Monday, August 24, 2009

Zoo

The photography work in Zoo by Britta Jaschinski displays dark and unsettling images of animals in zoos and the issues their captivity provokes. Jaschinski's stark black and white photographs remind us to pause and think about the fragile beauty of nature.

We have an amazing nearby zoo that provides lush space for animals to roam and be observed. Yet, I still empathize for these enclosed animals. This topic is also on my mind after a visit to a different, smaller zoo this weekend where I felt the animals had little space and looked unhappy. My experience and these photographs make me re-think the dignity of living creatures. I'm continuously torn on this topic - what are your zoo thoughts?

Check out more amazing photographs by Britta Jaschinski here and purchase Zoo here (it's going on my wish list for sure).

20 comments:

montague said...

this is so moving... and so sad.

Sal said...

I love wildlife and part of me adores zoos because they afford me the chance to see animals up close ... but they are so unsettling, too. So much unhappiness, craziness even. You can see in their eyes when they've lost their minds, and it's devastating.

Courtney said...

I went to a lot of zoos as a child, but I don't think I'll ever take my own kids to zoos. They make me really sad these days.

Rachel said...

I have a love/hate with zoos. I do love to see how excited kids get about the opportunity to see the animals up close an dconnect with them. But they are so depressing and I wonder if we'll look back at them in a couple of decades and wonder what we were thinking.

Amanda said...

Oh these make me want to cry.

Amy said...

These make me sad. Have you seen the work of Frank Noelker? His are color but just as strong.

I also have a love/hate relationship with zoos. I like that it always me to see animals I may not otherwise see but I to put them in an enclosure is disturbing. I do like the idea of rescue zoos.

Victoria said...

These amazing images do a splendid job of capturing the "humanity" of animals, all of whom deserve to be treated with the utmost dignity and respect. As for zoos, I support them if they are open, in a free-range" style, allowing the animals to roam in as close to a natural and large expanse as possible. More like a nature preserve then a traditional zoo.

Of course they must also take exceptional care of the animals and the main focus should always be on the animals well being. The point and purpose should be for conservation and protection along with education... never for mere entertainment or profit.

(I remember as a child there was a near-by road side ice cream shop that also kept wild animals in these horrid, small, small cages. It attracted lots of families who liked to lick their cones while gawking at beautiful and powerful beings striped of all respect and quality of life. So sad.)

lindsey said...

i'm with you courtney...i never noticed it as a kid, but as an adult it breaks my heart to think about those poor animals. its so weird, how when you're a kid you dont see things this way. i dont think i wouldn't take my kids to the zoo either.

www.insidestoop.com

Amanda Nicole said...

Ugh, zoos make me feel queasy. Ours was thankfully shut down years ago. We just don't need them anymore for studying or viewing.

A Day That is Dessert said...

This is sad! I was actually at our zoo today and had thoughts about the ethics of it - do every time I visit. For now, I take the approach that it educates my children and hopefully will inspire them to protect endangered animals in their own right.

Rose C'est La Vie said...

A stunning commentary on captivity. Here is a zoo as you've seen it before.

please sir said...

Thanks for all the great comments and point of views. Makes me re-think this topic again!

limonana said...

wow! such a feeling of melancholy...of displacement...on the other hand i think of how they are safe & well-fed in this crazy world where they could die at humanities ever bad decision...so I don't mind having a precious few safe like that...

Anonymous said...

I took my 22 month old to the Toronto zoo last weekend and he was so captivated. He became obsessed with the polar bear - and says 'pee-bo' endlessly. But as I walked around I wondered how fair it really was to keep these animals locked up so that we could be amused and I could delight my child.

alli michelle said...

I'm so glad you mentioned this - and these photos are so intriguing, each one tells a story. I love animals and we try to go to different zoos whenever we travel, but I often feel sad that the animals are being confined for our own entertainment. It's definitely a debatable topic.

Amber said...

Thank you for this and your compassion.
I hate zoo's and abhore circus's. How horrid that these animals are imprisoned for our entertainment.
These are creatures without a voice.
Having grown up at the end of the hippies, I believe in social consciousness and social protest, something which seems to have been lost in the consumer/me generation.
Dominion does not mean selfish control.
I hope God forgives us.

whitney said...

Hauntingly beautiful.

Americas Best Zoos author said...

There is nothing sad, depressing, or unsettling about 99% of the zoos in the developed world today. Certainly there were problems in the past, but today zoos are "animal resorts", where highly endangered creatures are cared for and protected. They are also wonderful places where children and other animal-lovers can learn to better appreciate them.

Allen Nyhuis, Coauthor: America's Best Zoos

Brittany Noel said...

These photos are beautiful and heart-wrenching. I always have mixed feelings when I go to a zoo. Haven't been to one in a few years... On one hand, there are a lot of species who are extinct in the wild, and are only being preserved by the captive ones in zoos and rescue centers. On the other hand, many animals simply won't reproduce in zoos, they just won't mate, so for them, what's the point? I prefer a rescue center to a zoo; somewhere open, where the animals aren't confined and gawked at. There are more humane ways to educate our children about the preciousness and beauty/humanity of animals.

These photos are beautiful and need to be seen. Great post, Diane.

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