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Non-natives deserve to live, too

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I would like to respond to Liz Ellis’s letter regarding her position on the cowardly and now infamous "Burns Amendment" (HCN, 5/2/05: Wild horses harm ecosystems). The Burns ploy has nothing to do with flora and fauna. It has everything to do with killing off (literally) the grazing competition, providing further impetus to the horse-slaughterhouses of the great state of Texas (where else?) and a fast buck for entrepreneurs all too willing to meet the strange culinary tastes of the French and Japanese. And, of course, you can’t forget the bunchers and killer buyers who make their pathetic living at the horse auctions. It’s all about dollars.

Ms. Ellis prefers desert flora and fauna to sentient creatures that are too dumb to realize they’re non-native. I wish she’d visit one of the slaughterhouses to which she’s verbally consigned the creatures doomed by the nefarious Burns amendment. Perhaps she can console the animals as they’re reeling from the bolts being driven repeatedly into their heads. Perhaps she can assure them that "It’s okay. You won’t feel as much. You’re non-native. And in the long run, you’ll be doing something truly magnanimous and with far-reaching implications for the flora and fauna upon which you formerly used to step and overgraze."

It all reminds me of a line from "Crucifixion," a great song by Phil Ochs: "So good to be alive when the eulogies are read."

Harry C. Koenig
Pueblo, Colorado

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