Like most people, It breaks my heart to see animals in cages, particularly those that are inherently wild. I will say, however, that the Berlin zoo was one of the best I have ever been to, with massive enclosures and geographically appropriate shelters for the animals. It was also absolutely sprawling (and it should be since the city is gigantor). I stood, staring at these lions for a while, maybe 15 minutes. This photo is the first time, towards the end of that time, that the lion looked away from me. There were no children around, just myself, and like some National Geographic mission we just looked at each other. I think he could sense that every fiber of my body wanted to cut open the cage and let him out a la The Happy Lion, even though we both knew that would end in my arrest and his euthanization. I do love zoos for the education and rehabilitation programs, but damn, if this guy is going to be locked up, can he at least have more space (and privacy)? I’d love to see humans in cages and the lions looking in, roaring and pawing at overweight bankers sitting in smushy chairs eating chips and smoking cigarettes. Then they could throw bits of antelope at us and wonder why we weren’t moving. A girl can dream.