Published February 16, 2005
Animal law should not be a high priority
To the Daily:
Jaime Olin’s viewpoint (Animal rights in perspective, 02/15/2005) filled me with a feeling somewhere in between nausea and despair. There may be a “conclusive link” between animal and human abuse, but how does this relate to animal law? Do we want our 911 lines clogged with calls along the lines of: “And then he threatened to kick my little Poofykins! Can you believe it?” I frankly think our law enforcement officials have more important issues to deal with. I will concede that if “almost all serial murderers and perpetrators of school shootings have brutal acts toward animals in their childhood histories,” possibly something can be gained by paying more attention to animal abuse.
Still, I can’t seem to make the jump from the premise that childhood pet dog (or iguana) abuse leads to serial killings to the conclusion that animal law “touches all aspects of life.” I mean, there are starving people out there. There are people without places to stay or anyone to rely on. Sorry to get all serious, but there are issues in the world more pressing and important than animal law. If a building were burning and I had the choice to save either a dog or a person, I would save the person at least nine times out of 10.
However, I do agree with Jamie that there does indeed need to be a “cohesive body of law” about animals. In fact, I would like to advocate the death penalty for anyone who sends his pet to a pretentious “pet spa” for a pedicure and massage. Come on, people! It’s an animal!
All we are saying is give PIRGIM a chance
To the Daily:
I was encouraged to see the Daily endorse the bid to give Students for Public Interest Research Group in Michigan a chance to show the University community what they can do (A welcome addition, 02/14/2005). PIRGIM has a reputation for advocacy in the public interest and Students for PIRGIM are focused on perhaps the most widely encountered and problematic experience in student life — off-campus housing. The student body could benefit now and in years to come from a strong Students for PIRGIM, and I hope that the University community will rally behind its ideas and organization.
Why is it that landlords approached students in the fall of 2004, just after moving in, to sign new leases for the 2005-06 school year — almost a year away? Why is it that every year hundreds and maybe thousands of students are unfairly denied the return of their security deposits or are stuck in leases for unsanitary, unsafe or not properly maintained rentals? Students for PIRGIM is committed to asking these questions and pushing for changes that can benefit the student body. I encourage everybody to support its campaign.
The letter writer is a Washtenaw County Commissioner for the 11th district