Taking wild animals out of their natural environment and placing them in zoos for the sole purpose of entertainment and profit is not exactly the most humane thing humans have ever done. While some zoos have gone to extra lengths to try and make animals happy by recreating an environment similar to the wild, the fact still remains that wild animals in zoos are just plain bored!
So, the altruistic people behind “zoo jeans,” have come to the rescue of these poor, bored animals by giving them all a lovely pair of jeans to destroy. You all remember the distressed jeans trend right? Where you paid double the cash for half the jeans, but man did we all look cool in early 2000. Zoo jeans are bringing back the distressed look, except this time, the jeans are being distress by dangerous, exotic animals!
We should probably drop everything and go buy a pair, right? According to this report, there is actually real value in this fashion trend from an animal welfare standpoint, because the activity of shredding jeans attached to a tire is actually considered, “environmental enrichment,” providing some much needed stimuli for animals wasting away in zoos. A win-win for jean designers and animals alike! Not to mention, these jeans will be sold at auction and all profits will go back to the zoo as well as the WWF.
If you haven’t guessed by now, I am not buying the gimmick that this is a “good” thing for captive zoo animals. While I will contend that animals in zoos are probably in need of some form of stimulation – animals in captivity can literally go insane as the result of sitting in a cage all day — but I don’t think that the answer to this problem is by exploiting them further to produce commodities for humans.
If the profits of these jeans go back to the zoo then is this not making the animals complicit in the perpetuation of their own captivity? Needless to say, I think I’ll just stick to my regular jeans, thank you.
Image source: Kamine Zoo