LETTERS

Eliminating contact with animals harmful

Eliminating contact with animals harmful

Re: Animal rights priorities skewed (Comment, Jan. 28)

Official attitudes to animals have certainly become bizarre: under proposed new laws kids feeding ducks at the beach will be treated like criminals. An elderly widow I know says she feeds the seagull who comes daily to her balcony because “he’s my best friend.”

Roszan Holmen adopts the rhetorical habit of labelling animal lovers “hysterical.” Yet isn’t there hysteria in the call to lock up pet cats and the statement that animals “pose dangers to the health of people, native ecosystems or local food supply”?

Since they do none of these, let’s hope our deer, raccoon, rabbit and squirrel co-citizens will remain safe from the American solution, which Holmen describes: deer caught in baited traps “were shot in the head with a bolt gun and … ground into burger …”

We don’t have a deer problem, the deer have a humanity problem. More damage is done to plants and birds by the paving of landscape, than by all the deer, rabbits and cats in the world. It is easier to lock up cats and shoot deer than to grapple with human overpopulation and greed-based development.

What is the goal of the anti-animal crusade? Who will benefit? Not people who take pleasure in the wildlife around us. Urban children already feel the effects of “nature deficit disorder.” Let’s not make it worse.

Barbara Julian

Oak Bay

Action needed to protect animals

Since 1999 hundreds of concerned Canadians have lobbied Ottawa in an unsuccessful effort to change the animal cruelty section of the Criminal Code, as well as the B.C. government to increase funding to the SPCA.

Every day helpless animals are subjected to horrific cruelty. Particularly dreadful instances, such as the Whistler sled-dog slaughter, capture the media and public attention for a few days but our outrage cools and we return to life as normal. Much animal abuse, if reported, rarely results in charges being laid or, if it gets to court, usually results in a slap on the wrist.

As the bill stands at the moment there is no protection for strays; no acknowledgement that animals are sentient creatures capable of feeling pain and fear.

Despite the BC SPCA, being the only animal welfare organization mandated by the government to enforce animal cruelty laws, it is not funded for the costs of carrying out that mandate and bringing offenders to court. I would certainly prefer my tax dollars be used to cover costs to prosecute animal offenders rather than making life easier for Basi and Virk.

Val McWilliams

Victoria

Fletcher’s rantings ‘obsolete’

Re: NDP’s problems go much deeper (B.C. Views, Jan. 26)

May I point out Tom Fletcher’s obsolete ideology deserves to be thrown on the scrap heap far more than the ideas contained in the NDP constitution, though he was being disingenuous when he squeezed out his nasty little column.

He knows many a constitution is ignored in the contemporary world. The current governing parties in B.C. and Canada insist that they remain true to their democratic principles but between elections they function as oligarchies, which govern at the behest of the plutocracies whose dollar votes trump the casting of ballots.

Apparently, Fletcher expects all right-thinking persons to be sufficiently ethically challenged and morally desensitized that they too can ignore the suffering that this increasing gap has caused. Instead, we are invited to supplicate ourselves to profit-seeking capitalism. Here, Fletcher’s antediluvian ideas turn out to be more obsolete than the NDP’s constitution.

Fletcher does not realize the self-regulating capitalist market lost control of economic life in 1929 and that capitalism was never subsequently revived.

Rather, the wealthy in North America today are parasitic rent seekers who get richer by playing speculative money games.

I suggest you send Fletcher back to school for some intellectual retooling. In the meantime I’ll do his job for less and will offend fewer people. It’s a tough world for those who work for a wage. Hope he did not think he owned that job.

John R. Bell

Victoria

Elected officials

are not all-knowing

Re: Efforts to seek facts applauded (Our View, Jan. 28).

You write that it’s “ … harder and harder to separate the hard facts from data that looks like facts — especially when it’s about an issue that affects something as precious as our personal health.” I grant you are correct. Can you explain why anyone should believe that our elected officials, who are presumably neither scientists nor engineers nor intellectually superior to the folks who vote them into office, are any better at making such assessments than every other individual?

Furthermore, having made such an assessment, how does it follow that these same officials, all of whom lack both the knowledge and incentives each individual has concerning their own health, should be deciding what any other person should be allowed to do?

It isn’t the lack of sound science usage by politicians about which we should be concerned. It is the unsound notion that voters are children in need of elected parents to make personal decisions on their behalf.

David L. Killion

Saanich

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