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A vegan lifestyle, especially as defined by The Vegan Society UK, tends to influence more than just choices around health and diet. For example it is common among vegans to boycott or protest zoos and aquariums, but this is far from universal among vegetarians.

Vegans choose not to support animal exploitation in any form and so avoid visiting zoos or aquariums, or taking part in dog or horse racing.

From the Definition of Veganism as provided by the Vegan Society (UK)

Discussions about the role of zoos and aquariums are generally based on theories about Animal Rights. I've read the help page for this site and it provides the following guidance for what is on topic:

You've come to the right place if you have questions about:

  • How to stay healthy living while living a veg*n.

Based on this, it sounds like questions about zoos and aquariums would be considered off topic because they are irrelevant to healthy living. However, there is already an established body of questions on the site that go beyond healthy living. For example:

Based on these example questions, it seems like questions would considered on topic for the site.

Whatever the decision, I think the help page needs an expanded definition to clarify what is (and is not) in scope for the site.

  • 2
    Perhaps something like "Do dolphins in aquariums exhibit signs of stress?" – Nic Dec 7 '17 at 7:05
  • I think questions about animal rights are relevant to this site – Zanna Dec 7 '17 at 9:08
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If they don't relate to animal rights or veg*nism, they're off-topic.

General questions about zoos and aquariums are off-topic.

By this I mean things like:

  • What's the most common zoo animal? Is it a giraffe?
  • How do zoos feed giraffes?
  • How big of an aquarium do I need for a giraffe?

i.e. things that don't relate to a veg*n lifestyle.

However, things like these are still off-topic, despite being about veg*nism:

  • Are giraffes in zoos treated well? (too-broad, opinion-based)
  • Is it veg*n to keep fish in an aquarium with a giraffe? (opinion-based)
  • Are zoos that include giraffes veg*n? (opinion-based)

Note that these questions would not be closed for being off-topic, but for other reasons that can apply to any other question on the site.

I'm having a hard time coming up with any on-topic and good questions about zoos/aquariums that relate to veg*nism. Presumably, animal rights questions like that would be on-topic on this site.

As an example, the question "Do dolphins in aquariums exhibit signs of stress?" may or may not be off-topic. In my personal opinion (but not in my capacity as a moderator), I'd vote to close. I feel like this is too broad for a specific answer, and it varies greatly depending on the aquarium/zoo/amusement park.

But then again, it's about animal rights and presumably there are some studies into this. That's where the community consensus comes in.

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