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Mid-Hudson Vegetarian Society, Inc.
38 East Market Street, Rhinebeck, New York 12572 USA -  845-876-2626
Vegetarian - Vegan - Animal Rights - Health - Nutrition - Environment

The mission of the Mid-Hudson Vegetarian Society, Inc. is to promote the vegetarian ethic in the Mid-Hudson (New York) region, educate the community and aid anyone in the pursuit of a totally vegetarian (vegan) cruelty-free and healthful lifestyle.

Articles - Letters - and More

Children Competing to Kill Fish

24 March 2008 - To the Poughkeepsie Journal

To the Editor:

Fishing contest set in Rhinebeck is your headline on the Our Towns section of March 24. Just because an event has a half century of tradition behind it does not mean that is is essentially a good thing.

If you heard, not knowing what it was, that children between the ages of 3 and 16 would come together in April and see who could kill the most animals and who could kill the biggest one, would you feel that this is an acceptable value to teach young people? Probably not, but when you found out that it was "only" fish, many of you would say that fishing is an excellent activity for children.

The fact that fish are very capable of feeling pain and suffer greatly when they bite into a hook, and then suffocate when pulled out of the water is rarely considered, most likely because catching and killing fish is such a widespread activity. Many children do feel sad when they first begin to fish, but soon learn to emulate the casual approach to death taken by the adults they admire.

When the contest come to an end and you are photographing the winners holding their dead fish and smiling for the camera, I hope a few people will begin to question the appropriateness of rewarding this activity.

Roberta Schiff
Mid-Hudson Vegetarian Society

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