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Too loose with the moose

September 20, 2008

Re "Thoreau's moose," Opinion, Sept. 14

Thank you, Paul Theroux, for reminding us of yet another salient difference between Republicans and Democrats -- the love of hunting as sport. I wonder, has Palin read my favorite of all Dr. Seuss books, "Thidwick, the Big-Hearted Moose," to her children, or is this one that she would-if-she-could have removed from the Wasilla library shelves?

To think that the ability to "field-dress" a moose is evidence of ability to lead and worthy of cheers is mind-boggling.

Edith Grady

San Marino

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As an Obama supporter, I deplore your prominent placement of a rather silly essay by the excellent writer Paul Theroux.

Theroux's premise -- that people who hunt are insensitive brutes -- will have McCain and Palin laughing all the way to the White House. My quarrel with this article is not the fact that most hunters who don't happen to be governors or Supreme Court judges actually eat their birds and deer, nor that the fate of domestic animals in the stockyards is any more pleasant.

My grievance is that the essay effectively surrenders the presidential contest to definition by the superficial cultural terms preferred by the Republicans.

Freya Smallwood

La Jolla

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Theroux refers to passages by Henry Thoreau chiding the hunter and expressing disgust at the slaughter of the moose. Thoreau writes that "every creature is better alive than dead."

I don't know about Thoreau or Theroux, but I prefer my steak medium rare, thank you very much. Unless Americans suddenly change their eating habits, many more animals will have to be better dead than alive. At least they'll taste better that way.

As for the moose, it most certainly roamed free in the wilderness before it was harvested, unlike the penned-up, hormone-injected cattle that are routinely slaughtered daily for human consumption. Responsible hunting is essential to wilderness management, in which game is harvested to prevent overpopulation, starvation and encourage eco-balance.

Michael Rubino

San Pedro

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