My children have been clamboring to go to the zoo but I am hesitant.  First of all, I don’t particularly like zoos.  I’ve been to some really sad ones where the apes look suicidal and it’s all lonely, bored animals caged up for our amusement.  I’ve been to other zoos that were far, FAR better, but still there’s always that stray thought that these are prisons for innocent animals and I woudln’t want to be caged and WATCHED 24/7 for the rest of my life.  All my time at zoos is basically spent feeling apologetic and guilty and hoping that PETA never finds out I was there (why they would care, I dont’ know, but I DO think of them when I’m there).

Our zoo is the Miami one.  It’s a fairly decent zoo as far as I can tell.  Not the best I”ve seen but no where near the worst (that title goes to the Eureka zoo.  I really hope that thing has closed down.  It was an abomination back in the late 80’s/early 90’s).  One thing about the Miami zoo is that it is hot.  REALLY hot.  Unbearably hot and yes they have misters going but it’s still bright and hot and humid and dragging tired hot neurotypical kids around a zoo is one thing, but add in my autistic son and it’s a day to be avoided at all costs.  Uphill and downhilll, hither and yon seeing the bored animals and being unable to read about any of them because no one is really interested and they are all raring to go to the more interesting animals like the elephants except when you get there it’s just a couple of hot looking elephants in a pen, and moooommmm, this is boooorrrrrinnngggg.  I”m hot and tired.  Can you carry me?  Can we get ice cream?  Can we go to the giftshop and buy overpriced T-shirts and trinkets?  Pleeeeeasssseee?

They DO let you feed the giraffes, which is always a hit because those things are HUGE up close and they are so beautiful, but you have to pay for the privilege and with 5 kids wanting a turn, this can get expensive fast.

Where animals are concerned, I am a bit of a freak.  I’m one of those who LOVE them.  I have always had pets and I always will, but left to my own devices I would end up a crazy cat lady who feeds 30 strays daily.  I am not currently a vegetarian, but I was one for 12 years and I eat very little meat.  I don’t eat meat on pizza or in spaghetti or chili.  I don’t eat casseroles or tunafish.  I don’t eat shrimp anymore.  I will eat fish and chicken occasionally, ground beef hardly ever (I’ve had one hamburger in 20 years and that was unavoidable if I didn’t want to be incredibly rude) and steak maybe twice a year.  I do not eat pork or veal or lobster at all EVER and no sausage, pepperoni or balogna  either.    I do eat eggs though.  I would love to be a vegan, and if I were rich I would be.  Mostly because it seems time consuming to cook that way, but if I was rich I’d hire a vegan cook and be done with it.  I eat a lot of tofu and fake meat products and I think they are mostly fabulous.  I mention this because I get the same guilty feeling when I eat meat that I get when I go to zoos.  I love animals and the fact that I’m an omnivore bothers me sometimes.

I can’t eat lobster because I keep thinking, “Boy, being boiled alive is the worst way to die I’ve ever heard of!”  I’m sure cows entering slaughterhouses are pretty stressed out too… Man, I am freaking myself out here!  How did my simple little summer day  family outing at the zoo post go so horribly wrong?

I sure wish I had a picture of my daughter licking ice cream off the pavement at the zoo  to add right here, but alas, I do not.   Because we haven’t BEEN to the zoo yet.  Soon though.  If I can work up to it.  Definitely before the summer’s over.  ..Probably…

My husband is always telling me that I think too much, and this time I believe he’s right.

If you are a zoo working, petless, unapologetic carnivore, no worries.  You are still welcome here.  If you are Dick Cheney?  Find someone else’s blog, big guy.  This one’s not for you!

(New toons are up, sorry for the long delay…)