Letters to the Editor 4/17

April 17, 2001

Letters to the Editor 4/17

Trapping is poor sportsmanship

To the editor:

I'm writing in regards to the letter concerning trapping in Maryland that was published on March 18. The gentleman who wrote the letter was promoting animal trapping as a sport, and he was accusing compassionate citizens of being animal fanatics. Both of these are based on his biased perception of trapping, and his obvious prejudice against animal rights activists.

Those citizens who are disturbed by the gruesome cruelty inflicted upon many kinds of animals through the use of steel traps are not necessarily fanatical. We live in a society that is no longer dependent upon animal fur for survival, and we have evolved considerably since the days when trapping was necessary.

Causing wild creatures to suffer agony in the name of enjoyment is unacceptable in a civilized world. In addition, referring to animal-rights activists as fanatical implies that those who are disturbed by suffering are a bit mentally unbalanced.


However, any mental health professional will confirm that the average psychiatric evaluation may included a question about cruelty to animals. Cruelty to animals is a behavior that strongly indicates the presence of a serious mental disorder. People who have the ability to feel and display empathy are probably not the ones who should be considered unbalanced.

According to the Humane Society of the United States, leg hold traps have been declared "inhumane" by the American Veterinary Association, the World Veterinary Association, and the American Animal Hospital Association. Animals caught in traps (they may be domestic or wild; traps do not discriminate) can suffer hunger, exposure, or gangrene, trapped animals sometimes chew off their own legs to free themselves. When animals are found still alive by a trapper they are killed by bludgeoning, stomping or less often, by strangulation or shooting.

Does this sound like an enjoyable pasttime to anyone besides the minority of individuals who make a sport (probably a profit as well) of this behavior? I'm certain that most compassionate citizens will agree that this is not acceptable, and should be made illegal.

I'm very grateful to the Maryland senator who had the courage to risk offending a few individuals for the sake of what is proper, humane and decent. I hope readers will show their support and help end these acts of cruelty committed in the name of sportsmanship.

Rebecca Cavanaugh


Family farms need help

To the editor:

In the last 50 years, low prices to farmers and high profits for the food corporations have driven 6 million of the most efficient food growers; the most through caretakers of the land, and the most dependable taxpayers - from their farms!

Can we stop this trend? Can we get Congress to work out a profit-sharing plan with these corporation people that will bring to the smaller farmer his missing income? At least enough return from his/her work to pay the costs of growing the grain and milling the cows for the domestic needs of our nation?

We do not need foreign imports in foodstuffs; we can raise an abundance of food over and above our needs. Nor do we want the export market to set prices; since it sits consistently at less than 1/2 of our costs of production.

Since the farmer is subsidizing the corporations with profits and the consumer with cheap food; let Congress support each farmer 1) on that part of his/her production used by the nation's consumers; 2) at the full cost of production; 3) with a top total limit per producer set by the Congressional Ag Committees.

Financing the Family Farmer Organization, Inc. plan at its fullest would run about $6 billion for wheat; $7 billion for corn and $14 billion for milk. Funding would come from the current U.S.D.A. budget.

Let Congress insert these provisions into any farm bill as an option for individual farmers.

Al P. Schmitz, Pres.

Family Farmer Organization, Inc.

Brockton, Mont.

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