Mail Call

Rodeo Cruelty

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, 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.



Melanie Blake

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.

Danielle Seger

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

Jennifer O'Connor
Animals in Entertainment Campaign Writer
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
Norfolk, VA

Speaking of Animals

Signs of the cat: Daniel Kramer's musings in his recent photo caption in Bayousphere [March 8] are misleading and incorrect, at best.

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!

Kathy Zak
Sugar Land

Editor's note: Daniel Kramer took the photograph, but it was another staffer who wrote the cutline.

Shelter in the Burbs

Whose fault? I read the letter about this kid and some of the other stories ["Homeless in Suburbia," by Todd Spivak, February 22, "Letters" March 8], and I just have something to ask you.

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.

Anthony Wilson

And from our online readers:

Food on the Move

Taco tales: I think it is really cool that this turned into a feature ["Las Fabulosas Taco Trucks" by Robb Walsh, March 15] in the Press. Taco trucks are some of the most interesting food in Houston and any of them could have made a mint if they followed the Dead in the early '90s. I've been eating at Jarro since they were in a liquor store parking lot (three taco trucks ago), love chicken from a bus (pollo el norteo) and love the whole kimchi taco feel of the Long Point/Gessner area. Good stuff.

Comment by Jason
March 15, 2007 @ 9:42 a.m.

Broad but Not That Broad

In the March 16 Hair Balls, we reported that HISD spokesman Terry Abbott moonlights for the Broad Foundation. Abbott moonlights for the Broad Center, not the Broad Foundation. Although the Broad Foundation funds the Broad Center, the two organizations are separate.

The Press regrets its error.


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