Letters [Jan/Feb 2008]
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, January/February 2008:
Re “Greenpeace says ‘Eat roos'”
Saw your most interesting article “Greenpeace says ‘Eat
roos'” in the October 2007 edition of your fabulous Animal People
newspaper. However, the film made by Greenpeace in 1986 against
killing kangaroos was actually called Goodbye Joey, not “Goodbye to
Joey,” as Paul Watson recalled. I was involved in making the film
in West Queensland, as I was then employed as a kangaroo campaigner.
I resigned in 1992, after Greenpeace dumped their roo campaign and
several other pro-animal campaigns. Their recent promotion of roo
meat for human consumption is a disgrace. I could not agree with
Watson more in denouncing it.
I met Jet Johnson during the film making, and completely
understand and support his view on the kangaroo issue. Greenpeace
does not want to say “Don’t eat any red meat–this would be vitally
important to lowering greenhouse gasses.” One can only ask why not.
World League for the
Protection of Animals
P.O. Box 211
Wussie dog died
Remember Wussie, Perry, and Polly, the three dogs who were
subjected to brutal and senseless surgery, as described in your
July/August 2007 page one article “Pound seizure shocks Sri Lanka”?
Wussie died the night of December 8, 2007. Wussie had her pancreas
removed for no apparent purpose and her bile duct was damaged. For
over six months Wussie suffered from diabetes and jaundice, and was
dependent on expensive medication.
Polly, who was wagging her tail when she was taken for
pointless surgery, died in agony after having her adrenal glands and
Perry was used as the control in the procedures. No organs
were removed from her. She is with us at our shelter.
University of Peradeniya. The SLVC, we understand has
concluded their inquiry, and has submitted their report to the
Council. We are yet to hear from the University of Peradeniya.
191 Trinco Street
Kandy, Sri Lanka
Hunting & child abuse connection
I participate in a local birding e-mail list. Hunting is
considered off-topic, but lately a lot of pro-hunting comments have
been slipping in. After one individual asserted that protecting
children is more important than protecting animals, I quoted some of
the ANIMAL PEOPLE findings and statistics from your October 2007
article on the relationship between hunting and child abuse.
I expected an immediate firestorm and for my computer to
burst into flames, but it did not happen. Instead there was
deafening silence, and for a long period of time there were no
postings on any topic. I think people had never considered the
possibility of such a relationship, and did not know how to respond.
A few defensive rebuttals did eventually show up, but not to the
degree that I expected. Also, I received two personal inquiries
asking for more information.
Remembering Tatyana Pavlova
We were saddened to read in your November/December 2007
edition that Tatyana Pavlova has passed away. We were fortunate to
meet with her on two occasions. The first was at a Beauty Without
Cruelty meeting in New York City in the early1990s. The second time,
in February 1999, we met her at a train station in Moscow, Russia.
Despite the freezing temperature we talked for over one hour,
exchanged vegetarian books, and shared ideas. She was an incredible
woman, promoting both animal rights and vegetarianism in a city
where almost everyone wears fur coats and eats meat. She will be
& Charles Stahler
P.O. Box 1463
Baltimore, MD 21203
Inspecting all Louisiana shelters
We are launching an ambitious project to finally identify all
the public and private animal sheltering facilities in Louisiana.
With the help of our members and volunteers in the coming months, we
will visit, inspect, and photograph each shelter, and display the
images on our website. We will also target those facilities that are
substandard or mismanaged. No such inventory has ever existed. We
estimate that more than 100 shelters are in operation. There are no
licensing requirements to operate a public shelter, and there is
little or no oversight.
Many shelters, especially in rural areas, consist of a
single row of rusty cages. Often, animals housed in these
dilapidated shelters are exposed to inclement conditions and disease,
are given poor quality food, and sometimes are attacked by more
aggressive dogs. We suspect that some of these shelters use illegal
carbon monoxide chambers to gas dogs and cats.
After inspecting each shelter, we will forward our
recommendations to the governing bodies and see if the conditions
improve. If the conditions do not improve, we will ask activists
from around the country to help us reform these substandard shelters.
–Jeff Dorson, Founder
P.O. Box 740321
New Orleans, LA 70174
A porcupine showed up the other day, and has taken to
hanging around. He seems to be a nice guy, but we are concerned
that if we feed him and provide some shelter, he could become a
hazard to the dogs of guests or subtenants, and possibly to our
cats, if they escape from the house. What do you think?
Porcupines, most often seen in late winter and spring, can
be quite gregarious. Just don’t surprise them from behind, and if
they turn around, as with a skunk, get away. They don’t need and
should not be given food and shelter. They are much better off
feeding themselves. They usually eat fresh bark in winter, and
sleep high in conifer trees.
Dogs sometimes get spiked with quills when they try to sniff
a porcupine’s rear. Porcupines and cats usually get along well.
I have enjoyed your coverage of parrots who have taken up
residence in the U.S. I would like to see these feral flocks of
parrots studied and reported about in their local settings, and be
welcomed as immigrants. I also know that the National Audubon
Society is not ready to see them that way.
Manager, Feathered Friends
Best Friends Animal Society
5001 Angel Canyon Dr.
Kanab, UT 84741
Phone: 435-644-2001 x4461
Seeking to save Asian otters from fur trade
Could you please mention our otter fur campaign? The
campaign is called “Furget-me-not,” as the otter is the forgotten
animal of the fur trade. Everyone always thinks about tigers and
leopards or elephant ivory, but the trade in otter furs is huge.
Recently there was a massive haul of 778 otter skins in Tibet, and
we are regularly getting reports of more and more skins found. Two
days ago we received an e-mail from Cambodia which said that a
research team at the Tonle Sap Lake had just found 10 skins of
smooth-coated otters and 6 skins of hairy-nosed otters in four
different village houses. And this is just one find in one small
Many of the skins being traded are from the hairy-nosed
otter, which was believed to be extinct in 1998. Small populations
were later found in Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, and Malaysia. At
the present rate of hunting, the hairy nosed otter will soon really
be extinct, and this time there will be no great discovery of
The main market for Southeast Asian otter furs is Tibet,
where otter fur forms part of the national dress, the chupa. One
chupa may have skins from as many as six otters. These costumes are
worn at many festivals and official state functions.
The Furget-me-not campaign will raise funds to start
immediate work in Cambodia, using a team of researchers already
working there. They will train local rangers and government staff to
ensure the legal protection of otters is enforced and encourage the
local communities to take part in the otter conservation program.
–Paul Yoxon, Ph.D.
International Otter Survival Fund
Broadford, Isle of Skye IV499DE
The Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism,
in January 2006 denounced wearing fur of any kind at the Kalachakra
celebration in Amravati, Andhra Pradesh, India. Tibetans responded
by burning fur garments at public demonstrations, but the Chinese
government in March 2006 suppressed the bonfires as alleged illegal
manifestations of Tibetan nationalism.
KATC helping dogs
The Kathmandu Animal Treatment Centre focuses on animal birth
control for street dogs. Since our opening in 2004 we have so
successfully demonstrated to the people in our working area of
Kathmandu that Animal Birth Control is the way to handle the
population that in our locality poisoning is a thing of the past.
Kathmandu is a large city now, so this does not mean that poisoning
is not still done in the other areas. But awareness is growing, and
we are being requested to expand our project to other areas.
KAT has just recently received two copies of ANIMAL PEOPLE.
Thank you so very much. We look forward to sitting down and having a
good read. Your newspaper is without a doubt the best all-round
informative periodical we receive on animal issues
Kathmandu Animal Treatment Centre
Chapali Gaon, Budanilkantha
GPO Box 8975, EPC 4120
I want to thank you for listing the various presidential hopefuls’
views on hunting, trapping, and violating the very essence of the
purpose for which the National Wildlife Refuges were established.
National Wildlife Refuges would never have been necessary
if the stinking greenhorns and the majority of their profligate
descendants who came to this country to rape its resources, and look
upon our indigenous wildlife as the enemy, to trap, shoot, and
slaughter in every way possible, were curbed and controlled by a
federal government that had someone of vision and ethics prevailing.
I was not born when the beautiful passenger pigeons were
ruthlessly exterminated and used for target practice, and some of
the millions killed were fed to hogs. What a shame and blot on our
country! Ditto for the pretty Carolina parakeet, the only parakeet
to live in North America.
–Marvin J. Sheffield, DVM
Wild Canid Research Group
651 Sinex Avenue
Pacific Grove, CA 93950
Helping animals in Pakistan
I live in Karachi, Pakistan. On December 28, 2007, my
mother’s black male cat went missing from her house where he
occasionally roamed the garden and front area. We have a local slum
near our house where children are known to steal and sell cats at a
large market called the Empress Market, located at the city center.
As there was great rioting in the city in those days, we knew that
the culprits could not have gone far. We looked high and low for the
cat, offering rewards and passing the word around.
I went to Empress Market in the hope that I would find this
cat. I was truly disturbed and appalled to see numerous tiny shops
equipped with hideous little cages consisting of only bars with no
trays underneath, imprisoning cats, dogs, geese, rabbits, and
birds of all kinds. As it happened I was there on a chilly and rainy
morning. This made the situation even more torturous for these
animals. I saw an adult Persian and an adult Siamese, both
restricted in a cage no bigger than 18 inches cubed.
I am sure that all these animals are stolen pets as these
heartless shopkeepers do not have import licenses or the means to
raise or breed these animals. The cats were miserable and lonely.
Some shops had closed down due to the rain with their shutters down.
These creatures are left there in the dark every night, unprotected
from the harsh conditions.
I felt absolutely helpless to assist all these blameless
creatures. Even if I could buy all of them to release them, I would
only be encouraging this trade, leading to more animal theft and
cruelty. There are no laws protecting animal rights in this country,
as far as I know, so apart from theft these shopkeepers would not be
guilty of breaking any law.
There has to be some way of protecting these animals and
preventing this trade.
In addition to this there are street vendors who trap
ordinary sparrows and carry them around in nets, because an ancient
tradition holds that giving money to a bird vendor to set birds free
will ward off ill-fortune and attain the favour of God.
This practice is common in India as well. In some other
nations, turtles are often bought and released. Though this
practice is based on good intentions, in modern times it amounts to
kidnapping animals for ransom.
We also have men walking around with monkeys taken as babies
from the northern areas and trained to perform tricks for food and
money. When I was a child these men used to come around to our house
and show us this “bundar Ka tamasha,” as it is called. But now they
are walking around in heavy traffic and coming to cars standing at
signal, using these animals as emotional blackmail so that people
give them money.
I believe all these so called monkey trainers live in one
slum area together and are poverty-stricken. Poverty leads to these
kinds of activities. However, poverty cannot be accepted as an
excuse for cruelty to animals any more than it can be accepted as an
excuse for theft and murder. No one is too poor to feel compassion.
How can one best get this message across to those who also
feel that human life has no value?
We see much cruelty to animals in Karachi. Dogs, donkeys,
and garden lizards are also among the victims. There is a story that
when Mohammad was hiding from his enemies in a cave, a spider built
a web around the cave opening, so the enemies’ tracker went away,
thinking no one could have entered without breaking the web. But
earlier, a lizard sitting on a stone nearby had nodded his head to
indicate this was the right place. So stupid people will say that
one should kill lizards, because lizards are always nodding their
On the positive side, because my domestic help and others
around us see me and my family and my husband–another animal
lover–rescuing and helping feral cats, they have learnt to assist
us enthusiastically, and have learned the value of doing this.
–Muna Kazi Pathan
Track presidential candidates
I saw the piece on the presidential candidates in the
November/December 2007 edition of ANIMAL PEOPLE, and wanted to let
you know that I’ve started a new blog called “Animals & Politics”
about where the candidates stand on animal issues. It’s online at
–Michael Markarian, President
Humane Society Legislative Fund
519 C Street NE
Washington, DC 20002
West Africa veggies
The West Africa Vegetarian Congress in Lagos, Nigeria drew
participants from all over West Africa and beyond. Many of the
participants said that the highlight of the Congress was feeding
vegan food to people at a village set up to aid destitute children,
lepers, the disabled, and the elderly.
I wish to thank the Inter-national Veterinary Union Council
for supporting the Congress, all of the IVU-Africa members who
participated, and all the other individuals and groups who took part.
Nigeria Vegetarian Society
Home 4 the Holidays
2,762 animal shelters and rescue groups in 15 nations found
new families for 491,612 orphaned dogs, cats, and other pets during
the just-concluded 9th annual Iams Home 4 The Holidays pet adoption
drive. This breaks the record of 378,764 set in 2006.
Home 4 the Holidays began in 1999 when the Helen Woodward
Animal Center organized 14 local shelters to work together. This
year 33 organizations participated in San Diego County.
–John Van Zante
Public Relations Manager
Helen Woodward Animal Center
P.O. Box 64
Rancho Santa Fe CA 92067
Your excellent newspaper is really unique. It makes me very
sad that I cannot continue to help animals with contributions.
For 13 years I stood on the street in Manhattan with
literature about the suffering and abuse of innocent helpless
animals. I believe in publicity. As I am 81 years old and not well,
I now only pass on literature. I will pass on ANIMAL PEOPLE to
I was a dog walker, which was my favorite job, for 10
years. From 1963, when I came to New York, I got up at 6:00 a.m.
and walked in Central Park until 8 a.m.
After work, we walked in Central Park for another hour.
–Edith Valborg Schwarz
New York City, New York