Institut für Philosophie
In the age of the Anthropocene we are witnessing biodiversity loss. There are few ways to oppose this tendency. One of them is keeping rare animals in captivity; the best known way of which are zoos. Zoos are well-established social institutions with a long history. It is estimated that nearly every inhabitant of a developed country has visited a zoo at least once, and that 20% of the urban population go to the zoo every year. Should zoos be abolished, or significantly changed? Is there any ethical justification for their existence? Moral concerns stand behind these questions. A controversy over zoos revolves around the moral significance of individual animals and their welfare (biocentrism) and our moral responsibility for the conservation of species (land ethics). However, self-advocacy of zoos seems to be an ecological camouflage, and the conservation of species in zoos is ethically problematic.
Dr. Marie Hrdá
Alice Pechriggl (alice [dot] pechriggl [at] aau [dot] at)