I have mixed emotions about zoos. On one side I think it’s great that people have the ability to see strange and exotic animals without traveling all over the world, but I also think that the artificial biomes these animals call home are usually on the pathetic side. What if your entire universe consisted of your bedroom, and one of the walls was transparent so that creatures outside of your universe can stand and stare at you going crazy?
The Schonbrunn Zoo in Vienna has taken another route in showcasing its animals. Some of the artificial habitats include remnants of mankind’s effects on the environment, including oil derricks, train tracks, pollution, and a stylish red sedan parked partially submerged next to the hippos. These displays are a deliberate attempt to raise people’s consciousness on how we, the citizens of this planet, are affecting the environment. It definitely makes you think, and for that I applaud them. Maybe this isn’t appropriate for every single display, because we as humans have an incredible power to ignore a message if it’s shoved down our throats everywhere we turn.