Thank you for your column regarding the crating of dogs. I am a supporter of the wonderful organization Dogs Deserve Better (www.dogsdeservebetter.org). DDB is a voice for chained and penned dogs. It started in Pennsylvania and has moved to Virginia, and it now occupies the former home of dog abuser Michael Vick. I am not a religious person; I even call myself an atheist. But you know what? Almost every day I say a quick prayer to "whomever" to please relieve, release and rescue tethered dogs. With the rare exception, it is my only deliberate prayer. I don't even own a dog! I am also sending you a big thank you for your piece about the breeding of cats. My husband and I do a small bit of private cat rescue. Once we learned about the pitiful situation for homeless cats, we, too, made it known that we deplore purchased cats, much less cats of recognized breeds. Your paragraph about no longer going to cat shows because you become too upset resonated very much with us. We are now the owners of eight cats, all rescued. Thank you for being the voice for animals that you are.
N.A., Stroudsburg, Pa Jul 24, 2012
I always appreciate words of thanks and encouragement from readers of my newspaper column. I know that I offend some readers because of my concerns over how animals are treated more like commodities in these ethically and empathically challenged times. So many animals become throwaway pets that wind up in shelters. Be they animals bred for the highly commercialized pet trade, the billions of animals crowded in factory farms being raised for human consumption or those who are wild and are shot for trophies -- to voice opposition to such exploitation is to be ridiculed by vested interests. So long as money rules over our own humanity and over those qualities of compassion and respect for life that make us human, the spiritual decline of our species will continue. I believe that this decline is largely responsible for the grave global economic, climatic and population crises we face today, as I documented in my book "Inhumane Society: the American Way of Exploiting Animals." This "American Way" has regrettably become the way of the world, and the more we harm animals and the environment, the more we harm ourselves.
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