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I would like to thank those people, critics included, who wrote in response to my views regarding cruel treatment of animals. Their letters helped bring this issue into sharper focus.

Several writers who challenged what they perceive as inconsistencies in my position neglected to read my statements accurately. Simply stated, I oppose all unnecessary exploitation of animals. When necessary usages are involved, I believe the most humane practices possible should be utilized.

Avid hunters exercise their rights to speak out. I, too, am entitled to respond honestly to a direct question about why I do not like to hunt.

One writer compared football "violence" to hunting. I acknowledge that football is a tough, keenly competitive game played with hardness, intensity and tenacity. Men who play the game, however, have chosen freely to participate. I'll bet a hunted animal would like to have that choice.

When a "football hero" steps onto the field against an equally prepared and protected opponent, he might say, "Let's win this game!" I, personally, would feel rather unheroic going out with a gun and saying, "Let's kill an animal!"

Animals are a source of food for most people. Many unavoidable animal deaths occur also. Would those who cite these facts as reasons to shrug off caring about unnecessary killing and mistreatment of animals justify mistreating humans since so many die anyway in automobile accidents?

I ask the doctor from Snyder who felt so good about hunting associations supporting habitat projects for the benefit of wild creatures, if the motivation is truly to benefit these animals, or is it to provide a place hunters can go in order to kill these "benefited" creatures. Why not just support the habitat project -- period?

Finally I would rather be criticized for objecting to cruel treatment of animals than give those who become uneasy about calls for humane treatment reason to applaud my views.
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