Zoo's - Shooting fish in a barrel

Discussion in 'Off Topic Chat' started by crosmill, Aug 23, 2004.

  1. crosmill

    crosmill TPF Noob!

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    What is it with people on this forum, every week someone new has been to zoo.

    For me, nature photography is about capturing the natural enviroment, there's nothing natural about zoo's, there's no skill in shooting caged animals and you can't possibly get any sense of acheivement from 'shooting fish'.

    Zoo's are really bad places for animals, to take and anmial out of it's natural enviroment and cage it is evil.

    Come on all you zoophiles [sic] defend yourselves, or are you the sort of people that go through life without thinking about your actions.
     
  2. Luminosity

    Luminosity No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Whilst I too really really dislike seeing animals in zoo's and am all for keeping them in their natural enviroment ...... I have to say that the tone of your post is rather rude.

    Confrontation about issues isnt a bad thing but are you doing it in the right place and in the right manner by sticking a post up in the way you have ?
    I'd be inclined to think that , rather then encouraging productive thought & discussion about this issue , you're merely inciting defensive behaviour from the so-called 'zoophiles' you're aiming it at.

    Which , from those two response categories , are you looking for exactly ?
     
  3. crosmill

    crosmill TPF Noob!

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    If I offend, I appologise. Reasonable discussion is what I wanted. Sometimes I let my emotions run away with me.

    It does make me angry to see the amount zoo photo's that appear on this forum. Maybe it's just me, but I would have thought photographers', esspecially nature and landscape, would have more respect for there subjucts.
     
  4. Luminosity

    Luminosity No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Ok , no worries ;)

    I tend to get emotional about stuff like that too at times bud ...
     
  5. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    While I'm certainly not for the caging of wild animals...quite a lot of zoos are more than just animals on display. There is valuable research going on...much of which is to the benefit of the species as a whole.

    Not to mention that some species are practically extinct in the wild and need zoos to survive at all.

    There are still some "bad zoos" around but I think that most of them truly care for their animals and do their best to provide adequate accommodation.

    As far as photographing the animals...I would love to be able to just go out and photograph exotic animals in the wild but I don't have the means, as I'm sure most don't. We appreciate and admire these animals and want to photograph them in the only way that we can...at the zoo.

    In fact, it's probably better that we photograph these animals in captivity rather than intruding into their natural habitat simply to photograph them.

    It may not be ideal, to have all these animals in captivity & on display...but that could be said of most things.
     
  6. crosmill

    crosmill TPF Noob!

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    I hear what your saying about keep species from becoming extinct, but most of those sepecies are kept away from the prying eyes of the public because it cause them distress and it's less likely they will survive.

    You can't tell me that a leopard, whose natural existance is nomadic, used to roaming hundreds of thousands of sqaure kilometers, can ever be happy in a zoo?

    Humans are predatary animals, we have eyes on the front of our heads, being watched by us must cause contastant stress to the animals, who, we can only assume are trapped in a caged and waiting to be attacked by us.

    Of course we'd all like to be able to go the serengetti and shoot the animals in the wild, and yes it out of most of our reach. But do you value your pleasure from taking photographs over the rights of the anmials to be not put in constant distress?

    Do you really want a picture of an unhappy animal?

    As for invading they're territory, I'm sure they'd much prefere that. Wouldn't you rather people took pictures of you from the end of you street than from inside a cage?
     
  7. voodoocat

    voodoocat ))<>(( Supporting Member

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    This isn't something specific to this forum. In fact the # of zoo photos on a whole is very small. Most people do not have the means to photograph most of the animals found in the zoo. If somone is interested in doing wildlife photography, the zoo would be a perfectly acceptable starting point. You can't expect someone just starting out to go out, purchase expensive telephoto lenses and fund a trip to India to capture tigers in their natural habitat.
     
  8. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I understand your point of view...and somewhat agree with you. However, I think you are anthropomorphizing by describing these as unhappy animals. How do you know that? How can we be sure they are more or less distressed in captivity than in the wild?

    For argument's sake...

    In the wild they have to struggle for survival every day...while in captivity they are protected, fed and provided with a mate. What else could they want? Their wild range is a search for either food or a mate...not necessary in captivity.

    Again...I agree with you for the most part. Animals are best left in their natural habitat. I applaud your passion for these animals but attacking the casual photographer will not help or solve anything. Whether or not we photograph them makes little difference.
     
  9. mentos_007

    mentos_007 The Freshmaker!

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    I don't like zoo's... maybe because I don't have any in my city :) But About 20 km from my house there's one... but it is already in Germany ( I live near the Polish-German border)
     
  10. crosmill

    crosmill TPF Noob!

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    By going to zoo's you are supporting them, and therfore justifying their existnce. If no-one went then they wouldn't exist. It's for this reason that I feel justified to berate anyone, including photographers for supporting them.

    Further more, photographers have even more responsibility than most people, by taking photo's and displaying them, you are openly advocating zoo's and saying this is a good thing, so to say it makes little difference is naive at best, you are activly encouraging them.

    How do I know thery are unhappy? I refere back to my comments about humans being predetory animals. If you stare at many wild animals they will turn and run because they see you as dangerous.

    I don't think anthropomorphizing is innapropriate, if you think about how the human body works, when you sense danger, your survial skills kick in, the rush of adrenaline, increased heart beat, fear. It's biology, most mammals share similar organs, I'd bet most animals feel pretty similar. Why wouldn't they. These are things that have allowed us survive for thousands of years, it makes sense that the reason other animls have survived as well is down to similar reasons.

    I don't understand why you think any anmial would want an easy life, even house cats still go out and hunt, it's a natural instinct, that the cat has 'chosen' to keep despite thousands (I think) of years as a dosmestic animal. Human beings incarceate people as punishment. I see no reason why any anmial wouldn't feel just as bad as any human.

    And yes I do expect people to go spend a fortune on equipment and hoildays, thats what I expect to do. I don't think that the pleasure of a photographer is worth the cost to the animal.

    My beef with zoo's is that they are there for human pleasure at the cost of the happiness and wellbeing of the animals. As far as I'm concerned they don't balance out.
     
  11. Corry

    Corry Flirtacious and Bodacious Supporting Member

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    Very good point. That is exactly what I was thinking. And you know...some people who live in the bigger cities, don't even have the ability to leave the cities to even see farm animals.
     
  12. crosmill

    crosmill TPF Noob!

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    But you're missing the point. What right do you have sacrifice an animals liberty for your pleasure?
     

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