Monday, June 1, 2015

Witnessing a loving interaction between humans and dogs

I went to Picnic Day in Davis a couple weeks ago and ran across an animal exhibit.  Seeing the caged dog attraction reminded me of Zoo Spectatorship by Randy Malamud. Kids, parents and students were fascinated by the array of dogs available for service as they approached the dogs. They were in relatively small cages, but often stood near the ends of the cages to get pet by the visitors. When I was videotaping the dogs, I noticed the interaction between the one man and a dog. It looked like they instantly had formed a relationship by the way the man’s face brightened up as he was petting the dog. Seeing and touching the dog had given the man a warm, happy feeling. I am glad that the dogs were available to the public on picnic day because amongst the ridicule that they might have received, I bet that the exhibit of dogs touched many more hearts out there. In opposition to Zoo Spectatorship, I think that zoos bring joy to a lot of people. Malamud’s claims that zoo animals receive ill physical and emotional treatment are reasonable, but I also think that zoos and animal showcases bring joy to those who have a real appreciation for animals or can encourage those with minimal exposure to animals to advocate for animal rights and safety. For example, my cousin loved going to zoo school when she was young, and now she is pursuing a career in veterinary medicine. I believe that people are capable of feeling the loving nature of animals when visiting zoos and other forms of public animal captivity, and that there attractions have the capability to inspire and enlighten humans in a way that is positive for all animals.

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