The Beijing Zoo: Don’t Read If You’re Vegetarian!

You vegetarians, I bet you’re reading anyway. Actually, I’ve only mentioned vegetarians because one of my colleagues who’s a vegetarian refused to go to the Beijing Zoo with the rest of us because of the animal cruelty she anticipated. After going, I understood what she meant.

Before going to the one in Beijing, the last time I had gone to a zoo was in 5th grade on a field trip to the LA Zoo. I have nothing but pictures of me and my best friends putting bunny ears of each other. In other words, I had nothing but happy memories. I think going to the zoo is supposed to be a happy, exciting day trip. You can see in person and up close wild animals without risking your life (unless of course, you decide to be like that drunk guy in China who wanted to hug a panda). You get to stare in awe at how extraordinarily huge, beautiful, or odd-looking an animal is. There are also usually a few feeding stations where you can feed an animal, which many people would pay to do.

But when I went to the Beijing Zoo, it ended up bumming me out. For example, I had never seen a panda in person before, but I imagined one being surrounded by a lot of bamboo and probably sitting on the floor munching on some. The ones I actually saw were nothing like that. Here’s one pen with three pandas:


A close-up. (Sorry about the quality of the pictures. I need a new camera.)

The pandas could’ve been taking their afternoon nap, or maybe pandas are lazy animals, but the combination of the landscaping, or lack thereof, and the pandas’ immobility was a bit saddening.


This panda was by himself, lazing around, but kicking the wall with one foot. Pretty cute.


I expected all the pandas to be like this cool one.


All the other animals I saw were kept in small, arid and barren coops.

However, one exception was the white
tiger’s playground.

In contrast with the barren coops were the open spaces for people to walk about.

There were also some very scenic spots.

Would it kill zookeepers to throw in a little green land into the cages? Just because zoos are meant to be a pleasant place for people to walk around in doesn’t mean they can’t be pleasant places for animals too!

When I get back to California, I’m going to the San Diego Zoo and I expect higher standards!

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1 Comment

Filed under Beijing, China

One response to “The Beijing Zoo: Don’t Read If You’re Vegetarian!

  1. haha the San Diego Zoo is pretty sad too! I’d go to the Wild Animal Park or Safari Park, w/e their calling it now. At least they can roam around there! haha

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