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Apparently my views regarding cruel treatment of animals served to stir the passions of two contributors to this column last Sunday. Perhaps those who disagree with me feel I should offer no opinion on the matter, but it would have been cowardly for me to refuse speaking out when I perceive cruelty and unjust treatment.

When I was interviewed recently by Dan Herbeck for The Buffalo News' Lifestyle section, I responded to a question about my personal distaste for hunting as a hobby. My response then -- and remains now -- was that I could see no "sport" in, and could derive no enjoyment from, stalking an animal for the express purpose of snuffing out the only life that living creature has.

All I know is how I feel, and all I am doing is expressing my own personal repugnance for "sport" killing; for the wanton bludgeoning to death of thousands of baby seals and the sickening animal trapping techniques used in gaining materials for something as unnecessary as fur garments; for the callous cruelty involved in some types of factory farming of animals; and for that type of animal experimentation which calls for pouring caustic, blinding substances into the pried-open eyes of innocent, defenseless creatures in order to test cosmetics.

The arguments advanced by the two writers last week failed completely to convince me that the cruel excesses perpetrated against animals are justifiable.

I did not believe my remarks would change the viewpoint of anyone who already has a strongly held opinion, nor was I seeking to change anyone's eating habits. I did hope I could help nurture an awareness that animals, like people, are God's creation, and that they, too, experience pain and fear. There is no need to be cruel -- to humans or to other forms of animal life.
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