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Another Side to Stories on Animals

July 31, 1988

I regret that I once again have to protest The Times' policy of encouraging cruelty to animals and failing to report the animal rights side of articles. For example: On May 11, The Times ran an article ("Hunting Instructor Stresses Respect for 'What Nature Has Put' in the Woods") that glorified Department of Fish and Game employee John Eimers, who teaches people to hunt wildlife for fun. The article never mentioned that up to one-half of all animals shot by hunters escape wounded only to die slow and painful deaths. Nor did the article mention that the killing of a female animal condemns to a death by starvation all of the female's offspring who are too young to care for themselves.

On June 6, 1988, The Times ran an article entitled "Cool Cats: It's Time of Year for Affluent to Shed Their Prized Furs for Safety of Cold Storage." The article discussed the advantages of fur storage in hot weather and glorified the wearing of fur coats. However, the article never informed your readers that most fur coats are still made with furs taken from animals caught in steel-jaw leg-hold traps, which cause a horrific death by either loss of blood or starvation. Nor did your article quote a single animal rights advocate who might have given your readers an alternative point of view.

On June 16, you printed an article entitled "Garden Gnawed Away? Go for Help." The article was about pocket gophers, which sometimes eat people's gardens, and quoted "specialist" Don Noyes who recommended that "poison is probably the most effective weapon." While your article supported solving urban wildlife problems by killing urban wildlife, it never quoted humane urban wildlife management experts or animal rights advocates who could have offered nonviolent methods of controlling gophers.

On June 21, The Times printed an article that glorified African game hunters and made them appear to be romantic and admirable people. The article never quoted African government or animal rights advocates who could have supplied evidence that both hunters and poachers are responsible for the decline in the population figures of many species of animals in Africa.

I regret that The Times continues to sacrifice its journalistic integrity in the interest of promoting hunting, furs and cruelty to animals in general.

PETER LAWRENCE COHON

Laguna Beach

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