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Ms. Elaine Kneeous

Jennifer is a one in a million stay-at-home mom. (More like one OF a million stay at home moms!) She graduated from a liberal arts college but there is nothing liberal OR artsy about her. She is married to Kevin Fischer of This Just In, and together they have a beautiful young daughter Kyla Audrey. In no particular order she loves dogs, wine, a good bargain, her family, pizza, and entertaining. Follow her blog of all things miscellaneous including but not limited to cooking and baking, entertaining and party planning, being a mommy, and homekeeping.

Me? Feel GUILTY???

I don’t have a lot of time to write this blog.  Kyla is anxious to get to our wonderful Milwaukee County Zoo this morning.  Our Zoo Pass Plus has been one of the best investments for our family and we truly get MORE out of it than its annual fee.

Our daughter loves all creatures, great and small.  One of the highlights of our annual Walt Disney World vacation is to go on the safari in Animal Kingdom.  Riding on a “tour bus” through the different areas of wilderness and observing animals in their natural habitats is truly a sight to behold.  We learn so much about the species and do our best to take some great photos which isn’t always easy.  We understand how fortunate we are to be able to do this, and realize that many families aren’t able to enjoy the same thing.

But what many families ARE able to share with each other is a trip to their local zoo.  Here, moms and dads can teach their kids about being kind to animals, about what “endangered” means, and offer them a chance to see – up close and personal – how amazing these creatures are.  I must admit that even on our most thrilling safari adventures in Disney, we don’t get so close to the giraffes that we could count their eyelashes, like Kyla & I did on a recent trip to our zoo:

 

 

 

 

Our Milwaukee County Zoo is a wealth of information & learning experiences.  We are fortunate to have such a lovely facility in our area, and animals are fortunate as well.  Without the conservation efforts put forth, so many animals would suffer fates worse than not having enough toys in their enclosures.  I also agree with the St. Louis Zoo and their perspective on Why Zoos Matter.

Yet Mark Silverman in his most recent of several animal-centric letters to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel editorial page tries to convince us that “zoos are animal prisons whose inmates receive life sentences.”  Mr. Silverman’s self-imposed title of “President” at “The Wisconsin Animal Protection Society” does little to sway my pro-zoo opinion.  My online search of him & the organization yielded a link to animalshelter.org which is simply a parent site that helps you search for adoptable cats and dogs in your zip code.  While he may be a card-carrying member of PETA I’m not convinced he’s anything more than a zoo-hater.

Our country’s zoos bring families together, teach important information about animals and help preserve species for future generations.  As for the many people who loved and remember Samson the gorilla, there is no need to feel “shame” over admiring and observing him.  In fact his name now graces a popular fundraiser for the zoo.  Seems to me a legacy like this should be admired, not illicit guilty feelings.  I’ll always be proud of the fact that we enjoy the Zoo as a family for all the things that it has to offer.  If I feel sorry for anything it is for people like Mr. Silverman who can’t appreciate them.

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