Letters to the Editor

Letters: Animals don’t deserve the death penalty


The answer to the June 24 question — “Do wild animals that attack people have to die?” — is no. The animals are killed for public relations, to make the victims or their families feel avenged and because of human self-importance. We can eat animals, kill them for “sport,” enslave them, abuse them for our entertainment; but let an animal have the audacity to harm a human, and the only fitting “punishment” is death.

In the case that opened the article, a runner in a marathon that was stupidly routed through bear habitat was mauled by a bear protecting her cubs; she was killed, leaving the cubs orphaned.

At Disney World, “at least six” alligators were killed because one alligator drowned a child who was wading in a lagoon that was not adequately marked with warning signs or fenced off. The alligator was not a “maneater,” since it didn’t eat the child; it saw something in the water, mistook it for its natural prey, discovered its error and let the child go — unfortunately too late.

Look closely at such incidents, and you will find that, ultimately, people are to blame. And the same is true in the case of domestic animals that harm humans.

Phil Dematteis