Need advice on anything vegan? Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org (subject line: Vegan advice).
Read more questions and answers at our Ask me anything VEGAN advice column.
Q: Hi Georgia, I was hoping you might have some advice or resources regarding the ethics behind conservation efforts especially zoos and aquariums. I am a vegan and unsure how to respond to others (especially non-vegans) when the topic is brought up. I don't believe in animal captivity but I would like to have an educated and factual opinion to offer, or another perspective if animal captivity offers benefits I'm unaware of. - Ethical
Great question. This can be a contentious issue because there are a few arguments out there that might make it seem acceptable to keep animals in captivity. For example, people might say that many zoos and aquariums aid in conservation of endangered species or that they help to raise awareness about animals and animal rights. However at the end of the day, zoos and aquariums are businesses that keep animals in captivity. As nice as the enclosures provided may be, they are still a cage, and animals are being exploited to provide entertainment and turn a dollar. There are other ways to help conservation and increase awareness and education about animals, it doesn't need to be done from a cage. Check out this great article from the UK Vegan Society that should help you refine your point of view: Zoos: the great education and conservation myth.
Georgia Bamber is a vegan success coach based in the Southern Highlands NSW. Certified in coaching and plant based nutrition she knows a thing or two about embracing a vegan lifestyle. You can find out more about Georgia and how she can help you at www.georgiabamber.com.