It's back to the tofurkey

  As a conservation biologist, I find the subject matter and tone of the marmot-cooking essay reprehensible and unethical (HCN, 12/24/07). HCN is a nonprofit media organization whose mission is to inform and inspire people to act on behalf of the West's lands. One of the key themes underlying land-management issues in the West is our need to have reverence for life - and that means not just charismatic megafauna like the wolf, but also marmots. When I got to the description of how marmots inflate as they cook, and may even explode in your lap, I had to stop reading for a while.

In working with wildlife as a researcher, I have been taught to treat all creatures with the highest respect. Articles such as the marmot essay undo the efforts of so many to create a more sustainable world, where humans and wild animals can coexist in relative harmony.

Cristina Eisenberg
Corvallis, Oregon