Pets Are Not ThrowawaysThis is in response to the letter...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

September 26, 1993

Pets Are Not Throwaways

This is in response to the letter written by Halaine Steinberg that was printed Sept. 12. As a devoted animal lover, especially of dogs, I was appalled at the references made to pets, in particular puppies.

A dog, like a child, should not be adopted as a surrogate sibling or playmate. Nor should the animal be treated as just a "learning experience" to be disposed of once school starts or the "cute" puppy stage is over. Many unwanted puppies are born every year because some idiot thought that it would be a great learning experience for the child. I don't see them as anxious to continue that learning process when all the pups don't get homes and are taken to the animal shelter.

A dog is a commitment and adopting a dog should carry as much weight as adopting a child. Puppies need lots of love and attention if they are to grow up and be well-behaved, sociable dogs. To discard a puppy after weeks and months in a home just because the novelty wears off or because a little training is in order is one of the cruelest acts that can be committed. Unlike a child, all the dog knows is that one day he was loved and the next day he was abandoned.

The throw-away attitude that is rampant in this society must cease. How can anyone teach humanity when life has so little meaning? If one can "fall out of love" with a once-treasured pet what does the life of a stranger mean?

It has been proven time and again that children who grow up with animals have better communication skills and respect others. Children who have no respect for animals of ten are sociopathic and can even become threats to others in the community. An animal can only teach its lessons if left in the home, and not willfully abandoned to be replaced like the pair of shoes that he might have chewed.

Michele M. Sanders

Westminster

The writer is president of the Central Maryland Mixed Breed Association.

NAFTA

In reading your supporting editorials for the NAFTA trade treaty, I am of the opinion that they are lacking. Mere assertion and generalities that the agreement will be good for us just does not work for many of us, for simple logic does not support it.

Why would I, as an entrepreneur, not move my business to Mexico or elsewhere in search of much cheaper labor? You should suggest more precisely why I should not do so.

This issue seems to be the crux of the matter (aside from environmental concerns, etc.), and it is where the apprehension of the American public is most evident.

And please spare us notions about how free trade and/or the free market place would be good for us in general. The idea of a free market exists only in the minds of college economic professors or professional economists; the actuality appears different. Where in the world is there a significant commodity that is unaffected by some form of government or cartel intervention (oil? agriculture? metals? computer chips?). Would such intervention change with a NAFTA agreement? I do not, at present, think so.

The agreement seems to be crafted for the benefit of the financial sectors of the economy (banks and investors) and not the productive side of it. In the modern economic world, capital can move around the world freely, but can labor?

An alternative approach to our trade with Mexico (and others) might be that we equalize our tariff arrangements (which appear weighted heavily in Mexico's favor) and negotiate them downward.

In any case, as a newspaper you could do much more to inform or educate us with more information and analysis on this issue as well as trying to persuade us. I have seen very little to counter Ross Perot's "sucking sound" imagery other than simple assertions that the treaty would be good for us in the long run. I am on the fence with this treaty as, I suspect, are a good many others.

George T. Bachmann

Westminster

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