Can we appreciate in a serious and deep way the aesthetic qualities of wild species in exemplars held captive for exhibition in the artificial installations of a zoo? To answer this question I invoke theories concerning the aesthetic appreciation of nature propounded by Yuriko Saito and Allen Carlson. I then argue that zoos impose their story on animals, thereby preventing us from appreciating the animals on their own terms. I claim that captivity and its effects on the health, behavior, and appearance of animals make serious and deep appreciation of the aesthetic qualities of wild species impossible.

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Aesthetics Commons



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