Zoo Without Animals

I read about a zoo in Gaza, the Marha Land Zoo, which is now famous in its area for its creativity and ingenuity in bringing Gaza its first zebra. Many of their animals were dying and they were suffering from a lack of visitors. So they summoned their imaginative powers to transform 2 donkeys into “zebras” with the help of some masking tape, paintbrushes, and hair dye. The children were delighted and the zoo filled with visitors. The success was short-lived, however, and one year later it was once again a sad zoo with very few visitors and very few animals, including a funny donkey-zebra.

Maybe zoos should do away with animals altogether and instead have a zoo without animals? Not that I am a strongly against zoos or anything, but just take a moment to imagine what it might be like without the animals:

I imagine a cool sculpture park where you could spend the day climbing trees and cages and gazing at the weird “sculptures” all around. You could have a nap in the cool, smooth shade of the empty penguin pool, or a picnic on the little island in the middle. You could walk through rooms lined with glass tanks full of water and seaweed and rocks before resting on the dry logs where the lions used to lay, while birds fly freely overhead. Or, if you wished, and there was free wi-fi available, you could even just sit in a grassy spot and watch cute videos of cats and dogs.

Root in the dark

A car without an engine

And to finish off, here’s an excerpt from The Unbearable Lightness of Being (p. 277) by Milan Kundera:

“The very beginning of Genesis tells us that God created man in order to give him dominion over fish and fowl and all creatures. Of course, Genesis was written by a man, not a horse. There is no certainty that God actually did grant man dominion over other creatures. What seems more likely, in fact, is that man invented God to sanctify the dominion he had usurped for himself over the cow and the horse. Yes, the right to kill a deer or a cow is the only thing that mankind can agree upon, even during the bloodiest of wars. The reason we take that right for granted is that we stand at the top of that hierarchy. But let a third party enter the game –a visitor from another planet, for example, someone to whom God says, ‘Thou shalt have dominion over creatures of all other stars’ — and all at once taking Genesis for granted becomes problematical. Perhaps a man hitched to the cart of a Martian or roasted on the spit by inhabitants of the Milky Way will recall the veal cutlet he used to slice on his dinner plate and apologize (belatedly!) to the cow.”

unbearable lightness of being

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6 Comments on “Zoo Without Animals”

  1. Interesting piece and I agree with the sentiment. ‘Dominion’ seems to have been interpreted as ‘free to abuse’. There is considerable debate and difference of opinion over the term ‘dominion over’ as used in the Bible, as it is argued that it has been mistranslated from the original and actually should read ‘responsibility for’. That would present a very different picture and makes more sense. Plenty of stuff to be ‘Googled’ on this. For Biblical scholars, it’s also worth being reminded that all of mankind was vegetarian prior to the flood and only after ‘the fall’ were animals used for food. Sorry if I rambled on but mankind’s abuse of the animal world does make me angry.

    Anyway, thanks for dropping by and following my blog. Much appreciated.

    • Thank YOU for your thoughts! and read Kundera! from this excerpt he goes on to say [referring to the character Tereza, after her neighbour laughed at her for crying about her dying dog]

      “The love she bore her dog made her feel cut off, isolated. With a sad smile, she told herself that she needed to hide it more than she would an affair. People are indignant at the thought of someone loving a dog. But if the neighbour had discovered that Tereza had been unfaithful to Tomas, she would have given Tereza a playful pat on the back as a sign of secret solidarity.”

      Sad but true isn’t it? What mankind has come to!

  2. Vijay Wagh. says:

    This is human misunderstanding – God is the ruler. We think that it is our dominion. It God had not created Nature the world would have had remained in darkness with no green vegetation, etc.

  3. Vijay Wagh says:

    This is human misunderstanding – God is the ruler. We think that it is our dominion. If God had not created Nature the world would have had remained in darkness with no green vegetation, etc.

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