Life of Pi: On Caging Animals

An analysis and an argument.

Imagine being trapped in a confined alteration of your natural habitat. An alteration created by a foreign species who are convinced that they know what’s best for you. Seems like living a nightmare, doesn’t it? This is exactly what Yann Martel claims to believe be good for the animals in, “Life of Pi.” He creates zoos, a confined and controlling place and turns them to sanctuaries in the reader’s mind. Behold, fellow readers, this is the rawest form of manipulation.

Yann Martel fails to present his argument objectively, especially since the voice he writes about grew up in a zoo (Pi’s parents were zookeepers.) Martel’s writing is obviously inclined towards the sentiments of zookeepers and not the animals’.

Martel says that animals are “conservative,” and “reactionary,” and that they do not want to roam around, that they wish to stay in a constant place equipped like their natural habitat. Let’s say that this is true, even then no one would wish to be taken from their natural habitat and put into a faulty, mimicking artificial one, however constant the latter may be.

Americans resent the Fifth Amendment, animals resent this attitude that people have that says that disturbing a living creature for your self-indulgent needs is altruistic.

“In a zoo we do for animals what we have done for ourselves with houses: we bring together in a small place what in the wild is spread out.” Ah! The irony of this statement seems to be leaking out in floods. If that animal’s natural habitat has resources spread out, this should be a stark indicator to us ‘scientific’ human beings that animals are meant to roam around freely and not in a constrained environment.

Why are we forcing them into a lifestyle that aligns to our environment?

Humans have evolved from nomadic tribes to settles in small apartment complexes over time and through our own will. Now, what if a herd pf elephants had forced us into these small apartments from earlier on, would we have been so happily willing then? I think not!

The world is a jungle, metaphorically anyway, and we humans have cleverly disguised ourselves as gazelles, while we are in fact ravenous tigers; hungry for control. So we set up these walls, cover them in a deluge of what we like to call practicality and force it on other living creatures jut to suffice our incessant need to control.




One thought on “Life of Pi: On Caging Animals

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