Pamela's response to:
Man Buries 9 Unwanted Puppies Alive / CNN report.
The Viva Vine: vol #4, no #2: March / April 1995
CNN was playing the story round the clock. A man in Florida tried to rid himself of 9
unwanted puppies by burying them alive, it happens, in full view of their mother. That night the
chained mother whined and howled. Neighbors unchained her to see what she might lead them to,
and sure enough she raced to dig up her puppies. The dog owner is now facing cruelty charges of
up to $10,000 per count (9 puppies, $90,000) and/or a 5 year prison sentence.
The following letter was published in both NY Newsday and The NY Daily News, combined
circulation of about 1,400,000 people:
The outrage towards the man who recently buried his puppies alive is at
best ironic, and at worst hypocritical.
Every day in this country, male chicks are weeded out by the thousands. They are discarded
alive to plastic bags where they are crushed or suffocated because they are a useless by-product
of egg production.
Veal calves are virtually buried alive in darkened crates where they cannot turn around for
their entire lives. Like the puppies in the story, calves are taken from their mothers after one
or two days. For the most part, calves are simply a by-product of dairy production as the
mothers must almost incessantly be calving in order to continually give milk.
Pigs are at least as intelligent as dogs. Still, in today's factory indoor facilities where
they are raised for pork, pigs are likely to be stacked two and three decks high, each solitarily
imprisoned in a bin. Piglets are taken from their mothers, too.
Puppies, as well as parrot chicks, foals, and kittens, are not raised for food. Therefore,
cruelty toward them is against the law. If we were a culture which ate dog for dinner, there
would be no story here. A letter we recently received from the USDA plainly reminded us of the
strict dichotomy we have in our country. It stated, "The Animal Welfare Act, as passed by
Congress, excludes from coverage animals used for food or fiber."
Perhaps, to be consistent, either this "puppy-burier" should not be chastised, or we need to
end the legal cruelty in animal food production.
--Sincerely, Pamela Teisler-Rice and Alan Rice
Thanks for sharing your powerful, forceful letter to Newsday and The Daily New with
me. It was great that you were able to link the suffering of billions of farm animals with a
human interest story.
That's the most efficient way of spreading the word, having it
appear in a widely read section of the paper -- reaching millions at no cost for printing or
distribution. Hope to see more of your letters in the mainstream press!
All the very best, Henry Spira
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