LETTERS [June 1999]
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, June 1999:
On May 17 the Makah
killed an innocent, trusting whale. I
hate the savages who threw the harpoon,
and their slimy white lawyers
––the ones who will get all the
money, while ordinary Native
Americans remain in poverty. But
the studs in the boats and their oily
accomplices are not the only ones
whose hands are bloody.
Every airy-fairy, smugly
right liberal socialist is directly
responsible for 30 years of supporting
the “superior spirituality of
natives” scam. It was so trendy,
you know. And so un-trendy to tell
the truth: that natives are just
humans, warts and all. They never
were superior in any way, at any
time. As among us, a few are vastly
better than the rest, but most are
either ordinary or worse. The superior
ones are almost all women who
have had the courage to tell the truth
about their dangerous male-dominated
The media is equally to
blame for the whale’s death. They
loved and perpetuated the whole
“nasty white culture vs. noble First
Nations” thing. They perpetuated it
in millions of words, and they
crushed the truth by vilifying any
dissent as “rednecked.”
Natives on the west coast
took slaves. Should they still have
slaves? Should widows be forced
onto burning ghats? Should men be
allowed to sell their daughters?
Shall virgins still be buried alive?
All these are part of someone’s spiritual
heritage. And killing whales
was never spiritual anyway: it was
eating, nothing more, nothing less.
Animal Advocates Society
of British Columbia
West Vancouver, B.C.
The murder of a whale by
the Makahs has, if anything, hastened
the demise of their culture. If
the Makah, as a people, are foolish
enough to believe that killing whales
will make them great, they are
already beyond saving. I will not
mourn their passing.
But if they are now
restored to greatness, will they be
weaned from our tax dollars? Of
course not! These aren’t whale warriors:
they are welfare warriors.
Albert Gore should never
be allowed to forget his part in this
debacle as he runs for president.
God help us all if he wins.
Caring people around the
world are repulsed by the senseless
destruction of a magnificent gray
whale by the Makah tribe.
What can we do, individually
or collectively, to insure that
this barbarism is not repeated?
It appears Al Gore, the
Coast Guard, and the Bureau of
Indian Affairs are all culpable in this
atrocity. It certainly will help me
decide who to vote for next year.
––David A. Gill
Nevada governor Kenny
Guinn on May 13 signed AB 221,
requiring mandatory psychological
testing of juveniles who abuse animals
or illegally use guns.
I wish to thank all who
helped us get this bill through the
Nevada legislature. The world is
The legislature next meets
in 2001. We are already working on
the humane agenda.
Carson/Eagle Valley Humane Soc.
Carson City, Nevada
Our shelter has been
receiving ANIMAL PEOPLE f o r
several years now and I have just
gotten around to thanking you for it
and letting you know how much we
use it as a resource guide. I wish the
publication was more permanent. It
gets very used by the time we’re all
through reading it, but I do keep
each edition on file for review. Do
you publish a yearly locator guide?
Often I remember an article or
advertisement and have to dig
through stacks of papers to find it.
Keep up the good work.
Craven-Pamlico Animal Services
New Bern, North Carolina
We don’t have a printed
locator guide, but you should be
able to find almost anything we’ve
ever published at our web site,
Just enter the key words into the
search engine and click.
You will be as appalled as
we were to learn that poachers in
Zimbabwe killed 65 elephants in
1999, with 26 killed between
August and October, as the ivory
sale to Japan allowed by the
Convention on International Trade
in Endangered Species approached.
It is what we predicted would happen.
Bulawayo Branch SPCA
Farra do Boi
I send some photos of an ox who was tortured to death on April 4, 1999 by the mob who practice Farra do Boi bullfighting here in the streets of Florianopolis, Santa Catarina state, Brazil. I ask A N I M A L P E O P L E readers all over the world to protest against Farra do Boi t o Santa Catarina governor Esperidiao Amin, at >>email@example.com<<. Please ask him to punish people who practice Farra do Boi. Still commonly practiced, Farra do Boi was banned by the Federal Supreme Tribunal of Brazil, but the local authorities ignore the ban, and the cruelty continues. Politicians often provide the animals to help them get votes. We have been pressuring the authorities ourselves, but to no avail.
Congratulations for the work you are doing through ANIMAL PEOPLE, helping to let people know what is happening in the world and how we can help the animals all over the planet. We are with you!
––Halem Guerra Nery
Associacao Catarinense de Protecao aos Animals
Caixa Postal 347 CEP 88010-970
A briefing from Maneka Gandhi
I am enclosing the mandate that I had spelt out for the first year
of the animal welfare department that I have created within the Indian government
ministry for social welfare and empowerment. As we go on, our
duties and ideas will expand.
I felt that since India has absolutely no shelters or ambulances
for either wild or city animals, providing them was my first duty.
I have also created an Animal Welfare Institute which will give
diplomas in animal welfare. We are now designing the institute and curriculum,
and are selecting staff. This will need a lot of input from all over
the world. This institute will legitimize our cause, allow people to dream
of it as a career, and give them the skills with which to run their own shelters
Our update of the 1960 Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act
has gone to the cabinet. Once it passes the cabinet, it will be ready for
Parliament––when the new government comes in next fall.
There is much else my department has done, but these have
been done in my personal capacity. I am also trying to get all consumer
food, cosmetics, and medicinal products labeled “V” or “NV,” for vegetarian
or non-vegetarian. That is to be done by November. Let us see.
Minister for Social Welfare & Empowerment
New Delhi, India
Your May 1999 obituary section stated that the late Mr. Pooh of the San Antonio Zoo was possibly the
oldest of his species. I volunteer at the Stone Zoo in Stoneham, Massachusetts. Our Major is 33 and in fine health and attitude. Generations have grown up with him, and adore this bear, who likes having his picture taken. I enclose one of mine.
When I started the first
spay/neuter program here about 40
years ago, it was like moving a
haystack with a teaspoon. There
were thousands of ads daily in the
newspapers, selling dogs, cats, rabbits,
etcetera. I decided we had to
stop the prolific, ruthless breeders,
so I went to the various zoning
boards and took the ads with me. I
found that it was illegal to breed and
sell animals in a residential area, and
the zoning boards offered to work
with me: if I turned the breeders in,
they would close them out. I worked
at it 16 hours a day, seven days a
week, but it kept the zoning inspectors
busy, and cut the slaughter.
Langdon is among the tens
of thousands of local “cat ladies”
(also helping dogs) who have per –
sonally paid for fixing more animals
each year for decades than the $39-
million-a-year Humane Society of
the U.S. has in all the 45 years it has
existed. If Langdon et al were each
paid $1.00 per shelter killing pre –
vented, a small army of cat ladies
would be much richer by now than
longtime HSUS president John Hoyt,
who was paid $348,000 in fiscal
1997––after his ostensible retire –
ment. During the 30 years Hoyt got
rich, the cat ladies collectively cut
shelter killing in New York by 80%,
in California by 50% even as the
state’s human population doubled,
and nationally by about 67%.
Cats vs. birds
Representatives of the
National Audubon Society have
strongly opposed the efforts of the
Chico Cat Coalition to use neuter/
return to eliminate the feral cat population
in a local park. The CCC is
allowed to trap the cats, but only on
condition that they not be released
after neutering. This necessitates
that many cats must be killed, either
because homes cannot be found for
them or because they are not tamable
and suitable for adoption.
I recently contacted the
National Audubon Society to determine
their stance on killing freeroaming
cats. They told me they do
not support killing cats. Yet they did
state that they endorse the position of
the American Bird Conservancy.
Linda Winters of the American Bird
Conservancy stated that their position
is to oppose neuter/return, based
on a view that feral cat colonies have
a long lifetime––a view not supported
by the data from monitoring such
colonies, which suggests that the life
expectancy of feral cats is no more
than two years, if that.
The American Bird Conservancy
suggests that creating caged
areas where altered feral cats may
live out their lives is a possible alternative
to killing that they can
endorse. But the expense of building
such areas, compared to neuter/
return, is so great as to put them
beyond the means of most people.
The ambiguity of the
National Audubon Society position
is clear. They need to re-examine
their position, and if they want cats
to be killed, make this plain, instead
of hiding behind two contrary positions
with only financially impractical
suggestions as a cover.
––Lewis R. Plumb
I have some concerns as to how
you choose the winners of the Lewyt Award,
sponsored by the North Shore Animal
League. I am sure Samson, the winner of
the May award, is a wonderful, caring,
beautiful dog, but how can you promote pet
owners who allow their cats to be outside
with all the terrible diseases there are out
there? Jerry Kreuger’s cat Baby, saved
twice by Samson, never would have been in
danger had she been kept inside. Have you
informed Mr Krueger about these terrible
diseases that could kill his beautiful cat? I
question rewarding someome with $500 for
what many of us feel is an act of cruelty. I
personally have read the North Shore
Animal League requirements for a kitten/cat
to be adopted, and they do not allow outdoor
homes for cats.
For them to refuse an outdoor
home adoption and then for you to give
$500 to Jerry Kreuger, the owner of both
Samson and Baby, when Baby could have
lost her life twice by being outside, doesn’t
make a lot of sense.
President, Pet Search
St. Louis, Missouri
The judges respond:
Kristin von Kreisler, author,
The Compassion of Animals: I agree that
cats should not be kept outdoors. But if
Baby was outdoors, thank God Samson was
there to help her. We’re looking for heroic
animals, who prove their qualities after
being abandoned or abused. The award is
for Samson, who is truly a sterling dog.
And Krueger is a good person, too. He rescued
both animals from the Oshkosh Animal
Shelter, loves the shelter, goes there to visit
the animals, and donates money.
Merritt Clifton, editor, ANIMAL
PEOPLE: Baby was in a fenced
back yard, under Krueger’s observation,
both when menaced by the neighbor’s dog
and when attacked by the hawk. That’s how
the incidents happened to be witnessed. We
allow many of our cats to enjoy a securely
fenced yard under our supervision, too,
separated by chain link from the parts of our
yard that attract birds. We believe that it is
unduly restrictive to deny cats access to a
securely fenced yard, away from vulnerable
wildlife, if such a yard is available.
Perry Fina, operations director,
North Shore Animal League: Our adoption
standards are significantly more stringent
than the norms for petkeeping in most
of the world. We anticipate that because
most pets who become eligible for the
Lewyt Award by performing heroic or otherwise
selfless acts will be kept in the conditions
that prevail for most pets, many may
come from homes which might not meet our
adoption standards. However, our standards
are set in recognition of the conditions
prevaling in the greater New York metropolitan
area, including Long Island, New
Jersey, and Connecticut, and are not necessarily
appropriate to somewhere else.
Your ANIMAL PEOPLE is a
noble cause. I have forever given up hunting,
and (though it drives my wife nuts) will even
carry earwigs, ants and spiders out of the
house and deposit them gently on the lawn
rather than squish them.
You might be interested to know
that our local affiliate of the New York Mets,
the Norfolk Tides, has volunteer women from
PETA as the foul ball catchers. They use synthetic
leather baseball gloves, and their tshirts
say “Go Veg.” ––Al Pepper
Virginia Beach, Virginia
I was wondering if you would be so
kind as to mention to your readers that I will
be teaching a pair of college courses (3 credit
hours each) near Chicago this fall which will
largely focus on animal issues and the vegetarian
diet. One is “History of the environmental
and humane movements.” The other is
“Vegetarian philosophy and nutrition.” Both
are offered at Calumet College in Hammond,
Indiana. I’ll send details to anyone interested.
––Ted PanDeva Zagar
4216 Tod Avenue
East Chicago, IN 46312