Readers React

Horns won't cure your sickness, so stop killing rhinos for them

To the editor: On Sunday, my morning began with a strange rustling on the roof, which turned out to be a riot of robins. They were flitting in the oaks, bathing in the creek and pond, generally having a lark. A little later, I sat looking out the bedroom window at a fox squirrel on the wood railing.

What joy it is to live with these brilliant creatures.

Reading William deBuys' piece later in the day ("A ravenous market for wildlife parts is pushing Earth's biota to the brink," op-ed, March 15 dragged me into a dark and opposite reality: the cruel, depraved mass trapping and killing of wildlife in Southeast Asia, all to serve ghastly gourmet appetites, medicinal desires for male enhancement and such.

Unless Asia reaches a higher plane of awareness — and soon — its people will be responsible for the possible extinction of a wide swath of our fellow creatures.

Susan Hanger, Topanga

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To the editor: The war attributed to China's unquenchable thirst for rare and not so rare animals such as turtles takes place here in Los Angeles and throughout the state and U.S. at what are called live-food markets. There, countless native turtles as well as those that are smuggled in from other countries are bought and eaten in plain sight along with porcupines and other animals mentioned in the article.

We, along with other animal welfare groups, have testified for 18 years at the monthly meetings of the California Fish and Wildlife Commission to stop the importation of these turtles to no avail. Why? Powerful legislators in Sacramento of Chinese descent and their allies have blocked our efforts on the basis of culture.

It's inexcusable for a progressive state such as California to allow these barbaric practices to exist. Shame on our politicians.

Susan M. Tellem, Malibu

The writer is executive director of American Tortoise Rescue.

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To the editor: Every time I read about the destruction of animal species, I get upset at what seems like an oversight in the effort to preserve the lives of animals.

Preventing poaching certainly helps, and I contribute to several charities to advance this cause. But few articles on this topic mention educating people that elephant tusks, rhinoceros horns and other animal parts do not cure diseases or increase sexual prowess.

There should be a tremendous effort to teach people the value of science and modern medicine. Am I being naive in thinking that education might work?

Margot Rosenberg, Laguna Beach

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