Tuesday, July 23, 2013

What's up with...Zoos?

Despite the fact that I have a zoo pass for the third year in a row, I really just don't like zoos. Whenever I say that to someone, you'd think I had just said I don't eat chocolate or I never bathe or I listen to Limp Bizkit. Those are the kind of reactions I always get. It seems that America has embraced the zoo, and I'm alone in my dislike.

But who wants to spend their day sweating and walking around a park full of caged animals, dodging stray peacocks, children, and other small animals? Don't get me wrong, I love caged animals. Especially when they are the kind that would rip me to bloody shreds if they weren't caged. Let's keep that under lock and key. I'm all for it. But would it kill the animals to look a little less depressed in their sad, faux habitats? Especially the ones kept inside with the glass dividers, with murals painted on the walls to look like they're in the rainforest instead of a cement jail cell. Couldn't they show a little appreciation for the artistic detailing in those murals? Animals are so ungrateful.

 Image via World Wildlife
"Don't look at me."

Instead of entertaining me and all the other people who paid good money to witness nature, these animals just sit around on their lazy asses and stare us down. It's as if animals are capable of assimilating into American culture just like people, only dragging their fat carcasses out of bed with for the promise of a hot meal.

Usually the polar bears are in enough distress from the hecklers that they'll at least pace back and forth a little bit; that's slightly entertaining, I suppose. And the monkeys usually put on a good show, what with their brachiating, pooing, and brachiating while pooing. And sex. One time in the monkey house I thought I heard a bunch of monkeys going, well, ape-shit (for lack of a better term), so I hurried around the corner to see what the commotion was. You can imagine my disappointment when it turned out to just be a group of Wisconsinites making monkey sounds, because that's how Wisconsinites behave in public.

 Image via JSOnline
I mean really. This is what we're working with.

The Milwaukee zoo has a Family Farm section with horses, goats, cows, and other indigenous animals. This section of the zoo is the most pointless and the most crowded with children covered in pb&j, so I try to avoid it whenever we go. However, it's also the area that houses the choo choo train, which is a must-do. The Family Farm is complete with a dairy that sells ice cream for patrons to refresh themselves after walking around the zoo all afternoon, telling themselves "I deserve this after all that walking!" Meanwhile, the cows graze outside in the heat and curse all the fat Americans enjoying the fruits of their loins. (Do udders count as loins? They seem like they should.) I don't understand the appeal of eating ice cream while surrounded by cows and informational signage about how ice cream is made. Seeing the cows chained up in the milking room, swatting at flies, really makes me lose my appetite. But it really shouldn't, since they not-so-secretly scoop the ice cream from commercial cartons that have never had contact with any of the zoo cows anyway.

Image via WikiHow
I'm so glad this educational article exists.

Eating at the zoo is just weird in general, especially meat. That's got to be the ultimate faux pas. You can' t just eat an animal while its brethren look on innocently and confusedly. Do that shit in your own home! Plus, they serve things like "giraffe burgers," which you know isn't actually made of giraffe, but you can never be too careful...Whoever came up with zoo-themed food was really not good at their job.

 Image via Amazon
I would grab so many things.

Besides watching the monkeys, the only thing I really enjoy about the zoo are the ample opportunities for purchasing souvenirs. They make you walk through the gift shop on your way in and on your way out, in case you forgot to buy something the first time around. I can't get enough of the Mold-a-Rama wax animals and the souvenir pennies (which, by the way, should be free since you're the one supplying the penny, amirite?). And I also love those animal head grabber things. I would like to live my life only grabbing things with an animal head grabber, and never my actual fist. Then I would know I had made it in life.

Oh, and I also enjoy seeing the orangutans. I still don't know what's up with them.


  1. As a freshman in college home for winter break, my friends and I were bored and decided to go to the zoo (because what else can you do when you're 18?) We went to the Farm section and bought the little food pellets for feeding the animals. A donkey then proceeded to try to eat my finger instead of the pellets. The carnivorous donkey wouldn't let go for a good 10 seconds, in which my friends were just laughing and even took a picture! When it finally let go there were ugly donkey teeth marks on my finger. I haven't been back.

    1. That sounds absolutely horrifying. I'm so glad to hear another person who dislikes zoos. And that you still have all your fingers.

  2. I never really 'got' zoos. I wanted to play with the animals, even though I knew they could kill me. A red panda managed to escape from the national zoo a few weeks ago, which also makes me think the animals don't really like zoos either.


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