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russell simmons zoo animalsrussell simmons zoo animals

Russell Simmons Rails Against the Slavery of Animals in Zoos

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Russell Simmons is urging people to avoid zoos and support the conservation of animals in their natural habitats and on reserves.

The 54-year-old business magnate recently went on a safari in Africa and witnessed first-hand the glory of animals in their natural environment.

“As an animal rights activist I am well aware what a gift it is to see animals in their natural habitat vs. seeing captive animals in zoos where they are deprived of everything natural to them, often suffering from a condition called “zoochosis”- you know, we have all seen it,” he writes on his website. “That’s where the animal rocks back and forth endlessly trying to cope with their boredom, loneliness and the fact that most of these prisons don’t offer enough space, proper climate control, places to hide and find shelter, etc.”

Simmons goes on to decry the “enslavement of animals for entertainment;” holding particular scorn for those travelling zoos that keep animals in small cages and withhold social interaction with their families.

“These magnificent animals I encountered on the safari aren’t riding on bicycles or jumping through rings of fire like kids see them do at the horribly cruel circuses where they are routinely beaten and neglected,” he writes. “These great beasts were tending to their young, running free  and just being left alone to live their lives. This is, in my opinion, the only way kids should see them.  If they can’t see them this way then seeing them in slavery should not be an option.”

Simmons, a long-time vegan and activist, concludes by saying that it’s better for children to see these animals on nature shows than teach them “that slavery of any kind is acceptable.”

Last month, Simmons joined the outcry against Lady Gaga and her continued use of fur by urging her to set aside her differences with PETA and instead focus on compassion.

“I am PETA’s Person of The Year and I support them, but this isn’t about PETA or their tactics,” he wrote in a letter to the pop star. “Don’t allow your feelings about them to govern how you feel about animals. Those feelings should come as a result of your heart meditation. Please continue to use your immense talent as an instrument of love, peace and compassion.”

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  • cy

    Thank you, Russell. I just said the same thing to someone about an elephant act. It’s selfish, arrogant & morally wrong to deprive animals of a natural life as God intended.

  • guest

    Unfortunately due to habitat destruct and other factors (global warming) many species may only be found in zoos.
    Zoos also serve a critical function of education — videos and books for example cannot convey many aspects of any animal, why does this matter as we try to save habitat or a species if people do not have a personal connect to why will they bother?

  • guest

    On ecorazzi for example, the article about an endangered red wolf being killed was posted (http://ecorazzi.com/2012/09/20/2500-reward-for-information-on-endangered-red-wolf-slaying/). The red wolves for this program come from the Point Defiance Zoological Gardens – http://www.pdza.org/red-wolf-woods, which is one of the reasons zoos are critical for many species.

  • Zoo Logical

    Without reputable and quality zoos many species that have been revived would no longer be in existence. Take the Przewalki’s (Wild Mongolian) horse for example. Without the 9 breedable animals that were found in a zoo in Russia, we would not have been able to rally the species and reintroduce them to their native habitat and they would be completely extinct as they were found to be non-existent in the wild. That goodness they were in that zoo.

  • PETA Patter

    Unfortunately being associated with PETA is not a good thing if you know what they are really up to. If you do your research on PETA you will discover that their goal is for no person on earth to ‘own’ or have an animal in their care, whether it be a dog or cat or bird or horse or any other animal. The founder of PETA makes that very clear. That is why they kill most of the animals that come into their care rather than re-home them to caring, qualified and capable individuals. They would rather see the animal dead than see it in the care of a human being. Just do a google search on PETA kills animals and be prepared to be sickened.

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