What about all of the other animals?

Kudos to Rusty Sivils for his well-written, heartfelt piece, “Dead Wrong,” regarding the slaughter of dogs and cats at animal shelters [June 13 Xpress]. However, I must take exception with his assertion that “we are all responsible for these animals’ deaths.” Many in the animal-welfare community have worked tirelessly trying to end this holocaust, and don’t deserve to be lumped in with those causing the problem.

Here is who is to blame: Anyone breeding an animal. As long as there are animals being killed due to lack of homes, we need a national moratorium on breeding. Period.

Anyone buying an animal. Adopt, don’t buy. The animals at shelters need their lives more than pet shops and breeders need your money.

Politicians who refuse to pass laws to address the problem. We spend over a million dollars annually in Buncombe County rounding up, feeding, housing and killing homeless animals. Shifting these costs to the responsible parties by taxing breeders, and by encouraging spaying and neutering isn’t big government, it is responsible government.

While I am appalled at the ongoing killings at the shelter, I often wonder why people who care so much about dogs and cats are oblivious to the suffering of other animals. Science has found that chickens have empathy and the ability to reason, and are actually smarter than dogs or cats. According to Jane Goodall, “farm animals feel pleasure and sadness, excitement and resentment, depression, fear and pain. They are far more aware and intelligent than we ever imagined … they are individuals in their own right.”

The horrific abuse endured by the 10 billion farm animals slaughtered annually in the U.S. would warrant felony cruelty charges if cats or dogs were similarly abused. Why do we love some animals and kill others? To learn why more and more Americans are choosing to live a humane lifestyle, please visit www.vegforlife.org.

— Stewart David
Asheville

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