LETTERS [October 2001]

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, October 2001:

 

Little Ecologists

I teach French and English at both a school and a nursery
school in my town. Last year I started “The Little Ecologists Club,”
to educate children about the need to preserve nature, including our
Romanian brown bear, wolf, lynx, and chamois, who are all in
danger of extinction. More than 100 children have joined.
Unfortunately, it is very difficult for me to buy materials such as
books and videos about animals and nature, which my students would
otherwise not see.
I shall be grateful for any materials that can be sent to us
for use in wildlife education.
–Oana Boghean
Str. Lt. V. Marceanu #20
Gura Humorului 5900
Jus. Seceava, Romania
Phone: 030-231185
<boghean@yahoo.com>


Daniel DeFoe

Your recent appeal soliciting funds to continue exposing the
horrendous South Korean dog and cat meat trade was the most
compelling I have ever received. Reference to Daniel DeFoe and Queen
Anne instantly caught my attention and compelled me to continue
reading every word. I am relieved to know that caring South Koreans
are fighting the abuse in their own nation.
–Barbara Fronczek
Round Lake, Illinois
Denial

Referring to your July/ August editorial on “denial,”
perhaps a few more happy stories and photos might make handling the
many sad ones easier. As hard as I try not to, I’m always in tears
by page 3. I can never read ANIMAL PEOPLE in one sitting. And yes,
I do need to desensitize myself in order to read certain stories,
while some stories I can’t read at all.
–Francine Zalkin
Boynton Beach, Florida
Litter law

California Governor Gray Davis has signed into law SB 237,
sponsored by the Animal Issues Movement and introduced by Senator
Edward Vincent.
SB 237 provides that road signs will be placed at the state
line on all major highways emtering California, warning of the
existing misdemeanor penalty of up to six months in jail and a $1,000
fine for abandoning any animal, including reptiles and exotics.
SB 237 also provides that this information will be printed in
the California Department of Motor Vehicles Handbook for Drivers, in
English, Spanish, Chinese, Viet-namese, and Tagalog, and will be
included as a question in at least 20% of California drivers’ tests.
We hope that SB 237 will serve as model legislation for all
states. It is cost-effective in that it requires only minimal
taxpayer investment for signs. The DMV manual change will be
included in the next regular printing. Fines will revert to the
general fund of the state to recover the expense, as with any
traffic violation.
I will be happy to work with anyone who wants to introduce
this law in another state.
–Phyllis M. Daugherty, Director
Animal Issues Movement
420 N. Bonnie Brae St.
Los Angeles, CA 90026
Phone: 213-413-6428
Fax: 213-413-SPAY
<animalissu@aol.com>
Met rescuer in Beruit

I just finished reading your June 2001 edition, and noticed
on page 10 a mention of Lebanon Animal Life. I work for a German
organization which focuses mainly on live animal transport problems.
In July 2001, 34 German heifers were stuck on a ship in Beirut,
Lebanon, for more than three weeks because many of them were more
than 24 months of age. Lebanon forbids the import of German cattle
older than 24 months in an effort to exclude mad cow disease.
Germany had authorized the export of the heifers knowing that Lebanon
would refuse them.
We went to Lebanon to try to reach an agreement between the
government and the importer, and finally the surviving heifers were
unloaded from the hot, fly-infested boat. Those over 24 months of
age were “humanely” killed. The others were sent to dairy farms.
During this episode we had the fortune to meet Lebanon Animal
Life founder Rosemarie Jaouhary, DVM. She and her husband helped us
a great deal, including by getting a proper stunner and ensuring
that it was used on the cattle who were killed. One of her projects
that I admire the most is influencing and educating halaal
slaughterhouses to start using the stunner. She has had a number of
successes, and I believe has prevented an enormous amount of
suffering.
–Lesley Moffat
Animals’ Angels
Halsberg
c/o von Berlichingen
D-74214 Schontal
Germany
Phone: 49-7943-941976
<lamoffat@hotmail.com>
Let us clean up our own back yard

While your efforts in Korea seem worthwhile, it would seem
more fitting to oppose the atrocities in our own country of
slaughtering chickens, cows, horses, pigs, turkeys, fish, and
so forth. Please direct your efforts accordingly and let’s clean up
our own back yard.
–Marilyn Sue Betman
Sunrise, Florida

The Publisher replies:

No edition of ANIMAL PEOPLE since we started in 1992 has
failed to include an article about the suffering of animals
slaughtered for meat in the U.S. We often editorialize about the
importance of becoming vegetarian–often with the result that
subscriptions are canceled by people who feel we are “extremist” or
who do not want to receive information that takes them beyond their
comfort zone.
ANIMAL PEOPLE covers all aspects of animal protection: all
kinds of animals, everywhere in the world. The life of an animal in
Asia or Africa means as much to us as the life of an animal in
America. Cruelty to an animal elsewhere is as evil as cruelty right
here. We do not accept “tradition” or “culture” as a rationale for
making someone suffer, or “moral relativity” as an argument for
tolerance–and we are as critical of mistreatment of animals within
our own culture as we are of mistreatment abroad.
As the world gets smaller, and it seems to have shrunk
considerably since September 11, we feel our global outreach to the
humane community is all the more important, for all species,
everywhere.

The events of September 11

The Brazilian League for Animal Rights begs you to accept our
sympathy for the brutal and terrible attack on your country. The
loss of innocent victims will never be forgotten, and you may be
sure that we Brazilians are also crying and praying for all those who
have died. The world must, by all means, prevent cruel events like
these from happening. Understand-ing, love, and welfare must be
the aim of all the world.
–Daisy Serra
Presidente da Liga Brasilieira dos Direitos dos Animal
#804, Rua Barata Ribeiro 26
Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro
22011-000 Brazil

I have no words to express my sympathy for America. The
horror of the last month has sent a wave of terror throughout the
world. That humans could be so cruel is beyond comprehension. We
pray to the Almighty to give strength to the people of America to
bear their loss.
The construction of our shelter is in progress. We are
already helping a few patients in the open premises.
–Dr. Surat Prasad Gupta
People For Animals
55 Nehru Nagar
Agra 282 002, India
Phone: 0562 355093
<surat1@sancharnet.in>
<www.geocities.com/pfa_agra>

Swans fly by

Thank you for the wonderful obituary for Dorothy
Checci-O’Brien. About 200 people attended the September 29 memorial
service held by Friends of the Plymouth Pound. While one of the
speakers was at the microphone, four beautiful swans flew past. The
parents were teaching their babies to fly. It was a breathtaking
moment.
–Gayle Fitzpatrick
Friends Of The Plymouth Pound
P.O. Box 578
Manomet, MA 02345
Phone: 508-224-3203
<fpp@gls.net>
Polar bears

As a member of the Animal Defense League of Canada, I
recently learned that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has issued
“Letters of Authorization to Take Marine Mammals, specifically polar
bears,” incidental to oil and gas exploration by the Exxon Mobil
Production Co. on Flaxman Island in the Beaufort Sea, adjacent to
the northern coast of Alaska. I am deeply disturbed that an agency
responsible for wildlife conservation could issue such a statement.
–Chris Roberts
Munster Hamlet, Ontario
<croberts@igs.net>

The authorization allows the people searching for oil and gas
to shoot polar bears when and if threatened. It can be revoked if
anyone is caught using it as a hunting permit.
Figuring out how to help

Please include more ways people can help, phone numbers to
call, names and addresses to write to, and groups to work with.
Motiv-ating people is good, but they have to know what they can do
to help.
–Nancy C. Draper
Brooklyn, New York

The Editor replies:

Our feature articles on foreign affairs routinely includes
lists of organizations addressing the issues, with contact
information. Letters from organizational representatives always
include contact information. Articles on U.S. affairs do not include
contact information, in part because the most frequent complaint
that we hear from readers is that they are already receiving too much
mail, including action alerts, from too many different
organizations, and what they really want from ANIMAL PEOPLE is
independently researched information to help them decide which should
get priority.
Beyond that, as a tactical observation, the most effective
activists are usually those who find their own way to make a
difference, using personal networks of contacts to bypass the often
obstructed normal channels. In a world where almost no one is more
than six acquaintances away from an introduction to any other person,
and high speed communications facilitate rapid response, networking
can be infinitely more effective than just harassing receptionists
and piling formulaic letters on a secretary’s desk, to receive an
equally formulaic response.
There may not be an innovative and creative way for you or
anyone to address each topic that concerns you, but real influence
tends to proceed from focusing on the topics where you see a way to
do something effective, or put in a word, after noticing an
opportunity that has been overlooked or is simply not open to anyone
else.
Pitching to dogs

Please explain the use of a pitching machine to keep dogs
stimulated in a shelter.
–Shannon Lentz
Grateful Acres Animal Sanctuary
2108 102nd Ave.
Otsego, MI 49078
616-694-5451
<GratAcres@aol.com>

To give two or three dogs at a time maximum exercise with
minimal human effort, build a cement-walled area big enough to allow
dogs to run at top speed, stop, and reverse directions a lot;
select small groups of compatible dogs; and get a pitching machine
able to fire out a hard-bouncing ball every minute or so, through a
run of 10-plus balls. Aim the balls at a junction of the walls, so
that they may richochet in either direction, and have the balls
shoot out at around 50 miles per hour: not hard enough to hurt
anyone seriously, in event of accident, but hard enough that each
ball will carom around a while before a dog gets it. Even the
best-conditioned dogs will be soon be dog-tired but happy.
Pitching machines may be available as a donated item. People
often buy them for adolescents, who soon grow up.
Correction

Patty Finch did not “quit her paid job to help promote” the
video The Witness, as mentioned on page 20 of our September edition.
Rather, she began promoting The Witness while continuing work on a
grant-funded contract job, hoping to promote The Witness and other
Tribe of Heart productions fulltime after the grant-funded job
concludes.

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