Thought to Exist in the Wild:

Awakening from the Nightmare of Zoos
by Derrick Jensen, photographs by Karen Tweedy-Holmes


Combining elegant, stunning photos with a deep and probing essay, Thought to Exist in the Wild is a passionate and unflinching examination of zoos in our society. This book presents a critical look at these institutions, the individual animals who live in them, and, of ourselves.

Author Derrick Jensen is a well known and respected environmental writer and activist with nine award-winning books to his credit. Photographer Karen Tweedy-Holmes, also brings impressive credentials to the project, including photography for National Geographic magazine.

The zoo issue has many similarities to the animal shelter issue examined by our first book: many of us are uncomfortable when we see the animals in cages at a zoo, in the same way we find it painful to see the homeless animals in cages in shelters. For both shelters and zoos, discussion in our society focuses almost entirely on how the animals are kept - their cage space, their health, their emotional status - but misses the salient point of whether they should even be there in the first place. And, as with homeless animals, animals in zoos cannot tell us of their terror and trauma.

No books have been published in at least a decade that are critical of zoos and how they affect our views of the natural world and our place in it. Thought to Exist in the Wild is a much needed and important voice for animals imprisoned in zoos.