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Barbaro, at the finish line

January 31, 2007

Re "The race that Barbaro could not win," Jan. 30

This magnificent animal never would have existed if it were not for racing. But racing used him, deformed him, mutilated him and finally let him go. There is something godlike in the way we create and use animals for our own means.

Maybe it is justified if we need them to survive: animals we eat, use for transportation or just as companions. But there is something terribly immoral to breed an animal so fragile that he breaks when we ask him to perform at his best. Human civilization will continue to create and destroy Barbaros.

NANCY NIEMAN

Marina del Rey

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The Times writes that the saga of Barbaro "raised questions about the extent and expense of his treatment." The questions that should have been raised are about the violation of animal rights and the immorality of organized gambling and horse racing.

TOM WAYBURN

Houston

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There's something sick and evil about a media and society that show more interest in the Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro being euthanized than the latest bloody, horrible deaths of U.S. troops in Iraq.

JOSEPH E. BOYETT JR.

Montgomery, Ala.

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May the passing of Barbaro serve to remind us that in both peace and war, the horse has been a selfless and faithful servant of man for thousands of years.

SAM LA SALA

San Clemente

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