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Dear Editor:

I would like respond to the unnecessary criticism ["Controversial Service", TSC Issue 3] of our advocacy group's decision to pursue our interest and put it into action. Yes, we did go to the Humane Society to visit with the animals, do paperwork, and see behind the scenes of the shelter. However, the author of the article, "Controversial Service", speaks out of uninformed ignorance. I would like to question the author if he has ever witnessed sad and horrific pictures of animals being abused or hundreds of domestic animals being euthanized. Does he realize that the reason for this happening is 100% human error due to people's ignorance? We, the human race, are at fault for the pain and suffering of these helpless animals that cannot defend themselves. How can this not be a cause that we should undertake in our community? Our advocacy group felt it our responsibility to inform our Menlo community of these problems. Menlo's population is not immune to this problem and it is up to us to help. We must protect each other as decent people and I don't mean just other humans, but also the living things in our environment. It is our responsibility to protect the entire environment around us.

Just because we as a group chose this venue of public service does not mean we are ignorant to other problems of our community. Involvement with ANIMAL RIGHTS does not mean that we do not want to participate in nor be involved with other issues in our community. We never said, as a group, "Oh, we can't do that because someone else will be doing that project." I think it unfair for our advocacy group to be judged for helping in any project and for helping our community. The author should realize that taking on a cause does not mean that we are blind to our community's other needs.

Where does the author of the said article support his statement, "After realizing this, you will have a good feeling that you have made a difference in somebody's life. However, can the same thing be said about playing with dogs in an animal shelter? True, you might have helped out the shelter, but you really have not made a large difference to anyone, or even to the animals."? How can he downgrade lives of animals? It is this attitude of elitism that brings more problems to our community. How can we not value life in animals as well as humans? I've personally dealt with both causes. Any service which helps the community, whether it be with people or animals, is a contribution to a better world. To say that working with animals in need is worthless is completely invalid and untrue. He should spend a day at the shelter to see how he can make a difference in these animals' lives.

Our advocacy's trip to the shelter was very informative and we felt it our duty to share what we learned with our Menlo community. It seems that the author does not understand that cruelty to animals is a huge problem, not just on this peninsula, but globally. We, as human beings, can help and, hopefully, appreciate "life" better both in humans and other living things around us. We know that what we shared with the Menlo community in the assembly informed them of how we can help alleviate these problems. It might be as simple as buying "cage-free eggs" that do not support cruelty, or getting one's pet neutered or spayed so as not to add to pet overpopulation. This project can only have positive effects for those of us who took on a passion for what we believed in. By sharing the knowledge we learned from our advocacy group's involvement, we can now be more responsible human beings who can make better decisions in our community.

Sincerely, Tala Banatao

This page created for The Subterranean Crusader by John W. Earl. Last modified January 28, 1996.