• PETA supports animals • Agencies fail to protect cats, trees • Vandalism proof of ignorance
PETA supports animals
Please allow me to correct some falsehoods in Chris Schaefer’s letter to the editor (TGI, Aug. 11). First, it is absolutely untrue that PETA is opposed to the adoption of companion animals. On the contrary, PETA wholeheartedly supports adopting animals from shelters, as evidenced by our star-studded “Adopt Don’t Buy” ad campaign and the many animals PETA itself has rescued and adopted out into loving homes. To call PETA and other shelters that euthanize animals for lack of good homes “bloodthirsty” is an egregious and unforgivable insult to hardworking shelter staffers everywhere.
These people are stuck with a physically and emotionally draining job because too many people still refuse to spay and neuter their animals and refuse to adopt animals from shelters instead of buying them from pet shops and puppy mills. Irresponsible animal guardians are to blame for the homeless dog and cat crisis, not shelter workers.
Finally, Schaefer is apparently not a regular reader of The Garden Island, since s/he seems to have missed the May 16 article, “Reward offered in cat killings,” which reported on the dozens of feral cats who were shot or poisoned during a two-month period. Is this Shaefer’s idea of a humane death? Because it certainly isn’t PETA’s. That’s why we oppose turfing cats out onto the street to fight a losing battle for survival.
Animal Care and Control Specialist
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)
Agencies fail to protect cats, trees
TGI published a “guest viewpoint” by me in November 2003 when The Humane Society euthanized a cat of mine. I wrote: “The Humane Society should make more efforts to be humane and less efforts to be such quick and efficient killers.”
Creating a “task force” to kill only all supposedly feral cats is going to be a frenzy that will end the lives of many beloved cats not trapped in a house, as well. There were repeated efforts by me to fill out the forms to match me to my lost cat but they failed. Too eager to kill rather than protect. The native birds’ real threat? People are by far the most destructive and invasive species (cats are abandoned by people and are innocent).
But we have in place certain agencies that are founded to give rights to certain animals and nature who are helpless. Take for instance, the Arborist Advisory Committee. Do they protect trees? Only when deemed “exceptional.” How many on this island are protected? Only 19, apparently. There is a relic of the past still standing for 80-plus years through storms and hurricanes in Kilauea. The agency did not deem it worth saving. After all, it stands in the middle of the new plans to pave another parking lot. Who do they serve? People. So easy to sway an agency from its mission when you have money, business and politics to influence. Trees and cats cannot protect themselves. Who will?
Vandalism proof of ignorance
I visited Kauai on my honeymoon during the second week of July. My wife and I decided to hire a fly fishing guide to fish for those elusive bonefish that infrequently inhabit the flats of Anini Beach. Not sure what you know about fly fishing, but it is not only a sport, but an environmental movement.
It is almost exclusively a catch and release sport, and “de-barbing” our hooks to reduce the harm to the fish we catch goes without saying. But it goes beyond sustainability. Many fly fishermen, through national and local organizations, commit themselves to improving watersheds, which constantly puts them in direct conflict with big polluters. It is no coincidence that Patagonia is one of the leading fly fishing gear and apparel producers.
In order to fly fish at Anini, we had to go about 40 yards into the ocean during low tide. The water is mostly knee high and is well before the reef forms. Given the frequent low tide at Anini Beach, it cannot sustain coral formation until about 150 or so yards out, which leaves an ideal “salt flat” for us fly fishermen.
So you can imagine everyone’s horror when our fly fishing guide returned to his car to find it vandalized with a “keep off the reef” message keyed onto the hood. It’s one thing to be an environmental activist, but being uninformed to the point that one would commit an act of vandalism against a fellow activist? Et tu, Brute?