From Animal Defenders of Westchester (ADOW)

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

Demeaning chipmunks to expand readership is pathetic

Letter as published on The Journal News
July 20, 2016

Re: "Chipmunks are booming, but get ready for more," July 10 article:
Lohud continues demonizing animals to sell papers — this time taking aim at the dreaded chipmunk.

Not one word of decency for these cute, benign little creatures; instead, lohud deliberately uses deceitful, inflammatory buzzwords like "…wreacking havoc," rather than citing the joy and numerous proven health benefits seeing wildlife provides, lohud chooses focus on the “explosion” of chipmunks and they will soon be eaten by predators.

It’s so easy to deflect attention. Lohud could have profoundly reported on the hordes of people pouring into Westchester each year, making it look like Times Square. our worldwide population explosion of almost 8 billion, the environmental destruction and resultant unemployment, housing shortages, disease, poverty instead of scapegoating chipmunks.

From childhood, we are desensitized to animals: Doing gruesome classroom experiments on them, laughing at them in circuses, gawking at them in zoos, etc — but animals feel joy, suffering and fear just like us, they have families just like us, were here before us. We have damaged the animals — not the other way around.

If the media can't show animals compassion, at least treat them ethically; hatred must not be used to drum up readership.

At a time when the world needs all the benevolence it can get, the media should set an example of respect and kindness for all — and not resort to victimizing animals that can't defend themselves.

Kiley Blackman
The writer is founder of Animal Defenders of Westchester.

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