Metamorphoses of the Zoo: Animal Encounter after Noah

Metamorphoses of the Zoo: Animal Encounter after Noah

by Ralph R. Acampora
     
 

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Metamorphoses of the Zoo: Animal Encounter After Noah is a volume dedicated to radically transformative approaches to spaces set aside as zoological parks or gardens. Historically, these establishments served as symbols of power and venues for entertainment, but today, they have taken to portraying themselves as flagships of environmental education, scientific

Overview

Metamorphoses of the Zoo: Animal Encounter After Noah is a volume dedicated to radically transformative approaches to spaces set aside as zoological parks or gardens. Historically, these establishments served as symbols of power and venues for entertainment, but today, they have taken to portraying themselves as flagships of environmental education, scientific research, and wildlife conservation. Along with the past century's turn in exhibition design toward increasingly naturalistic architecture, such portrayals have been received by many in an uncritically positive light. At the same time, it remains clear that zoos are immensely popular attractions, drawing hundreds of millions of visitors globally per year. This level of participation is consistent with the suggestion that humans harbor a strong sense of biophilia, one which moves them to seek out diverse life-forms when their own territories become too biologically homogenous; from such a vantage, it is no accident that zoos are most often situated in urban(izing) areas. Metamorphoses of the Zoo emphasizes creative and reconstructive analyses of zoos that do not simply advocate marginal reform or quick abolition. By focusing on issues such as interspecies progress and eco-psychological health, this unique collection will satisfy those in disciplines ranging from ecophilosophy to humanistic psychology to environmental studies.

Editorial Reviews

Dale Jamieson
This diverse collection takes reflections on zoos to new and interesting places. It is a welcome contribution to the growing literature on animal studies.
Marc Bekoff
Zoos, and the ways in which their non-consenting confined residents are kept, raise important questions about how these animals should be treated. This impressive collection of essays is a significant contribution to the growing global concern about the well-being of animals in zoos, dealing with many important questions, such as whether zoos should exist at all and what possible educational benefits can be derived from zoos.
CHOICE
The purposes of zoos have been intensely scrutinized in recent decades. Conservation and education are the most commonly given reasons; however, simple entertainment is all too often their actual function. Where others have argued for the improvement of zoos by providing more natural enclosures and enrichment opportunities for animals, this volume questions the very existence of zoos. The work often has a very obvious animal rights perspective. Chapter contributors are generally philosophers and geographers. They make quite thought-provoking and compelling arguments. They document very well some of the pressing ethical concerns associated with keeping animals in captivity, as well as suggesting alternatives to zoos....Useful for presenting an alternative... viewpoint. Summing Up: Recommended.
Environmental Ethics
[Metamorphoses of the Zoo: Animal Encounter after Noah] twelve chapters (plus an afterword) are remarkably diverse in voice and content, ranging from scientific contestation of the actual role of zoos in conservation and of prevailing inhumane practices to a phenomenological exploration of new relationships we might develop with both captive and wild animals, to creative proposals for radically altering if not upending the human subject/nonhuman object presumption that underlines the typical zoo encounter. ... [A] good read. . . , one that exercises the mind with respect to alternative possibilities.
Choice
The purposes of zoos have been intensely scrutinized in recent decades. Conservation and education are the most commonly given reasons; however, simple entertainment is all too often their actual function. Where others have argued for the improvement of zoos by providing more natural enclosures and enrichment opportunities for animals, this volume questions the very existence of zoos. The work often has a very obvious animal rights perspective. Chapter contributors are generally philosophers and geographers. They make quite thought-provoking and compelling arguments. They document very well some of the pressing ethical concerns associated with keeping animals in captivity, as well as suggesting alternatives to zoos....Useful for presenting an alternative... viewpoint. Summing Up: Recommended.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780739134566
Publisher:
Lexington Books
Publication date:
06/14/2010
Series:
Toposophia: Sustainability, Dwelling, Design
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
280
File size:
1 MB

What People are saying about this

Dale Jamieson
This diverse collection takes reflections on zoos to new and interesting places. It is a welcome contribution to the growing literature on animal studies.
Marc Bekoff
Zoos, and the ways in which their non-consenting confined residents are kept, raise important questions about how these animals should be treated. This impressive collection of essays is a significant contribution to the growing global concern about the well-being of animals in zoos, dealing with many important questions, such as whether zoos should exist at all and what possible educational benefits can be derived from zoos.

Meet the Author

Ralph R. Acampora is currently an associate professor at Hofstra University. He has previously authored Corporal Compassion: Animal Ethics and Philosophy of Body and co-edited A Nietzchean Bestiary: Becoming Animal Beyond Docile and Brutal with Christa Davis Acampora.

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