To the editor: Poughkeepsie Journal - 2007
From Monday October 29 through Thursday November 1st there was extensive
front page coverage about Vice President Dick Cheney coming to the Hudson Valley
Traffic problems, security issues, reactions of residents, even the sighting
of a confederate flag in a garage at the gun club were covered. There were
several photos of the motorcade.
The reason for his visit, to shoot animals was mentioned only in passing.
What kind of animals did he and his party kill? And how many?
Hunting is often referred to as a "sport". In all other sports, all the teams
and players know it is a game and understand the rules. In hunting, humans with
weapons take pride in overpowering and ending the lives of animals for "fun" and
The unreimbursed funds spent to allow Cheney to have eight hours of
"recreation" at the gun club was minuscule compared to the millions we spend
every day in Iraq and many do not consider the lives of a few animals even worth
mentioning, just as the deaths of soldiers and civilians is often recited with
about as much emotion as the high and low temperature for the day.
Perhaps if our government and most individuals considered all life sacred we
would reconsider both warfare and the killing of animals.
In an unrelated article on October 30 an archival photo taken at the Dutchess
Mall was used to accompany an article about a contemporary film about the mall.
The photo was of a chimpanzee carrying a rifle while very young children watched
at close range. Surely there were other photos in the archive?
The exploitation of animals is so pervasive in our society that it often goes
unnoticed. I urge staff and readers of the Poughkeepsie Journal to read "Where
The Blind Horse Sings" by Kathy Stevens, director of the Catskill Animal
Sanctuary in Saugerties.
You will find some amazing true and heartwarming stories of human and animal
interaction and you may change the way you think about how we use and abuse our
Right now over 200 million turkeys are being raised in crowded, unhealthful
conditions, having had their beaks cut with a hot iron and some toes amputated.
Soon they will be slaughtered, many scalded while still alive, so that they can
be at the center of our tables on the day set aside to give thanks.
Most people do not go hunting, but all meat eaters have someone else do it
for them. If you go to the Woodstock Sanctuary and meet the turkeys, you will
find that they have personalities and enjoy their lives.
Consider an alternative, a turkey-free celebration. It can be delicious and
joyful. Try this at home or consult www.mhvs.org
or www.woodstockfas.org for some
public vegan holiday dinners.
Roberta Schiff, President
Mid-Hudson Vegetarian Society