Thanks for animal coverage
I just wanted to send a note to thank you for the wonderful articles about Karen Dawn ("Animal Rights, and Wrongs," 2/6/09 and online interview). I was moved to tears. The knowledge of the cruelties perpetrated on innocent animals can be extremely eye opening and cause life changes. It happened to me.
When I was 15 years old, I saw Faces of Death, which spotlights the animal agriculture industry. From that day on, I have never eaten another bite of animal flesh. It has been an evolution from there over the twenty-some years since.
Two years ago, long after I knew the facts about the dairy industry and battery hens, I finally gave up dairy and eggs. It was with support from people like Karen Dawn and Colleen Patrick-Goudreau (Compassionate Cooks) - writers who provide information on how to live and maintain a joyful and compassionate vegan life - that the change was so easy.
So thank you so much for publishing these articles and continuing to help others evolve to a more happy and healthy way.
Tonya Smith, West Allis, Wis.
CWD story missed mark
Brian McCombie's article on chronic wasting disease in Wisconsin's deer herd ("Reality: CWD Is Here to Stay," 2/13/09) missed the mark. In particular, the ban on private companies selling tests to the public is clearly not because "positives outside of the CWD zone might upset hunters and hunting."
The rationale behind this USDA restriction, available online, was completely ignored in the article. In fact, the greater agency concern is over inaccurate negative test results.
If a newly infected deer were to be wrongly judged safe for human consumption, could sponge-like holes slowly form in the meat-eater's brain, as they do in an infected deer? No one knows for sure, in part because of the extremely long incubation time before symptoms appear. So why not err on the side of consumer safety?
In addition, testing requires handling the very brain or lymph tissue that could be most infectious. Even the new, faster tests are not simple, and they take hours to run using costly lab equipment. The official gold standard test is more complicated.
No, the DNR hasn't made headway on eradicating the disease, nor has any agency in other outbreak areas. But DNR emphasis has rightly been placed on monitoring confirmed cases based on results from certified government labs, and communicating the geographic extent of the disease to the public.
McCombie posed no alternative to the DNR's current CWD control strategy, and instead took an uninformed potshot at an underfunded program.
Inresponse to Andy Moore's column about getting ticketed for not shoveling ("Snow Fair," 2/20/09):
On Aug. 16, 2008, on a bright and sunny day, I tripped on a Madison sidewalk that had been raised to a very uneven level by a tree root.I injured my knees, wrist, fingers and face, which hit the sidewalk extremely hard, breaking my glasses and causing a black eye.
I did everything exactly as I was told by the city engineering department and comptroller's office to get my glasses paid for.I even have pictures of the sidewalk where it was raised two inches.
It was October before that sidewalk was fixed.
Why should the city be allowed to fine people for not shoveling when it doesn't take care of its own sidewalks?
As far as I am concerned the city still owes me the cost of replacing a pair of glasses.