Green Mountain Animal Defenders

Green Mountain Animal Defenders

Working to Protect the Well-Being of All Animals Since 1983

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Zoos and Pseudo-Sanctuaries


Green Mountain Animal Defenders opposes the use of animals in zoos, aquariums, and pseudo-sanctuaries. While some facilities attempt to provide animals with a mock habitat, most confine animals in bare cages or tanks.

Even in naturalistic zoos, animals cannot fully carry out instinctual activities. Animals in both small cages and mock habitats often develop a mental illness called zoochosis, which results in depressive behaviors like pacing, self-mutilation, rocking, and aggression.

Another horrific aspect of these businesses is the trading of surplus animals. Animals that are no longer wanted are swapped between zoos, auctions, exotic pet dealers, and hunting ranches.

Although some animal businesses claim to be sanctuaries that help animals through public education and conservation efforts, often that is not the case. Most people in the United States attend zoos to be entertained rather than educated, spending very little time at each exhibit, and animals returned to the wild under conservation programs often die when released.

More information about the treatment of animals in aquariums, and pseudo-sanctuaries is available from the Humane Society of the United States, In Defense of Animals and Mercy for Animals.

What Can You Do to Help?


Boycott zoos, aquariums, and other businesses that makes money off of animal suffering. Encourage your friends and relatives to avoid them as well — be sure to explain why doing so is important.

Learn about animals instead by watching documentaries or by observing them in their natural surroundings.

If you become aware of such a business operating in Vermont, please notify us.

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