LETTER 1 - Action Needed on Bats
I greatly appreciated seeing "To the Bat Boxes!" (Spring ActionLine, 2011) with its straightforward facts and discussion of ways to support these critical allies. I felt this article could have been an opportunity to also raise a red flag about another threat facing bats, perhaps their most dire to date: White-nose syndrome, a fungus-borne disease killing colonies in an east to west sweep across the country, at close to epidemic proportions. Though the crisis is serious, the federal government's response has been sluggish, and I urge concerned readers to press Congress and federal agencies to invest funding and research into stopping white-nose syndrome's spread. Bat Conservation International and the Center for Biological Diversity both provide avenues for action on this issue.
LETTER 2 – Strike Up the Band
Mr. Steven Hoover's letter in your Summer 2011 ActionLine, presents an idea that I have held for years, namely that animal advocacy organizations need to band together to present a strong unified voice speaking out on behalf of all animals. We now have many organizations that focus on one issue or one animal group. What all of these organizations have in common is an interest in animal welfare and against animal abuse. This common interest can represent a powerful voting block, and can get action in Washington on behalf of animals.
A major function of such a unified body should be a movement to educate our children to respect all life. This should be a formal part of their early education.
They should be taught that each species has developed unique attributes through a lengthy evolutionary process to permit it to survive. While our own human evolutionary development has been the brain and the intellect, other species have developed such capabilities as the highly sensitive eyes of the owl, the extremely sensitive nose of a bear, the speed of a cheetah, the strength and dexterity of an elephant's trunk, the flight capability of birds, etc. These are marvelous capabilities which clearly exceed our own. All children need to understand this.
Children need to be taught that like us, animals can feel pain and can suffer, that animals are just trying to make a living. They just try to satisfy their basic needs. There's an innocence about them which is often not understood. Because of our intellect, children can harbor strange notions about animals that can lead to abuse. Education can and must inhibit such notions.
Advancing the education of our children should be the goal of all animal-advocacy organizations. This can bring about the next big breakthrough toward achieving a more animal-friendly world.
LETTER 3 – Recommended Reading
On Their Own Terms, Bringing Animal-Rights Philosophy Down to Earth , by Attorney Lee Hall, is powerful and insightful. It is a compelling reference book that everyone should own.