Animals get love, abused kids get col d shoulder
- Another step backwards for the animal rights movement.
“Meat is dirty. I wouldn't touch a hot dog without a condom on it.” -Bill
(The Tonight Show With Jay Leno)
Subj: FW: Animals get love, abused kids get cold shoulder
Date: 5/25/2004 3:10:59 PM Pacific Standard Time
To: AnimalVoices@..., AnimalVoicesNews@...,
Sent from the Internet (Details)
Btw, it was kinda hard to find, but I'm getting good at this:
Letter to Editor: Web email form:
> ----------[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
> From: FeralPlace@...
> Date: Sun, 23 May 2004 14:05:22 EDT
> This article appeared on Sun-Sentinel.com. If you would like to respond to
> the author, his email is: mmayo@...
> Animals get love, abused kids get cold shoulder
> Michael Mayo
> May 23, 2004
> Tony Soprano feels more for little ducks that quack than the people he
> In a way, TV's favorite mob boss is like many of us.
> We shrug our shoulders at man's inhumanity to man. But give us a story about
> something cute and furry, or the way humans mistreat animals, and the
> floodgates open.
> And so it was last week. The South Florida Sun-Sentinel published a
> fascinating series investigating the dark side of the marine theme park industry and
> its adorable dolphins, whales and sea lions. Also in the news: the horrible
> death of 3-year-old Angel Hope Herrera, allegedly at the hands of a mother who
> spent her childhood being abused while the state was supposed to be
> protecting her.
> Do you really have to ask which got the bigger response?
> Readers by the score called and wrote about the marine mammals. Herrera's
> death didn't provoke one letter to the editor or any reader calls to the
> reporters who covered it.
> "Now I feel bad," said Ursula Landsman of Pompano Beach, who responded to
> the marine series with a heartfelt e-mail. "I didn't mean to imply that I care
> more about Lolita than kids. Š But this is a real soft spot with me."
> Sally Kestin, the investigative reporter who spent eight months on the
> marine park series, isn't surprised about the disparity. Kestin once covered
> Florida's dysfunctional child welfare system for the paper. She recalls doing
> horrific stories about abuse cases and getting a handful of calls. Two years ago,
> she did a series on dogs and cats being euthanized at animal shelters and
> got more than 500 responses.
> And then there's the reporter who did a series on homelessness and a week
> later asked the letters editor how much response it generated. Nothing. Then
> she did a story about a cat needing a home and got 38 phone calls.
> Karen Lacov, 43, of Pembroke Pines said she called to praise the marine
> series because, "It just touched a nerve."
> She is a vegan with five cats, someone who has contributed to animal rights
> groups in the past. She said this was the first time she responded to
> something in the paper.
> But why for animals and not people?
> "Because the animals can't speak for themselves," Lacov said. "If they could
> speak and had a choice, I don't think they'd want to be performing tricks
> for people. I think they'd rather be at sea, in their natural habitat."
> As for Herrera's death, she said: "That happens a lot. You see stories like
> that almost every day in the paper, so you become more desensitized to it.
> And when you read some of the background you think, `She's not really worthy of
> being a mother.'"
> It's against this backdrop that people such as Andrea Moore try to make a
> difference. She is a child welfare attorney who serves on the board of
> Florida's Children First!, a nonprofit advocacy group that fights for the rights of
> at-risk children, especially those in foster care.
> "What people tell me is that they're almost paralyzed, that they don't know
> what they can do," Moore said. "When they read things in the paper it's
> almost too overwhelming. They don't realize that a few moments of their time can
> make a big difference in some of these kids' lives."
> Things such as serving as a tutor, mentor, surrogate parent volunteer in the
> school system or as a guardian ad litem for foster children in legal
> proceedings. Things that require only a few hours a week or month.
> Moore said only 40 percent of children who need guardians ad litem in
> Broward County are covered.
> "The most important thing for some of these children is to see that someone
> outside the system cares about them," Moore said. "Somebody who treats them
> as a person and an individual, not a case."
> Saving the whales and adopting a kitty is all well and good, but doing
> something to help an at-risk child might feel even better. If you're interested in
> becoming a guardian ad litem, call Patty Walker at 954-831-6214. And then
> drop me a line, just to let me know kids have vocal supporters, too.
> Michael Mayo can be reached at mmayo@... or 954-356-4508.
> Copyright © 2004, South Florida Sun-Sentinel