LETTERS [Dec. 1998]

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, December 1998:

Idea for Duffields
It was wonderful to learn that
people with the resources to do so are
investing in putting a stop to killing animals
because no homes can be found for
them. Dave and Cheryl Duffield deserve
heartfelt thanks from everyone who has
ever tried to cope with this sad situation.
In my experience working on
this issue, I have encountered many old
people who have denied themselves the
pleasure of adopting companion animals
because they lacked the financial
resources needed to provide for them if
they should die before the animal(s), as
seemed likely in some cases.
If enough of the generous
Duffield allocation could be allocated to
guarantee lifetime care or another adoption
to animals whose caretakers die or
become incapcitated, it would open up
many homing opportunities and add zest
and possibly a few years to the lives of
many lonely old people.

Care would have to be taken by
shelter workers, however, to avoid
encouraging people to adopt more animals
than they are physically and financially
able to care for. ––Bina Robinson
Civitas Sanctuary
Swain, New York

Thank you for publishing my
letter in the October edition of ANIMAL
PEOPLE. Unfortunately, the economic
situation here in Zimbabwe is growing
worse by the day, not helped by our government
having sent troops to help fight
in the Congo––which is apparently costing
Zimbabwe over $750,000 a day.
Many animals are being surrendered to
us, as their owners can no longer afford
to look after them, and our clinic is
bursting at the seams because more and
more animal owners can no longer afford
to go to a private veterinarian. This is
obviously putting a huge burden on our
Because the Zimbabwean dollar
is so weak, trading at 35-to-one for
U.S. dollars, if any of your readers were
able to send us even one dollar it would
make a huge difference to us.
––Meryl Harrison
General Manager
Bulawayo SPCA
POB 1321
Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

Chicken fighting
I would like to comment on
your excellent November editorial,
“Wins, losses, and self-defeats.”
The success of the anti-cockfighting
initiative in Arizona was due to
public perception of two problems:
crime associated with cockfighting, and
cruelty to animals.
I did extensive research on
crime in Arizona. Arizona has the highest
crime index in the county, meaning
the most crime reported to police per
100,000 residents. But the crime is located
away from the cockfighting areas. In
fact, 96.5% of all violent crime in
Arizona is in the urban areas. Stopping
cockfighting is going to be a big disappointment
relative to reducing crime.
Cruelty to chickens starts far
away from the cockpit. As you pointed
out, cruelty to chickens starts in the
broiler industry and in the egg business.
Broiler chickens are fed off in nine to 12
weeks and have their throats cut. Laying
hens are kept in confinement until their
egg production drops. Then they have
their throats cut.
So why not go after the real
culprit? Cockfighting is perceived as an
easy target and a wonderful fundraiser.
Grocery stores, restaurants, the broiler
industry, and egg production plants are
not. The Humane Society of the U.S.,
pushing the cockfighting initiative,
doesn’t want to make waves; they just
want to make money.
––Grady Coker, M.D.
Colorado Springs, Colorado

I’m sending out copies of your
recent letter to subscribers about the
World Wildlife Fund to all local news
media. I’m sick––I knew they supported
hunting, but not the rest.
Early this morning I saw a
wonderful public service announcement
on CNN about why it is important to
spay/neuter. Who sponsored it? No, not
the Humane Society of the U.S.––God
forbid!––but rather, seemingly even
more unlikely, the American Kennel
Club! The AKC actually does a better
job of advertising spay/neuter than
HSUS; HSUS is too busy sending out
gifts of cards and calendars. If only we
could get the AKC to be much more
selective about who gets to register
dogs…I will write them, thank them,
and put in my request.
Please tell any rescue group
that would like to use our Ahimsa character
decals of Flossie the Floozie,
Screwy Louie, Sam Spayed, Sterile
Merrill, Ima La Loose, and Lolita & her
litter to write to us and we will send them
free. We want to give them away to anyone
who will put them on rescue vehicles,
adoption vehicles, personal
cars––anywhere. They make everyone
laugh and listen.

––Bonny Shah
Ahimsa Inc.
1875 Ottinger Road
Roanoke, TX 76262-9136

Makah whaling
Thanks for the November front
page! As usual, you guys had the best
coverage of the issue anywhere.
––Andrew Christie, volunteer
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society
Santa Monica, California

Your article “Action but no
whaling––yet,” on page one of the
November 1998 edition of ANIMAL
PEOPLE, quoted our reporter Lynda
V.Mapes, and then stated that the
Seattle Times is owned by the Korean
fundamentalist evangelist Sun Myung
Moon. The Seattle Times is not owned
by Moon. It is owned by the Blethen
family, and has been since Alden
Blethen founded it in 1896.
––Kerry J. Coughlin
Public Relations Manager
The Seattle Times
Seattle, Washington

We confused the Seattle
Times with The Washington Times,
apparently a common error. Moon
does own The Washington Times,
Times of the World, and various other
media with “Times” in the title, via
News World Communications Inc.

In our November page 12
article “Vail, the Earth Liberation
Front, and the search for the missing
lynx,” we misidentified Rep. Rick Hill
(R-Montana) as “Rep. Rick Smith.”
Rick Smith, who had nothing
to do with that article, is Canadian
director for the International Fund for
Animal Welfare. Information he compiled
about the Atlantic Canada seal
hunt was on the ANIMAL PEOPLE
editorial desk at the time the Vail article
was written.

Khan, Amory
I read with great interest, sadness, and
outrage the article in the November A N I M A L
P E O P L E entitled “Hunting on opposite sides of
the earth.” Thank you for bringing these issues to
the attention of your readers, most of whom were
probably unaware of the Salman Khan debacle.
As one of the women to whom Khan was a
favorite actor, I learned of his callous and
thoughtless killing of wildlife some time ago in
the Indo-American media. I am also now a former
fan of Smali Bendre and the others in Khan’s
party, and I will boycott their films, which play
locally for the Indian community, and which are
available for purchase or rental at Indian shops. I
hope Khan can be given the longest possible sentence
of seven years for his unspeakable crimes,
and I hope the Indian community at home and
abroad will show him and his friends what they
think of these cruelties by hitting them where it
hurts: at the box office, the video store, and the
concert venues.
I thank you also for your eulogy of
Cleveland Amory, a giant of our movement who
will never be replaced. I will never forget his
kindness to me in replying to a letter I wrote to
him with a personal letter of his own, personally
signed. That such an important and busy man
would take the time to give personal attention to a
person he never met impressed me deeply, as did
his caring for animals and his commitment to
Finally, may I take this opportunity to
express my delight in Wolf Clifton’s drawings:
they capture the essence of the friends he is
depicting so well!

––Jamaka N. Petzak
South El Monte, California

Thank you very much for mentioning
Cleveland Amory’s appreciation of our work in
your remembrance. Knowing him was special,
very special. It was you who made our introduction
to Cleveland happen––thanks!!!
––Gene & Diana Chontos
Wild Burro Rescue
Onalaska, Washington

Fixing the problem
Thank you for November mention of the
Fund for Animals’ neutering clinics. Our Manhattan
clinic will neuter 5,000 animals this year, and our
Houston and Dallas clinics will neuter an additional
4,500 dogs and cats each. For 1999, The Fund has
budgeted $3 million toward neutering almost 40,000
dogs and cats, thereby preventing the suffering and
deaths of hundreds of thousands of homeless puppies
and kittens.
––Sean Hawkins
Director of Development
The Fund for Animals
Houston, Texas

Editor’s note:
The four national entities now significantly
involved in facilitating high-volume and/or low cost
neutering––the Fund, Friends of Animals,
PETsMART, and the North Shore Animal
League/Pet Savers––are cumulatively fixing more
than 250,000 animals a year, and The Fund, though
in fourth place by volume, is fixing more than any –
one did, or thought possible for one organization to
do, just 10 years ago.
By the most conservative estimate, each
animal fixed prevents four surplus births per year
over the next three years.
All U.S. clinics combined are now fixing
about eight million dogs and 12.6 million cats per
year, extrapolating from data published by the
American Veterinary Medical Association, while the
best available shelter data indicates that just under
two million dogs and 3.2 million cats are killed per
year in shelters, primarily due to overpopulation.
This is about a third the rate of 15 years
ago. An additional half million dogs and eight mil –
lion cats per year, six million of them feral, must be
fixed to make the U.S. a no-kill nation.
That’s not as tall an order as it may sound,
considering that total dog neuterings are up by 1.6
million per year and total cat neuterings are up by
four million a year just since 1987.


Thank you for your wonderful newspaper.
We at the Russian Society for the
Protection of Animals like it very much. I
translate some of your articles so that others
may read them, as I am the only Englishspeaking
person in our office.
The RSPCA was formed in 1865 as
the first charity in Russia, three years earlier
than the Red Cross. It was closed by the
Communist authorities in 1917, but re-established
in 1988. Our aims are to protect every
living creature, especially domestic animals
whose welfare depends on humans; to
humanely educate people; and to help animal
owners. We run a veterinary clinic, support
an animal shelter, and have a two-person animal
rehoming program. Our newspaper, Zov,
is still functioning despite serious financial
problems. We lobby for improved animal protection
laws, and already have enjoyed some
success with the Russian Parliament.
This beautiful male cat on my shoulder,
Erland, was found by my sister Aliona
on a Moscow trolley bus. We found him a
cozy new home. His new owner says he is
kind and well-educated––a real gentleman.
But alas, Erland is just one of millions.
Other people are working to rehome
stray animals, but strangely enough, many of
them charge money for the service. I do not
think this is a good idea, especially in Russia
in times of severe economic crisis. I have a
strong conviction that charity work must
remain charity.
We do of course welcome donations,
the main reason we still exist.
––Alexandra A. Abania
Head of International Department
Russian SPA
2 Neopalimovski Lane 3
Moscow 119121, Russia
Fax 007-095-246-40-79

Hunters vs. veggies

An emerging theme among prohunting
writers is to attack the vegetarian
diet compared to hunting. Twice in the last
two weeks I have seen items in the popular
press which have asserted that the hunter
who drives a short distance and kills an animal
with a single well-placed gunshot has
less environmental impact than a vegetarian
who depends upon industrial agriculture.
Obviously the writers are grossly
hypocritical in that they do not rely on their
wild meat, but also participate in the agricultural
economy. Nonetheless, as this
theme may figure in the future defense of
hunting, perhaps you can assemble some
data which animal defenders can use to
respond. Statistics relating to estimates of
animal wounding by hunters, though not
widely available, might be a good place to
start. In addition, dollar estimates of the
revenues allegedly generated by sport hunting
would demonstrate that it is an intensely
consumptive economic activty.
––John Walker
Coaldale, Colorado

Editor’s note:
briefing sheet of just such statistics handy
for quick response to inquiries.
Rifle hunters retrieve roughly 19
out of every 20 deer they hit, according to
recent studies in Texas and Illinois, but
bowhunters in open country retrieve barely
one in two. The bowhunters’ retrieval ratio
rises to about three in four, however, in
limited spaces such as public parks.
Research commissioned by the
International Association of Fish and
Wildlife Agencies found that U.S. hunters in
1997 hunted an average of 17 days apiece,
spending $86 apiece per day for a per capi –
ta year’s investment of $1,467. Nearly half
the total expense was for transportation:
primarily fuel. About a third was for food
and drink, and 10% was for ammunition.
Hunting cost each participant
about 75% as much, in short, as the U.S.
per capita food bill for all meals eaten in the
home––meat included––for a year.
A typical vegetarian eats home
meals the whole year for approximately
what a hunter spends in under two and a
half weeks.

We are grateful for receiving A N IMAL
PEOPLE. Your newspaper is very useful.

Our organization is based in
Petrosavodsk, the central town of Karelia
Republic, one of the northern Russian
provinces. Our main goals are the defense of
animals in the town and the republic, educating
the public about animal rights, and participation
in biodiversity protection.
We are creating a Center of Animal
Defense, which will include a shelter for
homeless animals, a spay/neuter facility, a
veterinary clinic, and animal search-and-rescue
service. We are also campaigning to protect
wild wolves in our region.
Please write to us.
––Max Olenichev and Vlad Rybalko
Karelian Society for Defense of Animals
Sudostoitel Naya 8-B
Pertrozavdsk, Karelia RU A/Y 345
Russian Federation

White Fang
Please accept our gratitude for sending
ANIMAL PEOPLE. We find your paper
very informative and stimulating. Our organization,
White Fang, founded six years ago,
was the first animal protection charity created
in Romania after the 1989 revolution. We built
a shelter at Boja, where we accommodate
about 100 dogs at a time. They are vaccinated,
disinfected, and sterilized. Afterward they are
adopted. We also provide sterilization service
to the pets of the most disadvantaged people,
both at the surgery room of our shelter and at
the National Institute of Veterinary Medicine.
Any person who loves animals, who
understands the need to protect them, and who
wants to make a contribution, whether educational,
financial, medical, or of some other
kind, is welcome to join us.
––Sandra Bitire
Vice President
White Fang
Str. Carol Davila nr.8, Sector 5

Editor’s note:
The name White Fang is a legacy of
a forgotten era in U.S. humane work which
remains very much alive behind the former
Iron Curtain. Americans today know W h i t e
F a n g only as the title of a 1905 dog story by
Jack London; most don’t realize that London
wrote it as only one of many attacks on dog –
fighting and other forms of dog abuse, and
was more responsible than any other person
for driving dogfight coverage off the sports
pages of respectable newspapers.
London also ripped into pet theft,
vivisection, and cruelty toward sled dogs, was
the first prominent humane activist to confront
circuses, and founded the Jack London Clubs
as prototypical animal rights youth groups,
whose members wrote to politicians and news –
papers, passed petitions, marched and picket –
ed on behalf of animals for at least a decade
after his own 1916 suicide, at age 40.
Favoring the underdog in any dis –
pute, London was an unabashed Red, in the
pre-Bolshevik sense of the term. His books
were accordingly tolerated in Communist
Europe even when most other popular
American authors were banned. Generations
of eastern Europeans who may barely have
heard of the modern animal rights movement
thus remember London as he wanted to be
remembered, not as the macho action carica –
ture those who only know the Hollywood rendi –
tions of his books may imagine, but rather as a
two-fisted, big-hearted humanitarian whose
hopes faltered in alcoholic despair due to mar –
ital and financial troubles and––not least––the
pointless carnage of World War I.


Print Friendly

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.