Capturing animals, especially large marine mammals, is a basic violation of their right to enjoy their lives in a natural habitat. There is intense suffering among those animals who are forced to spend their lives in aquariums, whether small or large, as well as in being transported from one location to another. Social and behavioural needs are not and cannot be provided for in small, sterile pools. Dolphins and whales are especially sensitive to their surroundings and to the stress of living in an unnatural, cramped environment where the chances of disease are increased. A life of boredom, constriction and early death is guaranteed for such mammals. Sentient beings are regarded as "exhibits" or "conversation pieces" - mere commodities. This callous attitude contributes to society's failure to protect natural environments because of a false sense of security, that if it is in captivity, it will not become extinct. Aquariums isolate humans from nature.
Aquaria provide an important educational service and a good environment for the study and appreciation of marine life. Many injured animals are treated in the larger establishments. For some this contact with humans is considered to be beneficial to the species concerned.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
The Encyclopedia includes problems which such groups choose to perceive and act upon, whether or not their existence is denied by others claiming greater expertise. Indeed such claims and counter-claims figure in many of the problem descriptions in order to reflect the often paralyzing dynamics of international debate. In the light of the interdependence demonstrated among world problems in every sector, emphasis is placed on the need for approaches which are sufficiently complex to encompass the factions, conflicts and rival worldviews that undermine collective initiative towards a promising future.
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