LETTER 1 - The Truth About Wolves
An abundance of misinformation continues to circulate about wolves, perpetuating scary myths about these precious animals amidst a mostly unsuspecting public. “The Grey” is a recent movie designed to stir up such unwarranted fear with its false facts depicting wolves as highly-aggressive creatures. I would never pay money to watch packs of what these producers envision as “monsters” attacking humans in an obviously deceitful effort to net huge profits.
Writer Jay Mallonee’s intriguing article (When Reason and Data Mean Nothing, Spring, 2012) examines numerous attempts, many seeming futile in bringing much needed attention to this truth about wolves. While most people appear to ignore the plight of these animals, Mallonee feels he is “floating in a sea of stupidity, with an occasional buoy of logic that points toward common sense…almost everyone’s perception of them (wolves) has been tainted by the fear, bigotry, and incompetence of others.”
As the old expression goes, “The truth is out there.” People need to stand up, take action and speak out. Only then can things change. Let’s hope and pray that the future holds many positive changes.
Las Vegas, NV
LETTER 2 – Urging Collaboration on Hen Laws
I am deeply troubled by the bitter conflict over the proposed legislation to ameliorate the plight of caged egg-laying hens.
I have contacted the Humane Society of the United States in this regard and have had several conversations with their public policy manager for farm animal protection. While I could make this a very lengthy letter, what it boils down to, as I see it, is whether to support an imperfect bill or keep the status quo. In essence: Is it better to improve the near term hens’ lives inside larger cages, or leave things as they are? According to HSUS, “anyone who understands the current Congress knows that passing federal legislation to outlaw all types of cages is not a realistic option.” Do you disagree with this?
If you are intent on thwarting the currently proposed legislation, are you or the Humane Farming Association offering other legislation that has a reasonable chance of being passed? If not, would you consider killing the presently proposed bill to be a success? Would the hens agree?
I sincerely believe that all animal welfare organizations would prefer uncaged hens. Actually, as a vegan, I would prefer that the egg industry be eliminated entirely, but of course that’s totally impracticable.
I would love to hear that you have made progress toward getting even more humane legislation passed. If this is the case, I will support you 100%. It’s easy to be critical and negative, but then you need to offer a viable alternative.
I have supported both FoA and HFA (primarily because of their farm animal sanctuary) as well as HSUS, which has considerable clout and works on many animal issues. However, as an intensely concerned animal advocate, I am disillusioned by this contentiousness between organizations that should be collaborators rather than competitors.
LETTER 3 – Living Your Advocacy
Thank you Friends of Animals for intelligent, important activism as reflected in the articles in the Spring 2012 issue of ActionLine which educate on a spectrum of salient animal-advocacy issues.
From reading about how black bears are treated - - animals who rarely attack humans but are shot even as they're bringing their youngsters out of their dens, leaving them orphaned and destined to starve or be eaten – to the travesty of how we have maligned wolves and the unscientific information proliferated about them, to the urgent advocacy to end the insanity of New York City's antiquated horse-and-carriage tourism which is both unsafe – considering what century we are living in and the reality of NYC traffic – and the epitome of animal slavery, there's hope with this reporting that humans striving to create a better world will be inspired to eradicate these egregious injustices.
But it was when reading Lost and Found that I cried for the once-stray cat who became family but wandered off to nearly starve to death, amazingly reunited with his very determined human. I realized the analogy FoA legal director Lee Hall offers about the relationship between animals in our world and refugees. We have domesticated – rendered powerless and dependent – once huge predatory animals into adorable, loving – helpless – animals we call pets and so few fully grasp the tremendous responsibility that comes from domestication, of forcing them to live in our world on our terms. I've read before all the things we need to do to protect our pets – not allowing cats out unsupervised, microchipping, spaying, neutering. This article and its story of love made that point and then some.
Meeting Victor the Vulture, who indeed is “beautiful” as the author asserts, perhaps will challenge negative stereotypes. Reading Priscilla Feral's interview with Christine Berk, New York City psychotherapist and animal advocate, provided the icing on the cake of the Spring 2012 ActionLine issue for me. As a yoga teacher whose animal advocacy is inseparable from who I am and how I teach, reading how others live their advocacy supports and inspires. Thank you all for your great works.
Newtown Square, PA