When old people get cranky, we sometimes forget our language and that children might be listening, so let me apologize in advance. Excuse my French!
It seems there's a movement afoot (among twenty-somethings, who else?) to close all zoos in America and around the world. When someone asked one of the leaders of this incredibly ignorant movement how children would be able to see wild animals without zoos, he blithely suggested that they could "...see them on PBS."
How impossibly arrogant can you get? What we're headed for is a world where these socialist jackasses (whoops there goes my French again) herd people into crammed-up cities, take away their cars and have them work in cubicles and in factories and tiny shops (no big Walmarts or Coscos remember) and restrict all access to nature to nature experts like the bloody fool that said our kids should be content with seeing wild animals on television.
There is no substitute for seeing an animal in the flesh for a kid. Ah, but the No-Zoos crowd managed to cobble together a dubious "scientific" study in which they turned a bunch of middle schoolers loose in a zoo without supervision and then asked them later if they "learned something". I could have told them what kind of dismal numbers they'd get from that rigged survey. Zoos aren't where you turn kids loose like it's some kind of government creche. You take your kids and grandkids there and you show them the animals and read the signs for them. If you're a good grandpa, you tell them what you know about the animals and pass along a little wisdom - elder to child.
These people are already trying to close waterparks and now they're after zoos too. In the name of sucking all the fun out of living, the progressive environmentalists claim zoos are cruel and not "natural". This is a gigantic crock of buffalo poop. Ninety-nine percent of all the animals in the wild die violent deaths. The rare few that do die natural deaths are eaten, sometime before they are quite through dying. In zoos, they are fed and cared for and loved by their keepers until they finally die of old age and are then respectfully buried or cremated. They are medicated when they are sick, their wounds get tended and modern zookeepers try to build habitats for them that are pleasant and stimulating. The old wire cages are disappearing as fast as the zoos can raise money to update them.
And one more thing you anti-human twits! Just because you are young and spry and can justify granting yourself the privilege to rush out into the wild and sneak up on bears and porcupines, doesn't make you somehow more deserving of a nature experience than tiny toddlers with short legs and old people with gimpy knees. Zoos pretty much the only place us old people can go with our grandkids to see wild animals safely. Out in the wilderness, wild animals eat the very young and the old and infirm. How long do you think we would last out in the wild?
And have you ever tried to watch PBS with a four year old? Cartoon animals and naturalists looking through long lenses and speaking in hushed tones is no substitute for handing an animal cracker to an excited gibbon or watching a crocodile swim lazily past you in the jungle river habitat. I've never had a tiny little girl squeel with delight over scenes of a lion breaking the neck of an antelope and then eating him on the Discovery Channel. But when a hungry giraffe snuffles a treat from her open hand, her face lights up with pure joy.
You know, I'm happy your bodies can carry you out into wilderness and bring you safely home. Ours aren't up to that anymore. We wore ourselves out long ago in raising you ungrateful pups. Years ago, I had to give up mountain climbing because my knees were damaged. It happened because I was trying to save a human life - the life of a child that was abused and mistreated by someone made crazy living in the kind of "sustainable" government communities you want to crowd all us humans into. These families were living all crammed up in cities, poor and without any way to escape their circumstances. They go crazy and they hurt their young. That's what's going to happen in these sustainable socialist hives you guys are planning for us.
I used to take groups of traumatized and emotionally damaged kids to the zoo. Ninety percent had never seen a wild animal in any context, much less in a zoo or wildlife refuge. The zoo was magical for the kids. They fed dolphins. They walked through bird aviaries where swarms of colorful tropical birds swirled around their heads. They ran excitedly around petting zoos - even a goodly number of the teens. Touching actual animals brought smiles to faces that had not smiled in a very long time. The kids were caught up in something incredible and life-changing and they shared the experience with adults, something few of them had ever done. Don't tell me the kids don't learn anything at the zoo. The researchers in that rigged study simply didn't teach them anything. You don't fault the book if the child has never been taught to read it.
We could never have gotten them together with these living breathing natural wonders any other way except by taking them to the zoo. When we took a group to Sea World, they were utterly blown away. Don't you tell me kids don't learn something at these places. We were made for living in harmony with nature. We should be living among the wild things of this world.
These people are seriously suggesting we give up all contact with the creatures of the wild and wall ourselves off from nature altogether so we don't disturb it. They're suggesting we close wild animal zoos and put ourselves in human zoos where we can sit in front of the television and watch pictures of all the beauty and magesty we are denied by these arrogant elitist nature Nazis!
Well I won't go, dammit! If they try to make me, I'll just hobble off into the wilderness and maybe get eaten by a bear. It'll be a damn-sight better than living in the "sustainable" communities you people are planning for us, where we can't even go to the zoo with out grandbabies and giggle together over the antics of the monkeys.
Tom King, Senior Person
Just thought you ought to know.