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Challenge Match: LDragonFire vs laughable3: Release All Animals?

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posted on Jul, 15 2008 @ 06:09 PM
The topic for this debate is "Public zoos should be banned and all animals released back to their natural habitat."

LDragonFire will be arguing the pro position and will open the debate.
laughable3 will argue the con position.

Each debater will have one opening statement each. This will be followed by 3 alternating replies each. There will then be one closing statement each and no rebuttal.

Character limits are no longer in effect. You may use as many characters as a single post allows.

Editing is strictly forbidden. This means any editing, for any reason. Any edited posts will be completely deleted. This prevents cheating. If you make an honest mistake which needs fixing, you must U2U me. I will do a limited amount of editing for good cause. Please use spell check before you post.

Opening and closing statements must not contain any images, and must have no more than 3 references. Excluding both the opening and closing statements, only two images and no more than 5 references can be included for each post.

The Socratic Debate Rule is in effect. Each debater may ask up to 5 questions in each post, except for in closing statements- no questions are permitted in closing statements. These questions should be clearly labeled as "Question 1, Question 2, etc.

When asked a question, a debater must give a straight forward answer in his next post. Explanations and qualifications to an answer are acceptable, but must be preceded by a direct answer.

Responses should be made within 24 hours. One single 24 hour extension can be used by a member by requesting it in the thread. If 24 hours passes without response, you may proceed with your next post. Members who exceed 24 hours run the risk of losing their post, but may still post up until their opponent has submitted their next response.

This is a challenge match. The winner will receive 2 ranking points, the loser will lose two ranking points.

posted on Jul, 15 2008 @ 11:31 PM
It is my great honor to be the first to debate laughable3, and many thanks to both my opponent and for Memoryshock for this opportunity to participate in another debate here on ATS. I look forward to a challenging and hopefully educational experience.

Opening Statement:
"Public zoos should be banned and all animals released back to their natural habitat."

Zoos are an idea that looks very good on paper. We humans capture animals from the wild or animals are purchased from private sources, we then lock them in cages and often times these cages are simple concrete boxes with steel bars, and then a endless parade of gawking human visitors begins to flow by, causing great stress and anxiety to the individual animal.

The basic problem with zoos is that they are completely unnatural. Animals are often kept in small cramped cages, the boredom alone can be maddening, seeing the same scenery and the endless flow of humans with there cameras pointing and staring at these creatures misery day after day.

Zoos around the world need money to operate, and because of this reason the care, comfort, and general well being of each animal is not the main factor, but the bottom line is. Boredom, isolation, often living in unsanitary conditions, we humans have accepted the fact that it is ok to keep animals locked in cages for our enjoyment, we will claim it’s for educational reasons or we are helping their species propagate, but in the end we are doing nothing but turning living breathing, beautiful creatures into objects or items for our own entertainment.

One of the ugly truths about humans keeping animals in zoos are the physical abuse these animals sometime suffer. Trainers have a history of beating these animals into submission, so it isn’t surprising when one of these animals’ reaches a breaking point and turns on there trainers, then after the fact the animal are destroyed. For some reason humans are shocked or surprised when these types of events take place, but it is only natural that they do, we take a animal away from there natural setting and force them to conform to what we want, this in itself is a crime against nature.

Think about when you visit your local zoo with your family, you spend a few hours in this zoo, but think about each animal there they are not just there for a few hours or a few days they are there for years and if they ever do see a change in scenery it is because they have been sold to another zoo only to spend year after year in the same surroundings.

The word zoo is just a nice word used to describe a animal prison.

posted on Jul, 16 2008 @ 05:06 PM
I want to thank dragonfire and Memoryshock for this wonderful opportunity. There are some great debates on this board and I hope this one doesn't disappoint.

Opening statement: "Some animals should be kept in zoos for conservation and educational reasons."

Zoos provide an invaluable educational tool for the young children in this world. While all zoo animals are kept in "cages" in the strict sense of the word there are innumerable animals kept in "cages" that are wide open spaces that are populated with flora and fauna that would be found in that animals natural habitat.

Zoos also provide a very very valuable conservation method for all animals but especially endangered species. Without zoos there is truly no telling how many more species would be extinct.

Zoos are no longer marketed as an entertainment venue but are instead marketed as a place to learn about nature, the environment, conservation, and to see and learn about endangered species.

posted on Jul, 17 2008 @ 07:10 AM
"Public zoos should be banned and all animals released back to their natural habitat."
First Reply

Captive breeding programs are not a good way or a good excuse for the captivity of animals and below are two reasons why:

Problem 1

Darwin’s theory of evolution, or more specifically natural selection shows us that animals traits that are useful to the animals survival are based on there environment. So animals breeding in the wild produce traits that will help the animal adapt and survive in this situation, if you remove these animals from the wild and place them into captivity they will produce different traits that will benefit there new surroundings. Traits produced in captivity will not help these animals survive in the wild but will actually hurt there chances of survival in the wild. This is based on new scientific research:

Looks good on paper

September 26, 2007 - One of the methods often proposed to save endangered species is to breed the threatened animals in captivity and then release their offspring back into the wild at a later time. The theory is that by giving the animals a safe place to breed and rear their young, you're making it more likely that the species will be able to successfully survive in their natural habitats.

The reality

If you take an animal (or any living organism, for that matter) out of its natural habitat and introduce it to someplace new, natural selection takes over and traits that are favourable to the new location - in this case captivity - become more and more common in subsequent generations.

This poses a problem for animals in captivity because, try as we might, it's virtually impossible to replicate natural conditions in a zoo or recovery centre. Space is one factor. Many animals require large amounts of space in which to roam, swim or fly. Zoos can't be that large. In captive spaces the animals are also always safe, well fed and made comfortable. Such "easy" living may make for physically healthy animals that are able to reproduce more often, but it doesn't necessarily make them genetically fitter.
Can't rely on captive breeding to save species

So as we see here, captive breeding programs may not be as beneficial as we once thought. In a nut shell the only way a captive breeding program will be successful in the long term we would need to create a controlled “wild” situation featuring real world dangers so the animals will pass on traits useful in dangerous situations. So ultimately any kind of current captive breeding program will fail in the long run as the animals will not be born with the traits necessary to survive in the wild.

Captive breeding programs:

Problem 2

Captive breeding programs seems like a good way to help endangered species propagate in a safe controlled environment. Eventually a major problem with this is the reduction of genetic material that will soon lead to inbreeding. Once inbreeding occurs these animals will run into problems with not being able reproduce themselves. This method may be able to produce enough animals to stock other zoos but none of these creatures will ever be released much less survive in the wild.

These two points show us that zoos are not effective with captive long term breeding programs and the animals should be left in the wild and if they are endangered they should be protected in the wild.

posted on Jul, 17 2008 @ 08:36 PM
First Reply

While natural selection would likely breed out some of the wild animal "instincts," how many generations will have to come and go before a truly measurable difference is made?

Many factors come into play when we start talking natural selection, not only environment, but also DNA. As we know DNA is subject to random mutations all the time and without those mutations no genes can be passed on that weren't there to begin with. Even when a mutation occurs it still has to survive (even in captivity) and be able to reproduce before it can make any kind of difference in the long run.

Captive breeding for endangered species may appear to be a "Hail Mary" but if we humans are destroying their environment or are hunting a species to extinction the least we can do is give the animal a second chance whilst we greedy humans fix the problem that got the animal in that situation to begin with.

My opponent suggests protecting the animals in the wild rather than capturing them and putting them in zoos.

Question 1

Beyond the laws we have in place to protect endangered species how do you propose we protect these animals in the wild?

posted on Jul, 18 2008 @ 03:34 AM
"Public zoos should be banned and all animals released back to their natural habitat."
Second Reply

Question 1
Beyond the laws we have in place to protect endangered species how do you propose we protect these animals in the wild?

Answer 1
My first answer to your question is going to be about one of the most successful laws [even though you stated beyond laws in place] that have ever been implemented in the USA “The Endangered Species Act”. I’m not aware of any law or group of laws that have been so successful or effective at achieving its stated goal than this act. Let’s look at some success stories:

The resolution mentions a few of the Endangered Species Act’s most well known successes: bald eagle (increased from 416 to 9,789 pairs between 1963 and 2006), whooping crane (increased from 54 to 513 birds between 1967 and 2006), Kirtland’s warbler (increased from 210 to 1,415 pairs between 1971 and 2005), peregrine falcon (increased from 324 to 1,700 pairs between 1975 and 2000), gray wolf (populations increased dramatically in the Northern Rockies, Southwest, and Great Lakes), gray whale (increased from 13,095 to 26,635 whales between 1968 and 1998), and the grizzly bear (increased from about 224 to over 500 bears in the Yellowstone area between 1975 and 2005).
These are just a few of the hundreds of species whose populations have soared thanks to the Endangered Species Act. A recent study of all endangered species in the Northeastern United States found that 93% increased or remained stable since being placed of the endangered list. Few other laws can boast that kind of success.
100 Success Stories for
Endangered Species Day 2007

So laws in place here in the USA are working to help endangered species to propagate, and if you click on each area listed on the link given it shows clearly that it is possible to keep animals in the wild and if proper laws are enacted to protect them they can rebound from the endangered list.

Answer 2
At this time there are many animals that are endangered throughout the world, but unfortunately efforts to protect them have not been as successful as in the USA poaching and habitat loss seems to be the main threats to these endangered animals. My proposal would require a move similar to Teddy Roosevelt in creating wild nature preserves across the USA and transporting animals from around the world to these reserves so they can live in the wild safe from poaching and habitat loss. We could easily recreate an African savanna in Texas, or a jungle preserve in Florida. All we would need to do is to prepare the land, enclose it and the animals would do the rest. I would much rather ride through a park observing animals in the wild rather than visit them in a cage.

Are Zoos Educational?
What do zoos teach us and our children? They teach our children that it is ok to cage an animal for our entertainment. You will see a sign that will tell you the animal’s name and where it comes from and something about there habitat, but you will not learn about its natural normal behavior and you will certainly not see this normal behavior in a zoo. Not able to be normal because of cramped cages, and no privacy, and shear boredom has a long term effect on many animals.

Zoochosis *Warning* some of the photos and stories in the following link are disturbing.

Throughout the world including the UK, thousands of zoo animals held in artificial environments with little stimulation, enrichment or opportunity to hide from the public gaze, display unnatural behaviour patterns. Even in the ‘better’ zoos, abnormal behaviour can be widespread, and include repeated pacing, rocking, vomiting and even self mutilation.
Some of these ‘stereotyped’ behaviours displayed by bored and frustrated animals have their basis in activities that occur naturally the wild. But in the impoverished confines of captivity, these behaviours can become compulsive and unnatural.


We would do much better for ourselves and for the animals we share this planet with to get rid of zoos and replace them with wild natural parks where they can live they way they were meant to live, these parks may not be as convenient for us as zoos are, but is it really important to us to teach our children how to make a animal go insane?

posted on Jul, 20 2008 @ 08:14 AM
"Public zoos should be banned and all animals released back to their natural habitat."
Third Reply

I think zoos are a waste of money, some zoos use tax payer money and some are completely private. Surely there is a better use of our money [education money] than teaching our kids that it’s ok to cage animals till they go insane. We are not teaching our kids about a animals natural behavior, all they will see is the result of years of imprisonment, boredom, and misery and the kids will walk away thinking this is how these animals act. We are not getting our moneys worth buy turning the suffering and confinement of these creatures into some sort of amusement park for our own self gratification.

I say if we are going to spend taxpayer money we should invest in huge nature reserves and let Mother Nature do the rest. Give the animals a wild life for both predators and prey. It’s my opinion that in the long run it would be better for mammals, birds, and plant life.

This reply was made after waiting for over 48 hours for a reply from laughable3.

posted on Jul, 21 2008 @ 07:12 AM
Closing Statement:

I don't have anything to add to this. I stand by the argument I have already put forward. I personally learned a lot form researching this debate.

posted on Jul, 21 2008 @ 10:50 AM
LDragonFire wins this one by forfeit.

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