„The zoo animal in a cage exhibits all these abnormalities that we know so well from our human companions. Clearly, then, the city is not a concrete jungle, it is a human zoo.“
„We lived like that “Happy Family“ you sometimes see in traveling zoos: a lion caged with a lamb. It is a startling exhibit but the lamb has to be replaced frequently.“
— Robert A. Heinlein American science fiction author 1907 - 1988
„Animals in zoos (we are told) believe that their bars protect them. We Americans have forged our own bars, built our own cage, and live in it more or less content as long as someone feeds us.“
— Gene Wolfe American science fiction and fantasy writer 1931
The Best of Gene Wolfe (2009), afterword to "Petting Zoo", p. 432
— Evan Esar American writer 1899 - 1995
Esar's Comic Dictionary
„It could be said now that all animals live in zoos, whether it is a zoo in Regent's Park, London or a Nigerian Game Reserve. Perhaps what's left to argue is only the zoo's quality.“
— Peter Greenaway British film director 1942
From the introduction to the published script.
„While Hindu activists are always treated like animals in a zoo, never allowed to speak for themselves, always condemned to be judged by what someone else has written on the signboard in front of their cage, Muslim fanatics are invited to serve as zoo guides, competent to inform the ignorant outsider about the meanness of these beasts safely locked up in their cages.“
— Koenraad Elst orientalist, writer 1959
K. Elst : The Ayodhya Demolition: an Evaluation, in India., & Dasgupta, S. (1995). The Ayodhya reference: The Supreme Court judgement and commentaries.
„You know, you have to really decide where you want to live: if you want to live in the jungle or in the zoo. Because if you want the beauty, if you want freedom, the jungle is... that's your world.“
— Miloš Forman czech-American director, screenwriter, and professor 1932 - 2018
Context: You know, you have to really decide where you want to live: if you want to live in the jungle or in the zoo. Because if you want the beauty, if you want freedom, the jungle is... that's your world. But you're in danger there, you have to live with snakes, sharks, tigers, skunks, you know, mosquitoes, leeches. You want to be safe, you have to live in the zoo. You are protected. You know, if you are a lamb, the tiger will not attack you. You know, you'll get a little bit something to eat every day; that's fine. You have to work hard, but you live behind the bars, and what's wonderful — you live there behind the bars and you dream about the beauty of the jungle. Now what happened was that the bars opened, and everybody runs after the dream. And suddenly, well, yeah, it's beautiful — yes, I am free to go wherever I want, do whatever I want, but where do I want to go? Oh, my God, and here is a tiger and here's a snake. Oh, oh, and people have a tendency to, you know, back. And you will be surprised how many people prefer to live in the zoo; they are not ready to pay for the freedom; they think that freedom should be, you know, for free, even for granted, which never is, never is.
„I think the discomfort that some people feel in going to the monkey cages at the zoo is a warning sign.“
— Carl Sagan, The Varieties of Scientific Experience: A Personal View of the Search for God
„Nowhere in a zoo can a stranger encounter the look of an animal. At the most, the animal’s gaze flickers and passes on. They look sideways. They look blindly beyond. They scan mechanically. … That look between animal and man, which may have played a crucial role in the development of human society, and with which, in any case, all men had always lived until less than a century ago, has been extinguished. Looking at each animal, the unaccompanied zoo visitor is alone.“
— John Berger British painter, writer and art critic 1926
Chapter "Why Look at Animals?"
„Those chimps and orangutans [in our music video] get treated better than the ones in zoos. They’re loved, and they’re taken care of much better and cleaned much better. And they’re only allowed to work a certain amount of time every day. Plus, we had someone from Animal Protection there the entire time, making sure everything was cool. It’s really weird that people got pissed off about that. Those animals were treated quite well, probably better than most humans, and definitely better than animals in the zoo.“
— Joe Trohman American musician 1984
„Children are not a zoo of entertainingly exotic creatures, but an array of mirrors in which the human predicament leaps out at us.“
— John Updike American novelist, poet, short story writer, art critic, and literary critic 1932 - 2009
„Anyone who truly wants to escape human solipsism should not seek out empty places. Instead of fleeing to the desert, where they will be thrown back into their own thoughts, they will do better to seek the company of other animals. A zoo is a better window from which to look out of the human world than a monastery.“
— John Gray 1948
The Unsaved: The Mirror of Solitude (p. 150-1)