Letters to the Editor: Are we taking animal rights too far?

Ponies in their enclosure at the Griffith Park Pony Rides on Dec. 9, 2021.
Ponies in their enclosure at the Griffith Park Pony Rides on Dec. 9, 2021.
(Al Seib/Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Well now, dolphins need justice and horses at the Griffith Park Pony Rides need justice. Activists and philosophers are raising awareness about the legal rights of animals. (“Embracing a new philosophy that demands dignity and justice for animals,” Opinion, Dec. 4)

Then we’ll just have to get rid of all the dogs and cats that are house pets because we’re interfering with their natural behavior. We’ll have to take away all the service animals and police and military dogs. The poor horses at the equestrian centers and the polo fields and horse shows and rodeos will be released into the wild and allowed to roam free.

All those fish in the aquariums and the snakes and iguanas in terrariums and parakeets and other birds in cages must be let go. Let’s not forget to respect the coyotes and mountain lions and bears as they reclaim their natural habitats, causing us to lock our children in our homes.


Who sets the standard for what is humane or appropriate for our animal cohabitants?

Linda Bradshaw Carpenter, Los Angeles


To the editor: To give dolphins and other creatures a “chance to flourish,” philosophy and law professor Martha C. Nussbaum suggests a “capabilities approach.” She sees it as a “powerful theoretical strategy.”

I would like to suggest a different approach. It is ecological modeling. A capabilities approach can be subsumed under ecological analysis.

Actually, we are dealing with semantics here in that her article presents arguments that also apply to ecological reasoning.

Originally developed in biological science, the study of healthy or failing ecosystems is well advanced and has taken on an extreme urgency due to the threat of extinction of plants and animals under climate change.

Siegrun Fox, Los Angeles


To the editor: Nussbaum’s piece on developing a new philosophy that demands justice for animals is definitely worth reading.

We need to rethink the cruelty we inflict on animals with factory farming, bullfights, needless experiments, rodeos and forced performances, just to name a few examples.

In the words of Martin Luther King Jr.: “One day the absurdity of the almost universal human belief in the slavery of other animals will be palpable. We shall then have discovered our souls and become worthier of sharing this planet with them.”

Gloria Molnar Roth, Sherman Oaks