Caring About Things

"Trans rights are human rights" is a term used by trans activists to convey the idea that since trans people are also, y'know, people, they deserve the same rights as anyone else. The rights of trans people should be equivalent to the rights of cis people. It means that, you shouldn't be persecuted for how you dress, how you present, or how you live. Anyone should be able to be out as trans and be treated exactly the same as anyone else. In concept, it's pretty simple. Back to the "treat others like you want to be treated" basics. 
There's another level to the slogan though. One that I think is talked about much less, but I find just as compelling. And that's what it says about "human rights". If trans rights are human rights, and anyone can be trans, that means that the trans community should care about more than just trans issues, but also blanketedly human issues. Since any human could be trans, if you're supporting human rights, you are also vicariously supporting trans rights. 
This is true of the zoo community as well. Much like the trans community (of which many of us are also members, we love our trans zoos), we're a group of people that are brought together by something that isn't visible. We could be any race, gender, socioeconomic background, whatever. Anyone can be animal attracted. Which means that members of our community could be affected by any host of other issues happening in society. Zoosexuality is already somewhat controversial as far as topics go, adding more on top of it can really be a lot to deal with. So what do we do for our fellow zoos who are facing prejudice from more than just one angle in their lives?
We need to care about more than just zoo causes. We can't just sit in our bubble trying to fight for our own rights, and the rights of animals out there. We need to support our friends through whatever else they might be dealing with too.
Unfortunately, it's not that easy. It can be hard to try and take everything in all the time. There's so much happening in the world, it's nearly impossible to keep up with it all. And even if you could, it's sure as hell depressing sometimes. I'm not saying that you need to be making signs and standing at the picket line for every single issue, but there's a lot of options between that and apathy. Something as simple as a tweet, or even just sending a message to a friend, can go a long way. Or, if you see a zoo who's acting bigoted, reaching out to them and trying to help them understand the other side might end up going a long way. And this isn't just sentiment. For those of you out there still unconvinced, think about it this way. Even if it's not something that personally affects you, if you care about zoo activism you have to care about more than just zoo activism. And here's why.
There's only so much time and energy we have in a day. If you're a uterus-having zoo living in the US and your state is considering criminalizing abortion, that's pretty fucking important to you too. And not only that, but it's also a much more pressing issue. Say you're a gay zoo living in a country like Uganda which just passed sweeping laws to totally criminalize homosexuality, that's probably going to be on your mind as well. And, of course our dear trans zoos whose rights are being attacked left and right. It's hard to focus on writing cool fun zoo positivity articles when it now might be illegal for you to use the bathroom. Any of those people might be powerful allies to the zoo cause. They might be the person to start the next podcast, create the next stream, really make an impact. But if they need to use their voice to fight for other things, that's one less voice that we have to aid in our cause.
As a community, we need to support those that are at their weakest. I'll be honest, in the scope of the entire world, we aren't that loud of a voice. At least not yet anyway. But when we show that we stand with minorities that are in danger of losing their rights, we let the zoos in those minorities know that we stand with them, and that they have a safe space where they can talk about it.
Of course, all of this is an incredibly selfish way at looking at things. Ideally you care about people because that's the right thing to do. But if you are someone who never speaks up about other issues, at least now you have a reason to. Because zoo rights are human rights.
Article written by Tarro (May 2023)
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