Social Question

talljasperman's avatar

What is the difference between a prison and a zoo?

Asked by talljasperman (21739points) March 9th, 2014

Are zoo animals consciousness enough to realize that they are being imprisoned? Are prisoners or zoo animals treated worse? Do both feel emotional suffering the same? Animals get put on show to pay the bills, should prisons do the same? More National Geographic showings.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

16 Answers

janbb's avatar

I think most good modern zoos try to make the animals comfortable; prisons, not so much.

dxs's avatar

Prisons are more selective with the species that they “admit”.

filmfann's avatar

Prisoners have a hope of one day escaping. Animals in a zoo, ignoring the possible 12 Monkeys solution, not so much.

Zoos try to recreate the animals habitat. Prisons give the inmates three walls an a set of bars.

Zoos try to provide the inmates with suitable mates. Prisons Let’s move on…

stanleybmanly's avatar

The price of admission.

livelaughlove21's avatar

I absolutely love SeaWorld, but it’s amazing when people are shocked that Shamu attacked another trainer. These are killer whales kept in captivity and forced to entertain us in order for the park to earn a bunch of money. I know they’re safe, cared for, and certainly well-fed, but it’s an unnatural environment. And the same goes for zoo animals.

The difference between zoos and prisons is that we put people that do bad things in prison, but the animals did nothing to deserve being held captive. Also, @filmfann said, most prisoners have the hope of getting out. So, I’d say zoos are worse.

Now, I’m not necessarily anti-zoo. Most of the animals in captivity now were born that way and probably wouldn’t survive in the wild. At least we’re able to keep some endangered species alive (and breeding). And hopefully zoos help raise awareness about endangered species.

boffin's avatar

…the animals comfortable; prisons, not so much…
@janbb Not in California. The Libs (Dems) think that the “Clowns” (animals) are repressed and it’s not their fault. More programs than the rest of the free society is privi to. More rights too. Sad.
The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation is “Adult Day Care”. With most of the adults having a third grade education.
It’s (was) an eight hour inconvenience…

kritiper's avatar

In a zoo, the creatures on the outside look at the creatures on the inside. In prison, there are no creatures looking in. In a zoo, the creatures there have no ability to know where they are, why they are there and that there is someplace else, a natural place, that they could be. In prison, the uncivil animals kept there can’t be on the outside because they no longer fit in or are not fitting in and need to learn the lesson of why being uncivil is bad.

Winter_Pariah's avatar

In a zoo, an animal is fed, pampered to an extent and generally has money wasted on it.

In a prison, an animal is fed, pampered to an extent and generally has money wasted on it.

Difference: Generally speaking, people don’t visit to take pictures of animals in prison making fools of themselves.

Society likes to do the pictures before they enter federal/state penitentary.

filmfann's avatar

Also, in zoos there isn’t quite the same amount of flinging poo.

Berserker's avatar

I’ve been told that a lot of animals you see in zoos are ones that would not survive out in the wild.
Like say tigers, if a mother has a set of tiger kitties, and one is not fast and strong enough to follow the mom and siblings, it is left behind, because the mother figures, like I mean through her survival instinct, that that little tiger is not gonna make it anyway. So she’s like, fuck you, son. Don’t know how true any of that is, but if it is, that most certainly varies depending on the type of animal it is. I wonder who’s job it is to track down wildlife and capture who’s left behind, or if not that, how they decide which animal to catch. (I mean, like as if crocodiles need our help in surviving, so my idea is totally off haha)
I never liked seeing birds in zoos because they’re in cages, and birds are supposed to fly. Seen eagles and big owls in caged areas. But even if some animals in zoos are being saved from natural selection, they’re probably not very happy. (or perhaps they are, I don’t know, I’m not a tiger or an owl) Exception, regarding this, may be some of the animals that have been used for centuries to being kept in captivity, like whatever Western farm section your local zoo has.

I find it hard to make a distinction between the incarceration system and zoos though, as both are completely different when it comes to intent. Except well, no animal ever did anything wrong, meanwhile, some people do. My opinion of anything did not shape that conclusion, but it’s the best observation I’ve made.

ucme's avatar

In zoos the residents don’t have to worry when they drop the soap in the showers.
Also, humans not in prison pretty much are not going to be eaten for supper.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@Winter_Pariah You’ve clearly never been inside a jail or prison if you think inmates are “pampered.”

Winter_Pariah's avatar

@livelaughlove21 and you probably don’t live in California and haven’t seen death row inmates.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@Winter_Pariah So based on your limited experience with one small group of people, you assume all inmates are treated the same way?

Winter_Pariah's avatar

@livelaughlove21 No, I did not assume. I deliberately made a hasty (and snarky) generalization more to draw attention to the disgusting mess the California prison system is becoming. It is disturbing to see state funded nursery home residents being treated worse than inmates in state penitentaries. I’ve worked in both settings as well.

Answer this question




to answer.
Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther