So this happened…


I swore I would never go. In the past, I have found zoos to be as depressing as fuck and I have been brought to tears by the sorrow of captive animals in their small, squalid enclosures. My heart is broken daily by the south going handbasket we’re all in. I don’t need to torture myself with a trip to the zoo.

And then my kid started telling me she hates animals.

I knew the perfect remedy.

Namely in the form of…

Ridiculous pink birds.

Purple butts and blue noses.

Monkeys with moustaches.


Astounding evolution.

Also, giant animals that somehow get enough sustenance by eating hundreds of tiny animals. And have to do it with their tongues.

Sleepy bears.


And bear butts.

Kangaroo elbows.

Marsupial honk-shoos.

Sly glances.

Enchanting murderesses.

Hungover owls.

Turkey Vultures named Toulouse. (Also, Toulouse is only 3 years younger than me. Neither of us are spring chickens turkeys.)

And giraffe ‘tocks.

There were only a handful of visitors, and our leisurely stroll through the beautiful grounds was quite peaceful. For the most part, the animals looked well cared for and had “enough” room (except for the anteater). Rather than depressed, they seemed bored, often standing with their backs to the viewing area (thus all the butt pictures). My overall sense was that they were weary of being watched.

Halfway through our visit, Fern says “Mama, do you hate animals?”

Me, “Yes. I totally hate them. All of them. Especially when they’re cute.”

Fern, “Oh. Well, I don’t hate all animals.”

And she then went on to list her favorites. Which was basically Every. Single. One.

*Insert the wicked laugh of a cunning and conniving mother*.


Lest you think I now support animals in captivity, this just released series of photos will tell all.

The SF Zoo, despite the fact that in essence it supports the commercialization of animals, is actually a green business that is striving to do their best. Click here for more information about their conservation projects.

Have a great weekend!

P.S. Did I lose some of you with all the guest posts? Comments have been quiet. Your feedback is welcome and cherished, as always.


6 thoughts on “Zoology

  1. On an intellectual level I was okay with zoos, I used to tell myself…well if they were in the wild they’d probably be dead – poached for skin or horns or penis or something. On our Australia Trip we visited Australia Zoo, their entire zoo is based on conservation of Australian animals advocated and owned by the Irwin family of “Steve Irwin” fame…..usually I am totally cool with them. These guys have made it their entire life to know and love these animals as wild creatures. BUT
    i suddenly realised that they animals KNOW that they aren’t in a swampland somewhere, and that they can’t GO anywhere. Wherever they might want to go….or need to go as their inherited memory tells them to….it just isn’t going to happen. I pictured myself living in oneof those fake Disneyland streets or living on fake grass for the rest of my life with my family; and it clicked for me……that is how Zoos are wong for me. Having said that though, the alternative for many of those animals at the hands of other more desperate humans, could be worse.I agree with you about the animals looking bored. I could talk myself into being very sad today if i keep up this rhetoric, so onto happier things!
    Fern as a spider, pretty rad photo right there; and I do like your conniving mama skills, hahahahahaha, they will come in handy for many years yet.

  2. ah grasshoppah, you are learning. i was just telling some guy at the park that whenever i find a movie or tv show that my kids watch and i also like i have to avoid showing too much interest or they will suddenly hate it. it’s all about being sneaky.

  3. Teeny, you are SO RIGHT ON!

    I can’t handle zoos. A couple of years ago we took C’s lil cousin to the Seattle aquarium and I just felt so sad about it. Even just the little crustaceans in the tank, how they’re not in the ocean, how they must know on some cellular level that things aren’t right, kind of the way we know, that right now, yeah, things are not right…

    I’m glad you’ve got Fern sussed into animal lovin’ ways. I love that pic of her as a spider. I’ve been having fun spider encounters of late. As always, you tie things in so beautifully.

  4. I brought my girls to the Zoo when they were really too small to be at the Zoo. We got free tickets and I didn’t put much thought into it. It was the WORST outing ever. Devo and I were depressed immediately by the poor sad animals and the girls must have felt it because they just cried and cried the entire time. We were THOSE parents. The ones people give pitying looks to as they pass by, with their happy-go-lucky kids. UGH. We couldn’t get out of there fast enough. We haven’t been back, though I suspect the girls would love it now.

    P.S. You haven’t lost me with the guest posts, I just haven’t had time to read each one and comment. They are so interesting I wanted to give each one the time it deserved xx

  5. well aren’t you clever! nice work ๐Ÿ™‚ i won’t go on about how depressing the zoos and aquariums are, we all know. I think you used it for a great purpose which shows that maybe even in things that seem beyond bad, one can still find a sliver of good in them. i don’t know…just a thought ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. wow, the Zoo. i haven’t thought to take lucy yet but i think she would absolutely love it, except she’d want to get up closer than possible. i have the same feelings as you and the other commenters about the zoo, and i do agree that these poor fellas look bored, but are there reasons behind each animal’s presence there? i know very little about the philosophy, practice and purpose of zoos. i grew up going to the san diego wild animal park and zoo quite frequently, not to mention sea world and of course loved them so there is a certain nostalgia for me, as unsettling as they are in theory. And i do have to say…indeed they are CUTE! specially that koala bear, good lord. i am glad you’ve got fern turned around, the little rebel ๐Ÿ˜‰

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