If you want a surefire way to start an argument at the dinner table, and have exhausted all religious and political topics, try bringing up the topic of ethics surrounding animals in captivity.
Many animal welfare advocates argue that zoos are unethical, another exploitation of animals for the sake of entertainment. Zoos, though there are varying degrees, they say represent a form of captivity that removes the animal from its natural habitat and deprives it of a life of freedom.
For others, the zoo is a place for education, and they argue that it provides people—especially children—with information and an experience with animals they may have otherwise never encountered.
Others never think about it either way, but hop on the bus if there's a group trip to see some monkeys and giraffes.
In a recent article on the animalconnectionblog, Jennifer Horton writes, "Depending on your point of view, zoos are either sanctuaries of education and entertainment or unnecessary prisons. While some people argue that zoos play an important role in conservation and research, others counter that they do more harm than good."
Incidents of attacks of by animals against humans at zoos, such as this recent leopard attack in a Kansas Zoo, only validate for those who oppose them that the idea of keeping an animal in captivity isn't only inappropriate, but dangerous.
How do you feel about zoos and keeping animals in captivity? Please vote in our poll below.