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Stopping the slaughter

Re: Chuckwagon races must go (July 14). I agree with the sentiment voiced by the growing number of animal advocates that there is an ethical question about using animals for entertainment. With respect to horses, there is the added concern. Once horses' uses are done and they are shipped out to auction, more than 50 per cent go to slaughter after being bought by kill buyers.

Having said that, horses are brought to slaughter in every possible condition -- old, young, sick, healthy, injured, and even pregnant. But Stampede enthusiasts should be aware that by paying their money to see these horses entertain us only supplies these slaughterhouses with more animal carcasses to send overseas.

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Canada's horse-slaughter industry is among the largest in the world. More than 93,000 animals were slaughtered in 2009 alone. This is a shameful betrayal of our loyal companions.




It is unfortunate and alarming that three horses died. But everything, including breathing, has risks. Last week, nine mountain climbers were accidentally killed in the French Alps due to an avalanche. Transport Canada's most recent statistics (2008) states 2,419 people died on our highways as a result of motor vehicle accidents.

The Canadian Institute for Health Information tells us more than 5,600 Canadians are seriously injured or die every year from winter activities (hockey, skiing, snowmobiling, etc.). Is the solution to prevent death and injury to ban mountain climbing, driving motor vehicles and winter activities? I don't think so.

Accidents happen all the time and are a part of the world we live in. To suggest a halt to chuckwagon races is simply hyperbole.




Furthering discrimination

I hope that readers of the July 14 article Risky lifestyle links 28 victims also read Colleen Simard's column While we wait for an inquiry in the same edition.

That's because the news article needs a corrective. Simard states: "People tune out when they hear about the 'problem' of missing women because we've given victims this stigmatized label of sex-trade workers."

I couldn't agree more. The risky-lifestyle article contributes to the tuning out and further discriminates against people already victimized.




Dangling a reputation

In Gordon Sinclair's otherwise persuasive piece Crime, time and closed minds (July 14), I was somewhat alarmed about the apparently fragile states of mind of some in our judiciary after I read this: "Five months later, after being medicated back to reality and coaxed out of a suicidal state, a judge, guided by the new law, found her not criminally responsible."

It was only after rereading the piece that I realized that perhaps Sinclair intended to write that it was not the judge, but Donna Trueman who had been "medicated back to reality," etc.

Sinclair's argument is compelling and compassionate, and I am in agreement with him: Trueman should not have been permanently incarcerated, and it is surely a good thing that she is now living a productive life in society.

But it would have been much better for readers of the Free Press, the reputations of our judges, fans of Sinclair's columns, and the English language if someone had done a little elementary proofreading.




A simple requirement

It's too bad that Chelsea Carmona was unable to find the help she needed to address her drug problem (Why do rehab programs insist young members call themselves addicts or alcoholics?, July 24). It's also too bad that she did not receive correct information about Alcoholics Anonymous and Al-Anon.

According to AA literature, the only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. So, clearly, AA is a recovery program for alcoholics. In Al-Anon the only requirement for membership is that there be a problem of alcoholism in a relative or friend.

From the article, it seems the treatment program Carmona attended used many elements of these 12-step programs, which they are free to do. However, AA and Al-Anon are not affiliated with any outside organizations, including treatment facilities -- either for-profit organizations or government-funded agencies.




Copying still costs

Your July 12 article Supreme Court reins in copyright fees on music, videos, printed matter suggests that all copying in schools and post-secondary institutions in Canada is now free. This could not be further from the truth.

The fact is the Supreme Court was only looking at about seven per cent of the copying done in K-12 schools. The decision absolutely does not mean a free-for-all on copyright-protected materials used in the classroom. On the contrary, it leaves copyright licensing in the education sector alive and well.

The education sector copies the equivalent of three million books a year. The question before the Supreme Court dealt with the small portion of copying that is done for private study and research in elementary and secondary schools, when the teacher gave instructions to read the material. The vast majority of copying by K-12 schools is unaffected by the decision.

The court did not clarify if these uses were fair. That's why it referred the case back to the copyright board. The board will decide whether the ruling changes its impression that the dealing was unfair.


Access Copyright



A sandwich tip

Please tell letter writer Alf Brooks (Bad luck for eaters, July 13) that The Nook has an even better clubhouse sandwich than the Wagon Wheel's. It is located at Sherbrook and Wolseley.


Oak Bluff


Nostalgia harmful to city

I cannot help but notice a strange sense of nostalgia present in Winnipeg. This sense is strange because it usually surfaces every time an old, out-of-use building is set for demolition or modification.

It happened with Eaton's downtown and more recently it has occurred around the closure of the Wagon Wheel restaurant and the expansion of the Shoppers Drug Mart in Osborne Village.

I have nothing against fond memories, but PR puff pieces and vague sentimentality become irritating, especially when they provide little in the way of pragmatic, monetary alternatives.

Dutch philosopher Baruch Spinoza once said that "the wish of all things is to continue to be what they are," and in Winnipeg, it seems, this wish has become ingrown.




Some of us are nice

I'm one of several Ron Friesens in Winnipeg whose names have been unfairly tarnished because of that mean-spirited July 13 letter, Dubious excuses, by our namesake.

I just want to assure Free Press readers we're not all like that.



Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 17, 2012 A7


Updated on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 3:02 PM CDT: corrects headline, adds links

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