I don't think you're a big fan of either, so I am asking.
The zoo is for topics that are generally forbidden in regular posting. It's called the zoo because this is where you get to behave like an animal.
Think of it as a pressure release, a place to let go of pent up frustration. A place for truly heated discussion to be handled and moved to so that it doesn't soil the actual "regular" threads.
So if you want to talk about the orange cheeto-fingered commander in half-tweet and his bald-faced lies, sleazy dirtbag predators like Paltrow or Mercola, or the halfwitted fairy tales about a magical man in the sky who will curse you to eternal torment -- because he loves you... Well, this is the place.
So long as you keep it in the zoo, don't post porn, and self-censor enough that we're not filled with F-Bombs, it's fine and dandy here.
The only thing really restricted in the zoo is outright hate speech such as bigotry and racism, and even then I've got a bit of a pharaoh complex on that. As Ramses II would say:
"Let him speak, so that sane men may know him mad."
Hence why unlike every other part of these forums, this image:
or this one:
... are entirely acceptable in the zoo, but would be instantly removed and the user issued a warning if posted to any other section of these forums.
The decade I spent managing a major gaming forums taught me that it's easier to give people a place where it's ok to misbehave, than it is to try and lock it out completely. We all have dark sides, we all have bad days, and we can't all agree about everything all the time.
Sooner or later you end up banning otherwise useful users -- which is where you end up with dens of suck-ups and sycophants like Sitepoint where if you look at any threads over two years old, it looks like they banned 80%+ of all active users given the number of posts attributed to "system" instead of an actual user. I was looking for some old posts of mine from a decade ago, and was shocked to see that everyone other than Paul O'B in the thread had been banned. EVERYONE!!! I started poking around and it was like that for nearly every other post of that era.
Seriously, go look at old threads over there, it's comically tragic. I have to laugh it's so pathetic. How the blazes are they even still around?
Oh, that's right, it's a front for selling books filled with disinformation. They have physical products to keep things afloat. Christmas only knows you don't go there if you actually want help -- or scarier still actually want to help people. It reeks of a sociopathic lack of empathy mated to an innate need to keep people ignorant enough to easily rip them off.
The only place more mercenary than them is DigitalPoint, but at least DP is HONEST about who they are, what they're doing, and why they do it.
Sadly I see hashnode fully determined to go down that same road. Sad as the place has a lot of potential, but they're pissing it away with stamping out dissent, looking for reasons to kick people out of their echo chamber, and a general mismanagement that's outright cringe-worthy.