In 1969, zoologist Desmond Morris released a book titled The Human Zoo; in it, he argued that human beings, tribal by nature, aren’t wired to live in the big, crowded modern-day cities we find ourselves in: “Some people call the city a ‘concrete jungle’ — but jungles aren’t like that. Animals in jungles aren’t overcrowded. And overcrowding is the central problem of modern city life. If you want to look for crowded animals, you have to look in the zoo. And then it occurred to me: The city is not a concrete jungle — it’s a human zoo.” Humans in a city are like animals in a zoo. It’s a fascinating claim, one that led me to a rather unusual thought. If we take for granted Morris’ claim that the city is essentially a human zoo, and that, as we are all aware, it’s far more difficult for animals to mate in captivity, then - could cities actually limit our capacity for love? As our world becomes more and more urbanized, will it also become more lonely?
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