LettersLetter from Hugh about Dog Sled Slaughter - 31 Jan 2011
Letters From All-Creatures.org and The Mary T. and Frank L. Hoffman Family Foundation

Letter from Hugh about Dog Sled Slaughter - 31 Jan 2011

I trust that all of you to whom I send this message are truly my friends, or else I would not be writing you about this. I know that most of the correspondence on e-mail is light and funny and is not to be taken seriously. This is not that sort of communication: it comes from my heart to yours, and I beg you to take it seriously. It may make you uncomfortable: I hope it does. I hope it makes you so uncomfortable that you will take it to the next step. (The coward's way is to do nothing, say "There's old Hugh again . . .", and go back to the frivolity of other e-mails.

January 31 2011's news (as most of you have seen) tells of a horrible tragedy in Whistler, B.C. A sled dog company in Whistler had counted on many more tourists coming to Whistler to experience dog-sledding than those who actually came.

As a result, there was a "surplus" of sled-dogs, beautiful Huskies, young, healthy, trained, eager to please the masters they trusted. Had a search been made across Canada, every one of these surplus dogs could have been placed. (In our small city of Thunder Bay, for example, there is an organization dedicated to rescuing and placing Husky dogs.)

But more than one hundred of these Huskies were taken out and shot -- many were not killed outright but were still trying to scramble out of the death pits 20 to 30 minutes later!

Some of these took a horribly long time to die! (The man responsible for this massacre later applied for a pension based upon what he suffered -- poor dear man! -- in post-traumatic disorder in doing what he did.)

Now that the story has leaked out, the company in Whistler -- and everyone else involved -- is scrambling to pass the buck, blame the other guy, and pretend that the incident never happened.

So -- what the heck that this have to do with you -- or me? Simply this: this sort of callous brutal inhumane incident is not unique: it is an example of the mindset that prevails across our society, across the world, and it continues from generation to generation, from race to race, from person to person because we, the human race, supposedly made in God's image, supposedly the apex of evolutionary creation, avert our eyes, don't give a damn, choose to do nothing. The horrors of our mass industrial farming methods, the unnecessary cruel animal experiments in our laboratories, the abuse of helpless animals in blood sports and circuses -- these go on day after day, and few protest or give a damn!

I can't "go with this flow": to me, there is little or no difference between the slaughter of innocent animals and the Nazi massacres of innocent human beings! (Gandhi said that he regarded the killing of a helpless lamb as the same as the killing of a child! I am not far behind him in his thinking.)

I am ashamed now to call myself a Christian since the Church in all its denominations chooses to say nothing and do nothing. I am ashamed to be a member of the NDP -- but I would be equally ashamed to be a Liberal, a Conservative, a Democrat, a Republican -- since none of these parties say anything about cruelty to animals: the Green Party seems to be the only one that is concerned!

What can you do? Of course, you can do nothing, refuse to think of a young Husky struggling in the death pit with a bullet in his chest, refuse to be concerned about how that "beef roast" or those "spare ribs" magically appeared in your supermarket, go on listening to friends describe how they fought that trout which they had caught on a wriggling minnow!

Yes, or you and I can write the SPCA in Whistler, demanding that a full investigation be held and full prosecution be pursued. We can write our church leaders, demanding that they throw the immense influence of their various denominations into working for the humane treatment of all sensate creatures. We can write politicians, newspapers, speak out on radio stations, talk to our friends -- and direct far more of our charitable donations to animal rescue agencies, to humane societies and associations.

Or we can carry on -- and do nothing.

I write you because I believe that every one of you is a humane and kindly caring person: did I not believe that of you, you would not be on my list of friends. I beg you, please do something, please be concerned . . .

For God's sake, become involved!

Yours in a concern that knows no end...

Hugh McDonald, Ontario: Thunder Bay

Reply from Frank and Mary Hoffman

Dear Hugh:

Thank you very much for writing. We had not heard about this husky atrocity before. We will follow up on this and also publish something on our web site.

We have been engaged in this struggle against the hardness of heart and indifference to animals in the churches for thirty years, and in the public eye, as vegans, for nearly 25 years.

We appreciate your efforts and hope and pray that many will join our mutual efforts.

In the Love of the Lord,

Frank and Mary

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