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captivity is cruelty

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Freedom Matters to ALL beings.



Animal captivity is a travesty that must end. While those of us who love animals may relish the thought of seeing them in real life, the reality of those lives for animals is far from what, if we are being honest with ourselves, we would want for them. Cages, chains, tanks, and other means of confinement deny animals the natural lives that they are meant to live.


Ask yourself: if you were "safer" living your life in jail, would you choose to live there or to take your chances "in the wild"? And, knowing what you know of jails, do you actually believe that you'd be safer in jail? If you could live a longer life by being jailed, would that be your choice? We suspect, no matter what the promise, you'd choose a free life for yourself. Animals would too if they could make decisions and act for their own interests.


All animals, including humans, have natural inclinations toward certain environments, foods, and social behaviors. Zoos, aquariums, and other confinement businesses deny animals these inclinations, and force them to live in a false construct for which they are unsuited and which denies them their fundamental right to freedom. 

Animals are not property, and humans do not have dominion over them to do with them as we please. They are their own beings, who love, experience pain, and have families...just like you do. 


In honor of Harambe, Tillikum, and countless other victims of captivity, we fight.


Every week, we report on animals whose lives have been cut short due to the gross negligence of a captivity industry. The news is filled with instances of giraffes with broken necks, polar bears with disease, visitors falling or jumping into exhibits, animals escaping their enclosures and being killed and/or killing others in the process. For the countless numbers of animals whose lives have been cut short due to cruel and unnecessary confinement by humans, we seek to end the unjust confinement of animals. Our goal? To see a day when animals are supported in their natural habitats and not viewed as products to be exploited for personal "enjoyment."

Is there ever a time when captivity is warranted?


Sadly, with so many animals being bred in captivity for the purposes of captivity, there are tens of thousands of animals currently held in captivity who are unsuited to life in the wild. For that reason, sanctuaries are necessary in order to preserve the dignity of the animals and to provide them with the highest quality of life possible. We support sanctuaries that minimize human/animal contact and provide animals with the "most natural" life possible, while minimizing any exploitation of their captivity.

Zoo lies debunked

Zoos want you to believe they are necessary to animals and critical to conservation efforts. Yet, with precious few exceptions, critical analysis proves this is far from the case.

For more information, we suggest reading:

"Modern Zoos are Not Worth the Moral Cost", New York Times, June 11, 2021

A recent detailed report from World Animal Protection regarding WAZA approved zoos.

"Critics Question Zoos' Commitment to Conservation", National Geographic, November 13, 2003 

"Most Captive Born Predators Die if Released", National Geographic, January 22, 2008

Animal Cruelty in Zoos Statistics, Jannik Lindner, December 2023

"Zoos are Outdated and Cruel - it's time to make them a thing of the past", Damian Aspinall, Independent, 8/2019

"Conservation Education: Are Zoos Effective Ambassadors and Is There Any Cost to Their Welfare", Spooner/Farnworth/Ward/Whitehouse-Todd, February 2021

"Animal Captivity is a Dangerous Distraction from Real Conservation Efforts", Liz Tyson-Griffin, PhD, 8/2023

"The Disturbing Truth of Captivity-Related Harm", Devan Schowe,, 4/8/2024

And if none of that convinces you, do what we do every week: Google "zoo animal death" or "zoo animal accident" and see what you get. Or take a look at one of our Zoo Incident Reports. You might be surprised -- and horrified!

CWI zoo investigations consistently lead to the discovery of suffering: Arizona. Cleveland. Florida. ThailandThe list goes on.

It's simple: all beings deserve freedom. Conservation efforts should be in situ and focused on mitigating human/animal conflict. Caging animals and breeding them for continued captivity is NOT conservation. It's a perverse behavior catering to human entertainment driven by profit.

Freedom Matters anti-captivity demonstration, Las Vegas 2017

Anti-Captivity Posters

(click image to download. for marine mammal captivity 

materials, click here.)

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Anti-Captivity Leaflet

(click image to download. for marine mammal captivity 

materials, click here.)

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