At the Zoo protest this Saturday, we had so many positive engagements with Zoo members who share our concerns. Parents spoke with intelligence and complexity about the deep moral questions that arise when we take our children to zoos. So many of us are conflicted. We want our kids to learn about animals and the environment. We want our children to be invested in the future of the planet and the survival of endangered species. We want our kids to experience the joy of discovery. But we do not want the animals to suffer. We worry about the dangers of suppressing our empathetic responses and we question whether we are sending our children the right message when we take them to Zoos.
For our movement, #boycottWPZoo isn't about condemning the Zoo. It is about insisting that the Zoo be guided by the values it claims to be teaching. Compassion. Respect. Conservation. Education. These values cannot be effectively taught when the animals are suffering, as elephants unquestionably do in zoos. As parents, it is our responsibility to demand that Zoos be moral actors. If you agree, please take the time to email the leaders and Zoo sponsors. If the elephant situation is making your reconsider your membership, tell them that. You can find the email addresses you will need HERE.