Some people argue that zoos are cruel and unnecessary. Others believe that they are important for conservation and education. What is your view on this issue?

Support for Zoos:

  • Conservation: Zoos play a vital role in conserving endangered species through breeding programs. This helps maintain genetic diversity and prevent the extinction of species on the brink.
  • Education: Zoos offer educational programs that raise public awareness about the importance of wildlife conservation and the natural world. They can inspire people, especially children, to develop a deeper understanding of these issues.
  • Research: Zoos often conduct valuable research on animal behaviour, health, and reproduction, contributing to our knowledge of these species and their needs.


Opposition to Zoos:

  • Cruelty: Keeping animals in captivity is seen as inherently cruel, as it deprives them of their natural habitats, freedom, and opportunities for normal behaviours. Confinement in enclosures can lead to physical and psychological suffering.
  • Ethical Concerns: There are ethical concerns about the treatment of animals in captivity, including questions about whether it is morally justifiable to keep animals in captivity for the entertainment of humans.
  • Animal Welfare: Critics argue that zoos often prioritise profit and entertainment over the welfare of their animals. Issues like inadequate living conditions, lack of mental stimulation, and limited access to proper medical care are raised as concerns.


The essay presents these points to give a balanced view of the topic, acknowledging both the positive and negative aspects (conservation and education) associated with zoos (cruelty and ethical concerns). The essay concludes by emphasising the need for zoos to evolve to prioritise animal welfare while still contributing positively to conservation and education.


Model Answer:

In recent years, the role of zoos in our society has sparked a heated debate. While some argue that zoos are cruel and unnecessary, others believe that they play a crucial role in conservation and education. In my opinion, the existence of zoos is a complex issue, and their merits and drawbacks must be carefully considered.

On one hand, critics argue that keeping animals in captivity is inherently cruel. They contend that animals are deprived of their natural habitats and the freedom to roam and hunt. Furthermore, confinement animals in enclosures often results in physical and psychological suffering, leading to shorter lifespans and mental distress. This raises serious ethical concerns about the treatment of animals in captivity.

On the other hand, proponents of zoos assert that they serve a vital role in conserving endangered species. Zoos often participate in breeding programs that help maintain the genetic diversity of species on the brink of extinction. Moreover, zoos can raise public awareness about the importance of protecting wildlife and ecosystems. They offer educational programs that inspire people, especially children, to develop a deeper understanding of the natural world and the need for conservation.

However, it is essential to strike a balance between the goals of conservation and animal welfare. Zoos should prioritize the well-being of their resident animals, ensuring that they have adequate living conditions, mental stimulation, and access to appropriate medical care. Additionally, they must continue to invest in research and conservation efforts and collaborate with organizations dedicated to protecting wildlife in their natural habitats.

In conclusion, the debate over zoos is multifaceted, with valid arguments. While they undeniably have a role in conservation and education, zoos must evolve to prioritize the welfare of their animal residents. This will help alleviate concerns about cruelty and ensure that zoos can contribute positively to preserving our planet’s biodiversity and educating future generations. Ultimately, it is our responsibility to ensure that the benefits of zoos are achieved without compromising the well-being of the animals they house.

Vocabularies: 20 Words

This table provides information about each word, including its type, meaning, pronunciation, root, related words, word family, synonyms, antonyms, and example sentences.

Word Type Meaning Pronunciation Root Related Words Word Family Synonyms Antonyms Examples
Zoos Noun Facilities where animals are exhibited /zu:z/ Wildlife, Menagerie Zookeeper, Zoology Animal Parks Natural Habitats Many zoos have breeding programs for endangered species.
Conservation Noun The protection and preservation of nature /kɒnsəˈveɪʃən/ Preservation, Ecology Conservator Preservation Exploitation Conservation efforts aim to save endangered species.
Education Noun The process of imparting knowledge /ɛdʒʊˈkeɪʃən/ Instruction, Learning Educate Instruction Ignorance Zoos offer educational programs for visitors.
Cruelty Noun The quality of being cruel or inhumane /ˈkruːəlti/ Cruel Inhumanity, Brutality Cruelty Inhumaneness Kindness Critics argue that zoos may involve animal cruelty.
Necessary Adjective Required or essential /ˈnɛsəsəri/ Need Essential, Required Necessity Essential Optional Some people believe that zoos are not necessary.
Complex Adjective Involving many intricate parts or factors /ˈkɒmplɛks/ Complic Complicated, Intricate Complexity Complicated Simple The issue of zoos is complex and multifaceted.
Captivity Noun The state of being confined or imprisoned /kæpˈtɪvəti/ Captive Imprisonment, Confinement Captive Imprisonment Freedom Animals in zoos live in captivity.
Deprived Adjective Lacking essential needs or comforts /dɪˈpraɪvd/ Depriv Impoverished, Needy Deprivation Impoverished Abundant Captive animals may be deprived of their natural habitats.
Suffering Noun Physical or emotional pain and distress /ˈsʌfərɪŋ/ Suffer Pain, Agony Sufferer Pain Happiness Confinement can lead to physical and psychological suffering.
Ethical Adjective Relating to moral principles or values /ˈɛθɪkəl/ Ethics Moral, Virtuous Ethicist Moral Unethical There are ethical concerns about animals in captivity.
Well-being Noun The state of being comfortable and healthy /ˌwɛlˈbiːɪŋ/ Well Health, Comfort Well-being Welfare Suffering Zoos should prioritize the well-being of their animals.
Breeding Noun/Verb The process of producing offspring /ˈbriːdɪŋ/ Breed Reproduction, Offspring Breeder Reproduction Extinction Zoos often participate in breeding programs.
Genetic Adjective Related to genes and heredity /dʒɪˈnɛtɪk/ Gene Hereditary, Inherited Geneticist Hereditary Non-genetic Genetic diversity is important for species survival.
Diversity Noun Variety and differences among things /daɪˈvɜːsəti/ Divers Variety, Range Diverse Variety Uniformity Maintaining genetic diversity is crucial for species.
Biodiversity Noun The variety of life in a particular ecosystem /ˌbaɪoʊdaɪˈvɜːrsəti/ Bio Ecosystem, Variety Biodiverse Variety Homogeneity Biodiversity is essential for ecosystem health.
Awareness Noun Knowledge or perception of a situation /əˈwɛr.nəs/ Aware Consciousness, Perception Aware Knowledge Ignorance Zoos raise public awareness about wildlife conservation.
Stimulation Noun Encouragement of development or activity /ˌstɪmjʊˈleɪʃən/ Stimul Excitement, Activation Stimulate Excitement Dullness Captive animals need mental stimulation.
Evolution Verb/Noun The gradual development or change /ˌiːvəˈluːʃən/ Evolve Development, Progress Evolutionary Develop Stagnation Zoos must evolve to prioritize animal welfare.
Collaboration Noun Working together for a common purpose /kəˌlæbəˈreɪʃən/ Collab Cooperation, Partnership Collaborate Cooperation Isolation Zoos should collaborate with wildlife protection organizations.

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