By Jeff Balke
By Aaron Reiss
By Angelica Leicht
By Dianna Wray
By Aaron Reiss
By Camilo Smith
By Craig Malisow
By Jeff Balke
My husband and I are horrified at your tasteless article you wrote regarding the rodeo -- "Shocking Cruelty" it should be called. [ "Beers, Steers &...," by Richard Connelly, March 1]. The photograph of the poor calf being treated in such an unacceptable way ["Shark Attack" in HouStoned, the blog at www.houstonpress.com, February 19] is not something to make light of. We are ashamed of our fellow Americans who believe that this is entertainment and that children are raised to think that cruelty to animals is of no concern. If any of you can honestly prove that these animals do not feel pain or feel afraid, we would be happy to see your scientific proof. It has been proven countless times that farm animals are sentient beings; they feel pain and fear. In suffering, we are all the same.
What is the matter with people that they have absolutely no compassion? Shame, shame, shame on Houston. We, for one, will never again subscribe to the Houston Press. If this is the kind of shabby article on something so horrific, we will certainly not contribute to your newspaper. We have children, too, and have raised them to respect all living creatures and to show compassion, something Houston is sorely lacking. How disgraceful. We are thankful for organizations such as SHARK that work very hard to expose such cruelty.
Who said we had family values? If this blog piece is your idea of balanced reporting of the rodeo, I have to wonder just how large your pockets are to hide those rodeo officials. I wonder what percentage of those rodeo-goers call themselves true Christians. You know, those people who claim to love God yet beat up on His creations? I, for one, am an atheist. How is it that I have more respect over their God's creation than they do? Hypocrites -- every last one of them.
Animal cruelty is not a family value. It is time for Texans to start a new cruelty-free tradition.
If you'd like to redeem yours and your staff's so-called "family values," why not put your gag where your mouth is and join us at our protest. Maybe then you'll see what true Americans act like.
Playing Cowboy:Rodeo is sacrosanct in Houston, but animals pay a heavy price to satisfy people's desire to play cowboy.
Animals used in rodeo are subjected to abusive conditions in order to guarantee they'll perform as expected by the paying public. Without the use of spurs, tail-twisting and bucking straps cinched around their abdomens and groins, these frightened and often docile animals typically wouldn't even buck. The rodeo experience for animals consists of electric prods, twisted necks and being violently slammed into the ground. "Retirement" is a one-way trip to the slaughterhouse. People who care about animals would prefer the rodeo to be put out to pasture. Readers can learn more at www.BucktheRodeo.com
The truly enlightened know that if a black cat chooses to approach you or your domicile, it will ward off evil from elsewhere, thus protecting you. It is only when a black cat ignores you and walks on by, that you can expect dark days ahead. If the cat is in trouble, sick, pursued by dogs, etc., help it and your glory days are just ahead.
Case in point: Roxanne Zukertorte (Sugar Pie), who approached my glass door wall much like the cat in the photo. She mothered my sick old dog, comforted me when he died, and provided natural pest control and garden-monitoring services. Since we adopted her, my luck has most certainly changed.
Of course, if the cat belongs to your neighbor, it may well be a mooch...or just wanting to introduce you to them. And, hey, that could be lucky, too!
Editor's note: Daniel Kramer took the photograph, but it was another staffer who wrote the cutline.
Shelter in the Burbs
What was the reason he was homeless? Was he anything like me where I chose not to live at home and ran away ignorantly? Did he abuse what his caretakers gave him or bring drugs and alcohol into the home? In other words, was he a troublemaker? Or did he have something traumatic actually happen in his life which resulted in his situation, and if he said this, did you even check to see if he was lying?
All I'm trying to say is, I've known lots of people and actually grew up in suburbia, and what they say is true. Most of the time people take care of their own and each other. I've seen people in his situation. Most of the people that I've known brought it upon themselves by making bad decisions and continue making bad decisions. He obviously is doing okay; the kid is still going to school. Maybe you're making a little much of the situation in suburbia. Think about it.