SMITH’S OPINION

The mistreatment of cows

Editor:

Most people have heard that JBS Tolleson – one of the nation’s largest meat producers – recently expanded its meat recall, which now includes more than 12 million pounds of ground beef and other raw beef products, because it may be contaminated with salmonella bacteria. Relatively few people, however, have thought about all the cows that were killed to make this meat. We mustn’t overlook their needless deaths.

When cows are very young, they’re branded with hot irons, their horns are cut or burned off, and males are castrated – all without painkillers. At the slaughterhouse, cows are hung upside down, their throats are slit, and they are skinned and gutted. Some remain conscious through the entire process.

It’s no wonder these gentle giants go to great lengths to escape from slaughterhouses. They value their lives, just as you and I value ours.

The Food and Drug Administration is warning people to throw the potentially contaminated beef away or return it to the place of purchase. That’s good advice, but if you really want to live healthy and stop animal suffering, try going vegan. For more information and a free vegan starter kit, see PETA.org.

Heather Moore The PETA Foundation

Norfolk, Virginia

You’re a part of your pet like they’re a part of you

Editor:

It is often said that you can judge the morality of a society by the way it treats animals. Perhaps more important is you can judge the heart of your fellow citizen or yourself by how you take care of our furry friends. For those of us who have welcomed a cat or dog into our home, here is something to consider as absolute truth. You’re a part of your pet like they’re a part of you.

I share this perspective with you, dear reader, because on the morning of December 3 I lost one of the most important things in my life. Perhaps I already knew the loss was imminent, but that makes the loss no less brutal. Looking back just a few days earlier I cried like a wailing and flailing baby for what felt like eternity believing the end was in fact near. And it certainly wasn’t simply a “thing” that faced an ending.

Enter Toby. A sweet black cat more affectionately called BooBoo. BooBoo carried himself with both confidence and humility. Beautiful green eyes. Sleek and bold white whiskers. A shiny coat peppered with some grey hair to boot. BooBoo enjoyed his jaguar-type claws and would mostly keep them in check. However, if he got tired of you messing with him he would no doubt leave his mark on you! Never with malice, though. Always with multiple warnings. So quick. BooBoo had the heart of a hundred cats.

Again, you’re a part of your pet like they’re a part of you. When you come home, you expect them to be there. There’s serenity in knowing they’re waiting for you, too. I will miss looking to my left while watching television on the couch and seeing BooBoo on his tall, beige cat condo eyeballing me as if to say, “I’m coming, Daddy!” BooBoo always nudged himself into my lap and would just relax in peace and smile and purr. Seemingly he would do this in 30 minute-plus intervals, so I learned while up to bring an extra drink to the couch so as not to disturb him. Endless words describe BooBoo, but the key ones are: Lap cat. My first. And the best. Forever.

BooBoo’s human mother, also my better half, used to bottle feed him when he was just weeks old. At over fourteen years old, BooBoo was so blessed with a large human family and also a huge cat family. Four outdoor cats would always stare at him during his ups and downs through the French doors. Three more cats inside, his calico cat momma, Cali, sister Bella (also black) and his orange brother, Cooper. BooBoo’s human mother would often jokingly say it’s like we have our very own cat zoo and could charge admission for all the goings on!

Before cancer got the best of BooBoo, one of his favorite things to do besides rub up against his brother, Cooper, was to play a game called “pinky” with his sister, Bella. Here’s how it went. BooBoo would be getting ready to get on the couch and would hear Bella meowing upstairs. At the same time she has a long, pink feather toy in her mouth.  BooBoo would get all alert and off he went! Minutes later, Bella comes downstairs with nothing in her mouth. What’s that noise now? It’s Boo, who is the one meowing while at the same bounding into the living room with his beloved toy, pinky. Moments like these are indeed the good stuff. Real. Pure. Everlasting.

You’re a part of your pet like they’re a part of you. You love them so hard with every fiber in your being that you easily forget you are going to hurt that much harder when they’re physically gone. A blinding love. A blinding hurt. Mark R. Levin, author of Rescuing Sprite: A Dog Lover’s Story of Joy and Anguish, has said that in losing your pet, pain is the price we pay for love. So true. Millions and millions of hours of unconditional love, of seeing them rejoice in your return; years of this and much more carries a price tag. When they pass, the bill is due and you must pay it. The only currency accepted is your heart and soul.

It’s late, and I’m sitting on the worn, brown couch alone enjoying an adult beverage after another long day of work. The couch feels incredibly cold and empty. The political talking heads on cable television and also the updated sports scores are not making time move more quickly. But wait a minute. Suddenly, my spirits shift. Yes. I look to the left and I see sweet BooBoo climb down the tall, beige cat condo. He wants his Daddy. I want him. Smiles galore with BooBoo nudged peacefully in my lap. Cancer may have physically removed BooBoo from this cynical world, but trust me, he will forever stay purposefully in my heart and soul. And, of course, on my lap. I love you, BooBoo.

Tony Zizza Avondale

Thoughts on the paper

Editor:

Thank you, West Valley View. We find the content informative and we became more aware of local events.

We look forward to reading David Leibowitz’s column – give him our regards.

Paul Lohse Goodyear

Tyranny

Editor and Roy Azzarello:

I am with you, Roy Azzarello. This politically correct “blank blank” has gotten out of hand due to the ACLU. They need to back off on a lot of issues. NFL? What’s that? They are just a bunch of overpaid actors who mean nothing to me and, it seems like, to you either. Too bad more people don’t feel like that. Well, maybe they do but don’t speak up about it. Say what you mean, people, and don’t be afraid of hurting some little sissy’s feelings. So, in closing I will say Merry Christmas to all. Oh, I’m so sorry if I hurt your feelings.

Dennis Batterman Buckeye