Many American football players have brain diseases in their old age because they have so many concussions during their career. Why don’t rugby players, who don’t wear helmets, have this problem?
American Football players wear helmets and protective armor, they regularly crash into each other way more violently than rugby players would, leading to the apparently paradoxical effect that football players’ “protection” actually make the sport more dangerous.
In a similar case, the introduction of soft, cushy gloves in boxing has lead to significantly more deaths in boxing matches, since boxers were now able to hit their opponent’s head with great force without breaking their own hands.
This was an episode on the Freakonomics Podcast: The Dangers of Safety
Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being "in love" which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Your mother and I had it, we had roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms had fallen from our branches we found that we were one tree and not two.
- Louis de Bernières
While the intention behind starting zoos might have been honorable, many have, unfortunately, become more similar to a car collection than an animal conservation effort.
As animal rights organization PETA has said, wildlife in captivity often “spend much of their time pacing, walking in tight circles, swaying or rolling their heads, and showing other signs of psychological distress.” Obviously, animals will always do best in the wild, roaming free in their natural setting, rather than living in poorly decorated and artificially lit living spaces.
Even the argument for conservation hits a few flat notes. Few animals in captivity are endangered, as Zoos prefer to showcase exotic species to wow the public. This is entertaining to humans, but not beneficial for the animals.
To be fair, there are beneficial organizations aiding in the conservation of endangered animals. The San Diego Zoo, for example, cares for Nola, one of the last four Northern White Rhinos in the world. Without their aid, she would likely be killed by poachers within days.
But, overall, it is the minority seeming to be investing in the well-being of the animal long-term, and this is likely why most animals in captivity live shorter lives than they do in the wild.
This is exactly what photographer Gaston Lacombe sought to convey when shooting his series entitled “Captive”. The pictures below expose the conditions many animals live in each day, detached from their natural origin.
Credit: Gaston Lacombe
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