Letters to the Editor

Hunting breeds respect

If there is moral equivalency between man and animal over predacious behavior (“Society exploits animals to feed trivial lusts,” April 25), then lions and tigers and bears are just as much mass murderers as the individual ordering Chicken McNuggets. If you feel guilty about being too remote from the sources of your food, take up hunting. Respect for prey animals is developed through hunting. In addition, many times, the animal will get the better of you and the lack of a meal or two will probably do your psyche some good. And lastly, hunting is organic. No hormones or preservatives can be found in free-range venison and duck.

Anthony Canales
Granada Hills, Calif.

United States not run by Christianity

In response to Joe Rupnow’s letter, “Prayer in school makes sense,” (April 25), not only does the First Amendment prohibit the establishment of a state religion, but this separation is present in other aspects of government as well. It was not with the founding of our nation that we somehow endorsed Christianity. The words “under God” didn’t appear in the original pledge of allegiance, written by Francis Bellamy in 1894. Rather, they appeared by an act of Congress in 1954. U.S. currency also did not show the label “in God we trust” until after the Civil War. The majority of the framers of the Constitution were not Christians; they were deists who placed a belief in some higher power, just not man-made theology. It is amazing how many times people imply that the presence of a Christian majority in this nation automatically defaults to this being a Christian nation. Mention of Christianity is not found in any of the founding documents of our country. As for current times, it is against the law to force someone to pray and also to force someone to hear you pray. Mr. Rupnow should be relieved that he will be able to converse with his God during the many hours of his school day, since nothing in our laws or statutes forbids voluntary, individual school prayer.

Nick Pladson,
history and political science

Israeli democracy needs work

In response to Koby Nahmias’ April 25 letter, “Arabs did not always blame Israelis”: Although I rarely agree with Mr. Nahmias, I commend him for noting that the “largest demonstration against Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s actions in the West Bank Ö was held in Tel Aviv.” The demonstration Mr. Nahmias is referring to was held 18 years ago by a front in Israel called Peace Now. The demonstration called for Sharon to be removed from his position for indictment concerning war crimes in the Sabra and Chatilla refugee camp massacre. But the rationale that this demonstration is a testimony to the democratic nature of the Israeli society is misled. If Israeli society was of a democratic nature as Mr. Nahmias claims, then why is it that the voices of these thousands among thousands of protesters are being silenced and ignored? Sharon was removed from office for the time, but he came back in all of his bloody glory.

Heidi Kader,
graduate student,
genetics and cell development

Humans not equivalent to animals

Shame on you, Matt Brophy (“Society exploits animals,” April 25) for adamantly opposing mistreatment of animals for an entire article, only to conclude that you still enjoy the occasional Whopper. To add to that, Brophy makes the analogy that those who don’t think mentally retarded persons should be exploited, and disregard the “exploitations” of animals, are comparable to slave owners. To liken the enslavement of human beings to the use of animals as food and beneficial research is extremely offensive to all people. There is an obvious distinction between humans and other species.

Hank Long,
journalism and history

Schools should focus on education

Based on Joe Rupnow’s April 25 letter (“Prayer in schools makes sense”), I am highly unsure whether he actually read the article “For God’s sake, preclude prayer in school” (April 22). In saying, “How can anyone argue against prayer toward God in schools?” he’s assuming that prayer is an inherently good thing that everyone should find desirable. However, clearly there are many Americans who do not believe in God and have no desire to pray.

Since Rupnow doesn’t directly address anything brought up in Jillian Abram’s article, his letter seems more like a knee-jerk reaction to its headline than an actual response. The reasoning he uses to defend prayer in school is that since “in God we trust” is printed on all those shiny coins in our pockets, that must represent the collective viewpoints of all U.S. citizens. That approach to the issue is excessively simplistic and narrow. Children should be allowed to receive their education in an academic environment regardless of their beliefs. Parents can send their children to religious-affiliated schools if they wish, but public schools should for the most part be kept secular, so that there’s an alternative to the mandatory practice of religion, and education is kept as the main focus.

Paula Prentiss,

Conservation before regulation

SUV. This acronym has taken the United States by storm. Allow me to put in my two cents on this recent gas-consuming fad.

Fuel efficiency. You won’t hear anyone say that regarding an SUV. You will hear them talk about the spacious interior, ability to handle rough terrain and, of course, all of the power. People only think they need these things. All they need is to get from here to there.

Look at the economics. If our habits don’t change, the government will eventually need to develop regulations to limit our fuel use. Possibilities include a national speed limit, a limit on the amount of gas one is allowed to purchase and a rise in the legal driving age. These seem unbelievable now, but they are candidates. More likely to occur in the near future would be a minimum miles-per-gallon requirement.

Do we want more government regulations? Most would say no. We can prevent new regulations by changing our buying habits. Think fuel efficiency, and say goodbye to the acronym, SUV.

Rita Albrecht,
animal production systems