Canoga Park High's agriculture instructor Steve Pietrolungo discourages his students assigning pet names to their farm animals, as your article indicates ("School Farmers Making Hay," Aug. 15). Instead, he encourages using numbers because "when you make it a pet and name an animal, it's that much harder when it's time to butcher."
Indeed, it's much harder on one's emotional and digestive systems to butcher and eat a Harriet or Joey than an inanimate 8711. It's marvelous that the professor has the wits to intellectually detour the students around such interfering realisms.
I suggest, however, that not only is this escapist ploy much too nuts-and-boltsy, but that it misses some good educational associations. Instead of using sterile numbers, I suggest using meaningful relevant functions to identify the animals. For example, "C'mere, Clogged Artery," or "Sit and stay, Colon Packer." Some others I like are: Uric Acidifier, Aorta Plugger and Doctor Enrichener.
Y'know, on second thought, maybe I do like "Joey" better.