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Persuasive Essay on Maintaining Animals in a Zoo


Generally speaking, the topics chosen for such type of academic essays are controversial, so the issues they discuss usually have very remarkable pros and cons. The ideas or problems, implied by different issues, group people in several opposing sides that either support a certain consideration or not.

So, is the zoo a really safe place for animals and the necessary part of any developed city? It is your turn to express your opinion. Let us see how you should do it in order to persuade your reader or listener (if we mean a persuasive speech on zoos and their negative aspects) in a smart and well-reasoned way.

Consider All Factors

Your persuasive essay is a special paper where the list of positive and negative aspects is a must-have. Write down your list before you actually get down to your essay. You will need it to decide on which position you are going advocate for in your essay if you do not have a clear idea yet. Divide your piece of paper in two columns, and write the pros, such as “the zoo is a better than hunting”, “the zoo raises environmental awareness”, “the zoo protects endangered or rare species”. Then, add your cons: “the zoo is infringement of animals’ right to freedom”, “the zoo often takes poor care of animals”, “the zoo does not allow newborn animals to live in their true habitat”. It is easier to make up your mind when you have all your opinions laid out, isn’t it?

Mind the Structure

Choose the best way to approach your topic. After your thesis statement in which you shed some light on what your topic is about, you could start with telling the opposite idea and refute it, and then state your opinion in a clear way, or vice versa. Remember that any type of structure is acceptable as long as it is clear, understandable and persuasive. For example, you could follow this guideline for your essay about zoos if you are against them:

Thesis Statement

Are zoos necessary?

Pros + Refutation

Even though some argue that zoos raise environmental awareness and protect endangered and rare species, this is far from the truth.


The zoo is an infringement of the animal rights to a free life in the wild.


The zoo often takes poor care of the animals.


The zoo does not allow newborn animals to live in their true habitat.


Zoos are bad for animals and thus should be abolished.

Provide Evidence for Your Claim

In order to sound more persuasive, you need to research the topic and provide undeniable and reliable data to prove your point. Look for some stories about how animals are treated in zoos or for some info on the psychological effects of confining animals to a life in the zoo. If you take the pro-zoo side, search for some evidence of zoos keeping the endangered and rare species alive and well or how beneficial zoos are from the educational point of view. Statistics will always be your main advantage in a persuasive essay.

Some Other Recommendations

People in Safari Park

When it comes to writing a persuasive essay on why zoos are bad, you need to prove that your opinion on the matter, which is inevitably opposite to some other opinions, is valid and right. So, we have cleared up that when we are discussing the question whether it is right or wrong to keep animals in public zoos, our most important and significant tasks are to take one side of the argument, stick to its main claims and prove them in a persuasive manner. Now we are going to consider three more tricks which will help you cover different aspects of the issue in your “zoos are bad” essay and make the arguments, which you are providing in your paper, significantly more effective and weighty.

Trick #1: Analyze the Opposite Opinions

Indeed, it is essential for crafting a really intelligent paper. Let us try to make out why.

  • Firstly, you will prove yourself as a polite person who takes into account even those ideas which run counter to yours.
  • Secondly, your analysis of opposite opinions can help you approach the issue from different angles and hence come up with more arguments to support your own position. Actually, it works quite simple and even obvious: you take an opposing idea and provide the reason why you do not agree with it.
  • Thirdly, by involving a few opinions that contradict yours, you can make your essay more persuasive: you introduce and describe ideas which really exist and are supported by real people; at the same time, you refute them at once by applying valid evidence.

Trick #2: Refer to Different Aspects of Our Everyday Life

When you are writing a persuasive essay about zoos and all the issues connected with them, you can also consider other spheres of human life and activities, but not only those of the nature and environment.

In case you are going to prove that the zoological park is not the best place to keep animals even when they are endangered. Thus, you will introduce your negative attitude to such establishments. So, you can also think about how the very phenomenon of displaying wild animals in big cities, where there is hardly any opportunity to create proper natural conditions, influences people’s minds and our general understanding of how a human being should treat wild nature.

Here are some other ideas on the connections between the zoo issue and some other aspects of our everyday lives:

  • city infrastructure: zoos usually have quite large squares, but, unfortunately, it does not mean that the quality of all the necessary facilities there is high; consequently, there is hardly any guarantee that the animals are kept properly and no harm is done to the city environment;
  • social impacts: a city zoo is one of those popular public places where parents usually take their children on weekends, however, we should not forget that most children are very sensitive and what they see or hear can greatly impress them and even change their behavior or some of their views; a child may witness not only the situation when an animal is abused, but also some other negative examples of people’s behavior (adults’ quarrels or children’s whims).

Trick #3: Offer Alternatives to Zoos

You see, the thing is that if you are only refuting particular statements but not offering any suggestions to what you actually reject, then your persuasiveness will appear to be powerless. On the other hand, when you really need to prove your rightfulness, you should search for the alternative ways of solving the issue you are considering in your essay.

So, let us have a quick look at the present alternatives to zoos. Hope, this info will be helpful for your writing and just interesting.

Lehe Ledu Wildlife Zoo, China

This is a new type of entertainment and an original way of environment protection at the same time. The visitors of this Chinese “zoo” are driven through the park territory in cages while tigers and bears roam free and welcome people by approaching the slowly moving vans with the cages or electric tourist buses, standing on their hind legs and just leaning on the vehicles. The “zoo” was opened in 2015, and the tickets were sold out three months in advance!

Vancouver Island, Canada

It is a just magnificent place where a tourist can watch whales and orcas as well as photo-hunt grizzly bears (that is track bears down to take a few nice photos of them, or, if you are lucky enough, then even with them). Actually, the reserve is a set of many wooded islands surrounded by beautiful mountains. It also hosts several annual festivals and is a large natural research center protected by the Canadian government.

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