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New York Times Letter: For the Horses

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I very much believe in the value of writing letters to newspapers in response to stories their journalists write about animals. Not only does it increase the chances of readers being exposed to a compassionate viewpoint that may not have been reflected in the original article, it also demonstrates to journalists that readers care about — and want more stories about — animals. I was thrilled to have a recent letter of mine published in the New York Times in — of all places — the Sports section.

“To the Sports Editor:

Re “Two Horses Die After Preakness Undercard Races,” May 22: The lives of these horses, Homeboykris and Pramedya, were as valuable to them as the winning profits are to the bettors and owners, and victories shouldn’t be celebrated where deaths are not mourned.

Such fatalities are all too common and often go unreported. According to the Equine Injury Database compiled by the Jockey Club, 4,649 thoroughbreds died in racetrack-related events from 2009 to 2015.

The practice of using animals for our own pleasure and profit runs throughout history and cultures. We like to pretend that we’ve shed our barbaric selves, but the violent echoes of the past resound in our amphitheaters — no matter how fancy our attire or elegant our hats.”

Letter about eggs

I penned another letter in response to the article “Eggs That Clear the Cages, but Maybe Not the Conscience.” As they don’ t tend to publish letters from readers within a 60-day time period, I doubt it will make its way into print, but I want to share it with you nonetheless.

“Thank you for David Gelles’ thoughtful piece “Eggs That Clear the Cages, but Maybe Not the Conscience.” The facts surrounding it and HSUS president Wayne Pacelle’s quote that “aviaries are dramatically better than the conventional barren battery cages” speak volumes about how low our current bar is. Anything is better than torment and confinement, but can’t we do better than that? The companies who bring animals into the world — only to use them up and slaughter them — are driven by profit. For consumers — especially those driven by compassion — we’re not forced to choose between egregious torture and a little less egregious torture. That’s a false dichotomy. We can opt for no torture by cutting out chicken’s eggs from our diets. Store shelves are overflowing with egg-free products and cookbooks on egg-free cooking and baking. We have so many options when it comes to being able to reflect our deepest values in our daily choices. When we raise the bar and make compassion our barometer, we don’t settle for violence on a small scale. We aspire to kindness on a huge scale.”

Please take the time to write Letters to the Editor. The animals need our voices to carry theirs.


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