In 2012, three of the worlds most renowned neuroscientists declared under the Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness that non-human animals have the neuroanatomical, neurochemical, and neurophysiological evidence of consciousness. Why then do we continue to imprison sentient beings, specifically our closest genetic relatives – primates, in the name of entertainment? The recent death of the endangered Silver Back Gorilla Harambe and the close call with London Zoo Gorilla Kumbuca’s attempted escape that luckily did not result in his death, are just 2 of many examples that these animals do not belong in cages and behind glass walls for the sake of human entertainment. Many zoos, whether they are broken down cages on the side of the road or hugely funded urban zoos, claim that the animals are safer in their care than in the wild. While this claim could initially be seen has having some basis of logic, all one has to do to refute this is to look inside the cage of a gorilla or tank of an orca to see the negative effect these un-natural and disturbing environments have on the emotional, physical and psychological states of these sentient beings, not to mention their potential for harming human handlers due to their high level of distress. Also, many countries throughout the world have made exotic animals in circuses illegal – so why is it the US continues to imprison animals for entertainment?

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