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Protection of Endangered Species

December 23, 1990

Joseph Edmiston's statement regarding the "unrealistic" expectations of animal rights activists contains no more realism than that of his opponents or the most ardent laissez-faire industrialist, for that matter.

There is no "nature" out there: Edmiston's idea of what is out there is obviously in his head, and he fervently believes that his mind-set matches his reality. Neither does "the duck" of the rights activists exist: which of all the ducks to be seen is "the duck"?

The most resolutely realistic action is, that when you turn that key to start your car, you in fact alter and poison the air. When you flush that toilet, you foul the water and when you put out your 3-plus cans with garbage, you pollute the Earth.

In fact, we are the most destructive organisms on the planet. Chances that conservationists, rights activists or industrialists will reverse that are exceedingly small.

Moreover, the majority of the planet's population, not driving and flushing yet because it is yet developing, hopes to be driving and flushing by the end of the decade, or better yet, tomorrow.

In the final analysis, the distinction between rights activist and environmentalist platforms is moot: They don't deal with the real problem. It is not out there, it's in here. It is I.

HUGO VAN WOERKOM, Marina Del Rey

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