Animal Defenders of Westchester

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We advocate on all animal protection and exploitation issues, including experimentation, factory farming, rodeos, breeders and traveling animal acts.

Animal Defenders of Westchester
P.O. Box 205
Yonkers, NY 10704


On Nature Education

The following letter is published in the September, 2005 issue of WESTCHESTER PARENT, a local monthly periodical :

Though I was happy to see an article that advocated the need for conservation and respect for environmental concerns ('Natures's Children' Editorial, July) the article raised some peripheral issues that need addressing.

The article quotes a local source who states, "The best way to get children to love nature is to help them feel comfortable in it. They need the chance to hold an ant in their hands or to dig for worms in the dirt." But these activities involve disturbing nature - is that truly the best way to encourage a love of nature in children? Do we not want to also teach them to respect the habitat of other living beings, who have as much right as we do to enjoy nature without being disturbed?

The article further advocated 'going fishing' in pursuit of nature's joys; again, why advocate killing in an article about enjoying nature? The fish want to keep their lives, just like we do - watch their struggle against being "caught" if you have any doubt of this being true. Furthermore, fish are proven to be very social, intelligent beings who feel pain exactly like people do.

A true appreciation and awe of nature ultimately involves as little disturbance to it as possible..."Take nothing but pictures; leave nothing but footprints."

Kiley Blackman, spokesperson

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