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August 11, 2010

Talk Back: Win for Wolves, Cracking Down on Crush Videos

Readers celebrated last week’s decision by a federal judge to reinstate endangered species protections for the gray wolves of the Northern Rockies—a remarkable victory in The HSUS and other organizational plaintiffs’ long-running legal campaign to protect these imperiled animals. Among your comments:

Protecting gray wolves is a huge victory and step forward. I personally thank the HSUS as well as all the other activists and organizations that helped bring about this reversal of a tragically short-sighted policy. —Ramey Zamora, Paso Robles, CA
Keep up the good work and know that you have the support of many animal conservationists everywhere. —Elizabeth O.
Thank you, thank you, thank you! I cry with gratitude. Our wolves are going to survive the hysterical hatred, senseless trophy hunting, and gross ignorance of politicians. Our job is not done however; we must forever be on guard as the fight goes on to save our natural environment and its inhabitants. —Arden Allen

But you were disappointed by recent editorials in The New York Times and Los Angeles Times against new legislation to reinstate a federal prohibition on animal crush videos, and also troubled by the recent resurgence in these gruesome depictions of animal cruelty. Echoing the near universal view among the public that individuals should not be able to profit from illegal, malicious, and obscene acts of animal cruelty, here are some of your thoughts. And by the way, Karen Wagner below is right—senators need to hear from animal advocates on this one.

Why should there be ANY opposition to [banning] these abominations—they show hideous cruelty to animals and no matter which way you try to spin it, it is what it is. —Judy
The generality of the First Amendment screams for interpretation and twisting of its actual meaning; however, I doubt its authors thought sexual perversion and animal cruelty videos would be declared freedom of speech. I'm sure they couldn't have imagined such degenerate thinking. —Barbara Fleming
I hope you sent a copy of this to both the New York Times and Los Angeles Times. I saw the article in the NY Times and was so enraged I had to stop reading it just to keep my blood pressure down. Thanks for summing up the case for the new legislation and let’s hope the Supreme Court doesn't come up with a way around it. —Angela Auletta
This is one of the most evil things I have heard of since I heard of the fur trade nightmare. I have contacted my senators and urge everyone out there to do the same. … Thank you from the bottom of my heart for fighting to enact this bill. It has to happen. —Karen Wagner
If killing an innocent, living, breathing being, filming it and then posting it for the world to see is not obscene then all sense of human decency has left this planet. How anyone can argue to allow such vile, disgusting, evil deeds is incomprehensible and beyond unconscionable. —Mrs. Saldivar
Does this make a person wonder just how many people in America are actually enjoying this filth? This torture of animals? There should be no defense made; I don't care how you interpret the law, there is a higher law that should guide compassionate people. Some people have no conscience. —Sheila
I am deeply disturbed by all forms of animal cruelty, but this trumps all. This is clearly criminal in all senses of the word, and those involved do not deserve to be free members of a civilized society… I understand the legal system aims to protect our rights—but it is the animals who need protection here, not the depraved people torturing and killing them. —Ellen

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