Letters to the Editor, Aug. 20

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Appreciating coverage on people and animals

To the Editor,

First, my thanks to T&V for some wonderful issues in the depths of our summer when so many are away. I especially appreciated the editorial (and letter) on the homeless and Steve Sanders column (in T&V, Aug. 13).

I give regularly to Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen, which is wonderful and has constantly expanded since 1982 when the congregation thought it would be temporary. They have added a social service unit to connect their guests to services they didn’t know they qualified for. I hope Mayor De Blasio’s plan will enable the Bellevue Shelter to increase their services, and that the change in who it serves will not take forever as your editorial so beautifully stated.

Don’t know if it helps but The Chief (Aug. 14, page 2) mentions several names along with agencies involved in the mayor’s plan that our community might approach.

Speaking as a psychotherapist, it is very tricky to define who is potentially violent so don’t be shy if you’re worried about an individual. As for who is mentally ill, if you have no money or home and you’re hungry, might you not get angry and try to bully a clerk into giving you food? Being upset and in agony is not per se mental illness but it can be.

Steve Sanders’ column (“Killing our sacred cow”) is so rich with insights and well-reasoned that I can not only agree but also hope it will be published again when the news will probably make it needed.

That Cecil the lion suffered has been glossed over to some extent. I heard it was 40 hours of living with an arrow in him before he was found and shot. The American dentist who shot the arrow apparently had no concern for the suffering he was inflicting. Lions seem to have been symbols for we humans for as long as we have history. It’s patience and fortitude who grace the entrance to the 42nd Street library. Can you think of another symbol there? I can’t. C.S. Lewis in Narnia made Aslan a lion. Steve Sanders did a beautiful job of detailing our American culture of guns and killing. With Cecil it felt like Aslan was not only slain but tortured and many of us wept. Let’s hope we can live on with more grace and love.

Joyce Kent, Gramercy

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Killing our sacred cow

By Former Assemblyman Steven Sanders

Like millions of people around the world I was appalled by the murder of Cecil. Cecil, you will recall, was the African lion that was designated in a protected class of animals because of his majestic bearings as well as to protect the species from extinction. Cecil by all accounts was a very intelligent animal with impulses and emotions. He was pursued and killed by an American hunter. He was first wounded by a high tech bow and arrow with a telescopic sight, and then put to death with a rifle. Cecil was murdered.

The ecstatic American hunter then posed next to his murdered prey smiling ear to ear. He could not have been happier at having callously snuffed out the life of another living being. What a sad spectacle. This kill was not done for any other reason than it gave the hunter pleasure to track and destroy this animal. He gave no thought to the suffering that he was inflicting. It was all about his own twisted lethal pleasure.

So ask yourself, how far removed are those animal hunters from persons who stalk human victims and derive sick pleasure from killing them, and often many at one time? As far as I am aware only the human species, the most “advanced” and evolved form of life on planet earth, kills not for food or protection but for sheer thrills. Makes you wonder about Darwin’s theory of evolution.

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