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Opinion

Opinion: The cruelty of Ringling Bros. is over, but PETA’s work is not done

Ringling Brothers Circus workers ushers a line of elephants through downtown Huntsville, Ala., Wedne
Ringling Brothers Circus workers usher a line of elephants through downtown Huntsville, Ala., on Dec. 3, 1997.
(Bryan Bacon / Associated Press)

To the editor: Ringling Bros. is no longer chaining and beating animals for performances. But for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ more than 6.5 million members and supporters, work still remains. (“The forces that shut down Ringling Bros. want to end a lot more than animal abuse,” Opinion, May 22)

Animals are exploited every day for every purpose, from the meals we eat to the movies we watch. That’s why we won’t stop protesting the dog-breeding industry, which subjects dogs to lifelong health problems and steals homes from those in shelters; cruel, misleading experiments in which animals are poisoned even though 9 out of 10 drugs fail in human trials; the wool industry, in which shearers have been convicted of cruelty for beating sheep in the face and stomping on their necks; and countless other abuses.

Animals think, feel and have families. They should be treated with respect.

Tracy Reiman, Los Angeles

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The writer is executive vice president of PETA.

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To the editor: Charlotte Allen raises some troubling concerns about PETA’s vision for western civilization. But if you examine PETA’s membership profiles, things might become clearer.

PETA members know they are smarter and more morally pure than non-members. Just ask them — they’ll give it to you with both barrels.

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In reality, these people are as ignorant as they are smug. People who believe that a sweater is sheep exploitation simply don’t know about the relationship between shepherds and their charges. That makes PETA folks ignorant.

Renowned animal scientists Temple Grandin’s vision for human and animal stock relations is the intellectual (and adult) approach that should be pursued. PETA members could be part of that adult conversation, but that organization’s underpinning is juvenile whining.

David Pohlod, Oak Park

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