Our survival as a species
I have mixed feelings about zoos. I realize that ‘conservation of wildlife’ is a complex, messy issue – oh we could go on for days! Nothing about it is black and white. So if you asked me why we signed up for an annual family membership at the San Francisco Zoo last weekend, it would take me a long time to answer… and I’d probably just direct you to this photo of my eldest son peacefully observing and drawing a chimpanzee in his always present sketchbook.
The other reason (uh, besides my younger son) would be the SF Zoo’s Koret Animal Resource Center. Here it’s all about youth volunteers and educational outreach. And, okay… the chance to get up close yet respectful to a young alligator, a native San Francisco garter snake, a friendly rescued ferret, and many other non-human creatures in need of love and appreciation. The kids who are part of this program offer me hope that maybe the world will not turn out quite so mean-spirited as it sometimes seems.
Now back to harsh reality: the rest of the zoo. I never knew I was such a misanthrope, but one thing that really bummed me out were the unwashed masses who spent more time screeching at each other in loud voices, smoking, littering, and stuffing their faces with cotton candy than actually connecting with wildlife, or even each other. Heh. And I thought movie theaters these days were bad!