Credits: Zhenya Voevodina/ Shutterstock

Petting Zoos at the Christmas Market

by | December 31, 2018

Animals are adorable, we all know this. This is one of the reasons why I decided to cut meat out of my diet when I was only twelve years old, against the wishes of my very carnivorous family. With that being said, we all love to look at cute giraffe photos online and send each other cat memes but what about when it comes to seeing animals in real life? But are petting zoos ethical? Zoos are a tricky subject when it comes to ethics, due to the emergence of rehabilitation zoos. Despite your stance on that subject, I think that we can all agree that using animals for show, like at petting zoos, isn’t ethical. To my shock, this is something that I had just come across in real life.

petting zoos
Credits: NadyaEugene/ Shutterstock

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At the Christmas market this weekend, I had noticed that a “petting zoo” was set up. When I say petting zoo, I use that term very loosely. What I mean to say is that there was a tiny, door-less barn with a handful of farm animals being displayed in the almost zero degree Celsius weather where children have the freedom to prod at them. Oh, yeah. And it was raining. Hard. The individual running the “attraction”? Unbothered.

The average person will not hesitate to speak out when they see a dog in the cold or a stray cat in the rain, so why is it so accepted to have a ram or a chicken out in the same conditions? It’s for that reason that I wrote a very strongly worded letter to L’Office de Tourisme (the tourist center) about what I saw at the Christmas market and voicing my opinion on why it’s not only wrong, but a very poor example of ethics to present to the children attending.

Unfortunately, I have the feeling that my plea to not include petting zoos next year will fall on deaf ears as the French are very much in tune with keeping their traditions alive. This is something that I’ve also recalled as a reason on why the French generally don’t fully pursue veganism. We’ve begun to make great progress with eliminating the consumerism of entertainment based on the expense of animals, for example, with the downfall of the Ringling Brothers circus last year. Evidently, we still have a lot of progress to make but in order to be successful, we must not be silent.

Have you ever spoken out about the mistreatment of animals? What are your opinions on petting zoos? Let me know in the comments below.

And, if you’re still wondering what kind of Christmas gifts to get this year. Pick up six issues of Raise Vegan Magazine for only $29.40!

Gabriella Anaya

News Editor | Limoges, France | [email protected]


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