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Thread: Zoo and Aquarium Jobs

  1. #1

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    Default Zoo and Aquarium Jobs

    I sometimes wonder: am I the only vegan working at a zoological park (Aquarium, actually)?

    I know that keeping non-domestic animals in captivity is outside the vegan "party line," especially during this post-blackfish era but I doubt my situation is unique.

    I do want to make it clear that I work for an AZA accredited facility and am proud of the heavy conservation education theme of the organization. That is, it's not like I work somewhere that endorses bear-baiting or keeps a menagerie.

    Anyway, I'm just curious. Anyone else out there? Do you get grief from militant vegans about it?

  2. #2
    Bad Buddhist Clueless Git's Avatar
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    Default Re: Zoo and Aquarium Jobs

    A vegan wanting to work at an animal prison is a bit like an Amnesty International activist wanting to work at Guatama Bay.

    In the same way a person who wants Pate de Foie Gras may complain about getting 'grief' from 'militant' vegans; It's neither 'grief' you are getting, oya, nor 'militants' who are giving it you.

    All you will actualy be getting is truths you don't want to hear and the grief will stem from the fact that your conscience is being pricked.

    Sometimes it may be worth considering one of the definitions of 'true' friends; That being that true friends are the only people who will tell you truths you don't want to hear and/or don't want to know.
    All done in the best possible taste ...

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    Default Re: Zoo and Aquarium Jobs

    So that's one "No" then?


    Quote Clueless Git View Post
    A vegan wanting to work at an animal prison is a bit like an Amnesty International activist wanting to work at Guatama Bay.

    In the same way a person who wants Pate de Foie Gras may complain about getting 'grief' from 'militant' vegans; It's neither 'grief' you are getting, oya, nor 'militants' who are giving it you.

    All you will actualy be getting is truths you don't want to hear and the grief will stem from the fact that your conscience is being pricked.

    Sometimes it may be worth considering one of the definitions of 'true' friends; That being that true friends are the only people who will tell you truths you don't want to hear and/or don't want to know.

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    Default Re: Zoo and Aquarium Jobs

    I wouldn't work in one or visit. As Clueless says I don't think you would be a militant vegan to consider places that keep animals captive are wrong. In fact isn't the whole idea of veganism that you don't exploit or harm animals.

    How long have you been vegan? Sometimes it takes a while to work out all your views. Are you a someone who eats a plant based diet for reasons other than animal welfare?

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    Vegetarian for ages, vegan for years.

    I'm not looking to debate or be "educated." I like my job and feel like I do more towards conservation education in a day than most people do in a lifetime. I'm just wondering if I'm alone in the world.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Zoo and Aquarium Jobs

    Quote oya View Post
    Vegetarian for ages, vegan for years.

    I'm not looking to debate or be "educated." I like my job and feel like I do more towards conservation education in a day than most people do in a lifetime. I'm just wondering if I'm alone in the world.
    so are you looking for validation that working somewhere that exploits animals is ok?

    here is my view on the conservation issue with zoos, even those accredited with some sort of award given by some sort of body that makes money out of giving the accreditation...

    Conservation should be about conserving animals in their natural habitat and educating people about the same. In my opinion there is no point conserving caged animals as objects to be stared at through bars, cages, behind glass, in enclosed pools or wherever, they belong in the wild, they don't have a natural life, if you wouldn't do it to a human then you shouldn't do it to an animal.

    If you live in America you have no right to see a lion or a tiger or an elephant. If you live in a city that isn't on the coast you have no right to see a whale or a shark or a school of dolphins. The animals in zoos don't get to mate naturally or hunt/feed naturally, there is nothing natural about their life, and are never released into the wild from zoos, only ever sanctuaries and rescue places (which usually don't make a profit, aren't corporate entities and are run by volunteers and survive on donations). Zoos have just been killing giraffes if I remember correctly, because of a gene pool and breeding issues, hardy conducive to education about conservation, the message being kill those that don't suit our purpose.

    Perhaps you can share how your conservation works?
    "when the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace" Jimi Hendrix

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    Default Re: Zoo and Aquarium Jobs

    Quote tickled onion View Post
    Perhaps you can share how your conservation works?
    Without exposure there is no education. Without education there is no progress.

    If I can share the some of the intricacies and the delicate interconnectedness of an ecosystem somewhere thousands of miles away that most people will never, ever lay eyes on I can help them start to make decisions in their day-to-day lives that constantly affect those places they've never heard of or imagined.

    If I simply say, "Do you have any idea how gross and destructive to coral reef on the other side of the planet you're being by eating that filet-o-fish," I turn them against me and anything else I may say.

    So, no, I'm looking for validation... I'm wondering about company. I'd guessed not, but what the hell, you know?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Zoo and Aquarium Jobs

    you don't always have to be hands on to learn, for example, I have never been to the rain forest, but I know about the importance of it, I have never been to the ozone layer, but I know it has a hole. I could understand the education part of things if it wasn't for the fact that NY aquarium (I'm assuming that is where you work, apologies if I'm wrong about that) has performing seals.... performing seals is in no way, shape or form educational or necessary.

    I'm sorry I don't agree with you that it is ok to work where you do, I think your intentions are well founded, but the performing seals.....
    "when the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace" Jimi Hendrix

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    Default Re: Zoo and Aquarium Jobs

    They're sea lions, and the staff read their moods like I know my cats'.

    During the sea lion show there's a primary emphasis on undoing so much of the damage done to the reputation of sharks by popular culture and certain weeks on TV, which is where most people get their (flawed) information about wildlife. Most people won't seek out information that might be disturbing or require them to make sacrifices like their beloved damned bacon; most people prefer blissful ignorance or just don't care what's happening to some population of some ugly multi-legged thing that lives in a country they've never heard of but is a keystone species.

    For the last several years there was a segment of the show where the audience was invited, then and there, to text a certain number that added their names to a petition to have shark fin sales banned in New York. That law goes into effect next month.

    Were some sea lions playing with their humans at a single park the only reason... probably not, but one by one minds are enlightened, people begin to realize it's important to care, change happens, and one-by-one the number 11,000 sharks killed per hour begins to shrink.
    Last edited by oya; Jun 4th, 2014 at 07:01 PM.

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    tickled onion's Avatar
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    Default Re: Zoo and Aquarium Jobs

    I can commend you desire to educate, but cannot condone a place that has performing animals of any kind, especially in a for profit organisation with money to make for shareholders. No doubt everyone exits through the gift shop too.

    There are places you could work with animals educating children that dont have performing animals, that would, in my mind, be more in keeping with vegan principles. That said, you see nothing wrong in what you are a part of and have excuses to defend why your aquarium is different than any other animal prison, so I shall bow out of this thread.
    "when the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace" Jimi Hendrix

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    Default Re: Zoo and Aquarium Jobs

    Quote tickled onion View Post
    for profit organisation with money to make for shareholders.
    WCS is a non-profit. Spends a majority of its budget on global field research, conservation, and outreach programs.

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    Default Re: Zoo and Aquarium Jobs

    i'm glad it doesn't have shareholders, but it still exploits animals and makes them perform for an audience, something I cannot personally condone. We will never agree, so I shan't say anymore.
    "when the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace" Jimi Hendrix

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    Bad Buddhist Clueless Git's Avatar
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    Default Re: Zoo and Aquarium Jobs

    Quote oya View Post
    So that's one "No" then?
    To the question "Do you get grief (over working in a Zoo) from militant vegans about it?"

    Yes, that's a "No".

    I do think that correctly motivated Zoo's could do more good (short term) than harm, mind.

    Thing being that the only correct motivation for a Zoo would be to educate people over the need to bring all forms of animal exploitation, including Zoo's, to an end.

    Core to that would be for all Zoo's, and people who work in them, to keep it firmly in mind that the existence of Zoo's is fundamentally wrong.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Clueless Git View Post
    Thing being that the only correct motivation for a Zoo would be to educate people over the need to bring all forms of animal exploitation, including Zoo's, to an end.
    Bad example thereof:

    SeaLife Aquarium, Great Yarmouth ...

    Tour ends, just before you are forced through the gift shop if you ever want to get out, in an eatery that specialises in fish and chips.

    Strangely they haven't gone for the obvious banner of "You've seen the show. Now eat the cast."

    Thinking about it ...

    I don't think I've ever been in a zoo, aquarium, animal sanctuary even, with an eatery that wouldn't warrant the following disclaimer;

    "Don't eat animals???? Well, you can just F*** OFF!!"
    All done in the best possible taste ...

  14. #14

    Default Re: Zoo and Aquarium Jobs

    When I went vegan in 2011 I stopped going to zoos altogether and still avoid them, whether they are nonprofit or not.

    A few years ago in my city there was a sudden and catastrophic flood. The local zoo is in a low lying area, a "bowl" if you will, right next to a river in the middle of the city. The zoo was flooded and eleven animals were killed, while other more fortunate ones managed to escape. There was no staff on hand to rescue any of them until hours later. Here is a story about it:

    http://blogs.mprnews.org/updraft/201...ed-facilities/

    You would think the first thing they would have done when designing that zoo and planning to keep live animals in enclosures, especially in that particular geographic area at high risk for such an event, would be to plan for such disasters. Sadly, zoo animals are completely dependent on humans for their entire livelihood and too often they are second class to humans in such events. It is the same with keeping a "pet", but at least pets are not exploited for profit, unless of course they are bred and sold for income. How many people actually go to zoos with the intent of educating themselves about our world's animals as opposed to seeing cute and exotic creatures? How many come away committed to working with organizations to better the conditions and fate of animals and their environment worldwide? Obviously not many, granted a few may.

    I do think that there are individuals committed to helping animals and their environment who may work at a zoo, but I doubt they would be focused on promoting the zoo as opposed to getting people more aware of and working towards ending the "need" for zoos.

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    Default Re: Zoo and Aquarium Jobs

    In October of 2012 Hurricane Sandy landed on the New York Aquarium.

    Despite immediate and constant bodily harm a dozen staff members, including the director himself, stayed at the park working for 20 hours straight to protect the animals from the rising tides which overwhelmed and devastated the park and to comfort them in the noise and chaos. The entire staff worked 24/7 in long, long shifts over the next several months to protect them and keep them healthy in the conditions that followed.

    It was kindof the most amazing thing I've ever seen.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Zoo and Aquarium Jobs

    Quote oya View Post
    In October of 2012 Hurricane Sandy landed on the New York Aquarium.

    Despite immediate and constant bodily harm a dozen staff members, including the director himself, stayed at the park working for 20 hours straight to protect the animals from the rising tides which overwhelmed and devastated the park and to comfort them in the noise and chaos. The entire staff worked 24/7 in long, long shifts over the next several months to protect them and keep them healthy in the conditions that followed.

    It was kindof the most amazing thing I've ever seen.
    While their actions are commendable, it should also be an expected responsibility that if you are going to keep animals in an enclosure and completely dependent on you and unable to fend for themselves, you should do everything you can to protect them in any event. Had the animals not been held in captivity there in the first place they might not have been put in such a dangerous situation where they depended on humans to help.

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