Charlie W., Bethesda, MD
If you were to ask a kid what one of their favorite childhood memories was, there would be at least one who would say that there’s was going to the zoo with their family. What kid wouldn’t love getting to go and see these exotic, and maybe not so exotic, animals in person instead of just in the books they have in their bedrooms or at school. While zoos may be fun and games for the children and the thousands of visitors that come and go everyday, is it really the best thing for the animals?
There are many positives for why we have zoos, but there are also many negatives. While zoos do help to protect endangered species as well as protect animals that are often hunted, forced from their natural habitats by construction and destruction, and saved from predators, is being kept in a confined area and having to deal with the stress and the boredom a good thing? The breeding programs in many of the zoos are seen as saving the animals for extinction, but do we, as humans, have the right to force these animals to breed even if it is to keep them from no longer existing?
Including those listed above, some of the positives of zoos include creating memories for children and adults alike, taking in wild or exotic animals that were kept as pets and are no longer being taken proper care of, and breeding programs to help the endangered species that have been saved.
On the other side of the spectrum, animals that are not accustomed to the small confined spaces often show signs of stress and boredom, they do not have the freedom that they once had in the wild, the breeding of the animals attract the visitors, but this often leads to surplus of animals that are either sold to circuses, canning facilities, or even just put to the slaughter, and the animals being taken from the wild can lead to further endangering of the species.
These are just a few of the reasons arguing for both sides, but what do you think? Are zoos good or bad for the animals in the long run?
I have lived in Michigan my entire life, and I have learned one thing growing up in the mitten state: never trust the weather.
I am not sure if other places around the world are like this, but Michigan can have three different types of weather in a single day. Once, we went from snow to sun to rain in the span of fewer than 6 hours. For a state that is shaped like a mitten, it sure lives up to its name. Our winters are crazy--usually really snowy and cold, but you never know what it is going to be like from day to day.
This past winter almost the entire month of January was sunny and we hardly had any snow. When we got snow, it wasn't just a little, no, it was a blizzard where we would get feet of snow to make up for all the other days that we were enjoying not having a very snowy winter for once.
Recently, there have been floods all over Michigan, because after having a gigantic snowstorm, Michigan decided that even though it was February (usually a very snowy, cold month for us) it was time to jump into spring, and all of our snow melted, and then it rained, causing all of our abundant water bodies to overflow. Both my hometown and my college campus seemed to be almost completely underwater! We had students canoeing to class!
Growing up in Michigan, you start to realize how resilient we are to these weather changes compared to people from other states. In the winter, as soon as it gets past 20 degrees, there are people who walk around in shorts and t-shirts because to us, that is a warm winter. We adapt to the weather with a moments notice, most noticeable by the number of layers we will wear in a day.
You know someone is from Michigan when we dress for at least two different types of weather in a day. On a typical day, I will wear a t-shirt with a sweatshirt but it has to have a hood because our weather could go from 60 degrees to under 20 and rainy in no time at all!
Despite being one of the craziest states weather-wise, Michigan is a pretty great place to live. Even though I give Michigan a lot of crap, I am glad I was able to grow up here. There are so many cool places to visit and the people are all pretty nice. We have names of cities that even people from here can't pronounce. We have a cool bridge surrounded by an awesome city that makes some really awesome fudge, and we are surrounded by some of the prettiest waters I have ever seen.
We don't really get extreme weather besides the occasional tornado warning, and the two random earthquakes a few years ago, and we have so many opportunities to get involved! Michigan has such a diverse community that fosters your love for just about anything. Education wise, I feel like our state has a ton of colleges and universities for being a relatively lesser known state.