Letters [Oct. 1992]

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, October 1992:

I am feeling sad and sick about what
is done to helpless animals. After receiving
photos of torture for almost two years from
PETA, Greenpeace, In Defense of Animals,
et al, I feel I just can’t stand it. Is this normal?
I have saved 10 kitties and my neighbors
always have my cats in their yard. I spend lots
of time saying “I’m sorry.” I wish I could
have more, but I look like some nutty cat lady.
Anyway, back to my question: how do I stop
feeling bad?
—Alexandra Robertson, Rocklin,

The only way we know is to take comfort in
having done your best. And often even that
doesn’t help.
The exposure of lies and hypocricy
is one of the things I expect in a publication of
any valid social change movement. Should
we expose an adversary’s glaring hypocricy
yet never engage in any self-criticism? When
huge national organizations send out a con-
stant barrage of junk mail exclaiming how
desperately they need money, yet have execu-
tives who earn five to 20 times more in a year
than I do because of my personal commitment
to simple living, that exploitation of good
will induces both discouragement and bit-
–Pete Gardiner, Laramie, Wy.
I want to personally thank you for
your wonderful, loving, and hard work in
saving many homeless cats. The wretched
felines are overlooked too many times. I
myself have been doing feline rescue work for
a few years; besides the expense and work, it
breaks my heart…Reading about animal rights
efforts is very good; hands-on work is excel-
lent. I do it all, but I give myself to the suffer-
ing cats I see on a daily basis. To overlook
their plight is both ludicrous and hypocritical.
—Ana A. Garcia, Astoria, N.Y.
My husband is being forced to retire
from the U.S. Army in a few months (the peace
dividend!), and our financial situation, in a
country struggling through a depression, will
be difficult. I can afford only the necessities
now, but your publication is a necessity.
—Pattie Reber, Marietta, Georgia.
Keep those group financial reports a
top priority—nothing could help the animals
—Mary Peterson, Dingwall, Nova
Scotia, Canada.
Much thanks for your support. We most
respect and admire the work of those who per
sonally relieve suffering—and you can bet we
will keep up the group financial reports.
We’ve already requested copies of the 1991
tax filings of the biggest animal protection,
habitat protection, and anti-animal protection
groups; if the Internal Revenue Service and
New York State Charities Bureau can get them
to us fast enough, we’ll publish the most
important budget, assets, and salary informa
tion in our December issue.
Last year, staff and volunteers from
the South Carolina Wildlife Department taught
the violence and cruelty of hunting to over
10,000 children in 156 public and private
schools across the state. The 10-hour course,
“Hunter Education,” is also taught in a class-
room setting to Boy Scouts, church groups,
and various camp outings sponsored by the
department. Nationwide, over 650,000 stu-
dents take such courses each year; there are
over 20 million graduates. At a time when
government and law officials are struggling to
find ways to decrease violence in our homes,
schools, and neighborhoods, what justifica-
tion do these branches of government have to
continue teaching violence, cruelty, and
recreational killing to children in public
—Katherine Trimnal, Columbia,
South Carolina.
Hunting apologists often argue that youths
who hunt generally don’t join street gangs.
This argument ingenuously ignores that hunt
ing is a rural phenomenon; street gangs exist
almost exclusively in big cities. In both envi
ronments, young men with guns account for a
disproportionate number of both homicide
perpetrators and homicide victims.
state conservation commissions who endorse
such things as shooting captive birds to train
hunting dogs?
–Cecily Westerman, St. Louis,
You bet. One of the common rationalizations
we hear for holding pigeon shoots is that
they’re really no different from “live bird
training”–without the dogs.
Welcome to New York! Do you
accept visitors or volunteers? I would love to
stop in next time I’m nearby.
–Joe Connally, East Syracuse,
We’re not really set up to handle a whole lot
of traffic, but if you’ll be around and would
like to lend a hand with something, give us a
shout. Thanks for thinking of us.
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