“In general, zoos and wildlife parks preclude or severely restrict natural behavior, such as flying, swimming, running, hunting, climbing, scavenging, foraging, digging, exploring, and selecting a partner. The physical and mental frustrations of captivity often lead to abnormal, neurotic, and even self-destructive behavior, such as incessant pacing, swaying, head-bobbing, bar-biting, and self-mutilation.” Source: Peta.org
According to PETA, keeping wild things in captivity is dangerous for their mental and physical health. Looking at my teenage sons, I cannot help but realize- these beasts would rather be feral. They would rather feed on the normal diet of their species, chips, soda and frozen things that mimic food. They would not be tortured with the knowledge of what a ‘lentil’ is or the concept of whole wheat (which they liken the constant use of to be similar to being a militant vegans).
And PETA is right- they ought to be out doing all the things that boys naturally do. Foolish feats that prove their strength and agility like skateboarding for instance. And here I am, forcing them to learn the hallmarks of domesticity, cooking and cleaning. And as a result, they pace about out of frustration demanding to know when their chores are complete enough to go outside.
They have also been known to engage in self mutilation by way of ‘gauges’ in the ears.
Perhaps it’s time to release them?
Not a chance!