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That we should ban zoos

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Obsidian297Obsidian297 (PRO)
Hello everybody, I,Obsidian297, am going to go for the motion that we SHOULD BAN ZOOS, (This is my first online debate)

There are several great reasons why zoos should be banned, but before I get into the reasons, I'd like to clear up the definition of what a zoo is, a zoo is a place where non-domesticated species are kept for entertainment of the people and the study that species. I am lumping aquariums and zoos into one for simplicity, as they aren't different aside from the animals contained there. I am excluding sanctuaries and wildlife reserves as they are completely different from zoos in their purpose (a zoo is run for entertainment, while sanctuary is run for conservatory purposes)

Many zoos and aquariums around the world are notorious for the mistreatment of their animals or attractions, mistreating the majestic beasts for nothing but money. When the only goal is money, you are bound to cut corners, these corners being 
  • lack of veterinary measures, some animals aren't given the treatment they need for their often debilitating conditions
  • lack of nutritious food; animals are often fed food which can lead to the aforementioned debilitating conditions, for example, white rhinoceros in captivity were found to have 4 to 5 times lower Vitamin E than those in the wild by Dr. Ellen Dierenfeld, nutritionist at Bronx- Vitamin E is mainly used in the body as a way to counter free radicals, molecules formed during the process of metabolism which damage the body internally;
  • Obesity is also seen as a rampant problem in zoos, where monkeys, deer, many carnivorous species and birds - basically all animals, (https://www.msdvetmanual.com/management-and-nutrition/nutrition-exotic-and-zoo-animals/overview-of-nutrition-exotic-and-zoo-animals), where the birds, due to being obese, can barely lift their wings and struggle to glide, elephants were developing heart disease and infertility. Surely animals would be able to find more success in nature, where they are routinely kept healthy due to the way life simply is

This is not to mention constant animal abuse, like the picture below, where two seaworld employees are standing on top of two semi-beached whales.

According to the study titled "The show can’t go on", over 75% of over 1,200 zoos across 78 countries  were found mistreating their animals in one form or another, from improper petting zoos to making big cats fight each other like gladiators. SeaWorld is one of the biggest offenders of animal  general abuse, from the pic above to purposefully beaching dolphins, which can basically cut off their oxygen supply, to taking improper care of endangered species, which brings me to my second point

2) Zoos are proving to be incompetent at conservation

Pro-zoo people tend to bring up the point that zoos are beacons of conservation, however, this is evidently becoming less and less the truth. 

Zoos classify their breeding programs as efforts to save species under the banner of conservation, however, this is nothing but a publicity stunt to attract more visitors to the zoo. Zoos aren't the ones that have saved certain species from extinction, it was always sanctuaries and national parks, like the grizzly bear, the ground lizard and the Californian Condor, not to mention countless more (https://www.npca.org/articles/1548-national-park-rangers-are-helping-these-10-animals-and-plants-survive)

Zoos around the world have been known to inbreed animals, like this- https://bigcatrescue.org/zoos-inbreeding-mother-and-sons/, causing massive deformities and other problems caused due to inbreeding like infertility.

Meanwhile, funds that should go to sanctuaries, which actually help  with breeding,  go to zoos, 
This is the first part of my argument, I look forward to debating with CON, best of luck

Return To Top | Posted:
2020-08-19 00:29:41
| Speak Round
Bugsy460Bugsy460 (CON)
Best of luck Obsidian297!

I would disagree with the definition of zoos presented by pro because this includes places like Seaworld and circuses since they use animals for entertainment. I would define zoos as places where non-domestic animals are kept in captivity and able to be spectated acting naturally, not in shows. This definition is key to fairness for the debate because if my opponent can bring up any place that uses animals for entertainment, then he could try to claim big game hunting areas as zoos, which gives Pro too much ground. I don't think my definition will change anything but one point my opponent makes, so we can see if it matters.

Opponent's Points

1. A. There is no evidence presented that there is a lack of veterinary treatment. Not only does this mean we should doubt the claim, but that it can't be used to prop up Pro's claim that animals are mistreated. On top of this, we can see that the number of veterinarians is growing as a whole with an 18% outlook growth compared to the job average of 7%.1 This shows that even if there was an issue despite the lack of evidence, it is solving itself.
B. We were given no way to double check the claim about rhinos vitamin E levels, meaning we once again have to doubt the claim, but I was able to find evidence that the way food was being presented to animals could cause harm, but once again, the issue is fixing itself.2 Zoos are already taking the initiative in changing the diets of animals to ensure that they get healthier diets that don't lead to the issues found in the article, for example, feeding meat and bones to carnivores so they have less oral health issues.
C. Obesity is solved with better diets, and we've already been over that.
D. Lastly, he shows Seaworld employees standing on whales, but this doesn't fall under my definition. See, Seaworld acts more like a circus by putting on shows with animals rather than just allowing people to spectate animals acting naturally in enclosures. Debating the ethics of circuses is a completely different conversation and especially with limited characters, we should focus on an in depth specific debate, not covering multiple layers of ground.

2. A. The Arabian Oryx would have been extinct if not for the Phoenix Zoo. The California Condor, which my opponent cited as an unnamed NGO in his article, was helped save by the Los Angeles Zoo. The Corroboree Frog was saved by the Taronga Zoo in Sydney, Australia. 3 All of this proves that zoos aren't failing as my opponent baselessly said.
B. My opponent brings up this inbreeding article like the zoo purposefully inbreds animals, but this article is about one accidental encounter, not intentional in the one instance and no larger patterns. This is a non-issue. Unless a larger pattern can be shown, one accidental incident isn't an issue. Millions of industries have had single unfortunate accidents, but his doesn't call for an abolishment of the industry.

My Points

1. As a counterplan, instead of banning zoos, we should regulate and close down unsafe and unhealthy zoos. There's no reason we can't tighten regulations on zoos, solve all of the issues at hand while still keeping the benefits of zoos. This would force them to actively help with conservation if you buy pros argument that they don't as well as humanely treat animals if you buy pros argument they don't.

2. One zoo can have an economic impact of $143 million and 1700 employees.4 A ban would cause an instant recession, which would even be worse with the current Coronavirus recession. All of these jobs would instantly be lost as well as the rest of the economic benefit.


Return To Top | Posted:
2020-08-19 09:12:09
| Speak Round
Bugsy460: Why is regulation not an acceptable route over abolishment of zoos?
Obsidian297: Exactly
Obsidian297: Some zoos are unethical in their treatment, but most aren't
Obsidian297: I feel a stricter regulation of zoos will be a lot more helpful than abolishing, in this current climate, the worst loss of jobs in the past century, would be compounded by the loss of zoos. However, I don't feel a recession will occur just by zoos being banned, the economic loss would be terrible, yes, but bigger and more crucial businesses have effectively shut down and yet stocks are doing fine overall (though this reeks of fraud and purposefully keeping the stocks afloat in a false sense of security)
Bugsy460: So, if you feel a strict regulation of zoos would be a lot more helpful, why are you advocating as Pro to abolish zoos?

Return To Top | Speak Round
Bugsy460Bugsy460 (CON)
The economic damage that would be caused by closing all zoos would not outweigh the disproved abuse and lack of conservation success my opponent cites. On top of all this, any supposed issues my opponent brought up could be solved with regulation while still granting us the benefits of zoos, being their successful conservation attempts and economic benefits. Vote Con.
Return To Top | Posted:
2020-08-22 06:10:34
| Speak Round

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