No place to call home: the sadness of animals in the zoo
I’m one of those people who jumps over the ‘not allowed’ fences in the zoo, pets the zebras and sometimes feeds biscuits to the bears. And now I’m one of the people who’s heart is broken, and who is not sure whether she should jump more fences or less or push them all down. Toni Amengual‘s photo series called Necrofilia I portrays the sadness of animals who got this awkward job that they never asked for, that is to be in a confined space for entertainment and observational purposes. But living in captivity impacts their psychological well-being. And facing this reality is not entertaining at all.
Now how much of this sadness is the black-and-white effect and the framing, you tell me. What’s for sure is that the spaces they’re confined to are often way too small. What’s also true is that animals don’t feel sorry for themselves and live very much in the present. But that doesn’t mean they don’t feel pretty much everything humans can feel, only they cannot formulate those feeling in words. And anyway the zoo is a full time job where no one inquires into their feelings.
(Check this book I’m reading these days, Animal Madness by Laurel Braitman, a great and heartwarming read about the psychological problems animals have and how surprisingly similar we are when it comes to feelings and well-being).
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