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Writing to President Obama

Story ID:5214
Written by:Suzana Margaret Megles (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:various various USA
Year:2009
View Comments (8)   |   Add a Comment Add a Comment   |   Print Print   |     |   Visitors
I really think our attempts at writing open letters to anyone are probably
futile, but who knows, maybe some of us will succeed with them. So
here's my open letter to Pres. Obama:

I was among the very happy to see you become president. I thought that
here was a man of integrity and compassion. I also believed that you are
sincere and truthful. How can anyone with these virtues go wrong?

Well, maybe some of these virtues are interpreted differently by all of us.
I now wonder why I thought you were a man of compassion. In my opinion,
you have made some missteps re this virtue. Slowly, but surely, I began to
see the kinks in your compassionate "armor."

I really didn't fault you all that much when you adopted a rescued pure bred
Portuguese Water Dog. I told my friend who was beside herself with anger after
you had promised to adopt a shelter dog, that the fault really should be laid
at the First Lady's feet. I understand that she was the one who was leaning
in this direction. I told my friend - after all it was a "rescued" dog. My friend
said that I should just watch the repercussions of this decision, and she was
right. Now everyone and his uncle wants a Portuguese Water Dog. I couldn't
believe how sadly unthinking these people are - when there are so many
homeless dogs in shelters needing homes.

And then a couple of your cabinet appointees. I was saddened and disappointed
that your Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar is following a Bush-era regulation
that limits protection of the polar bear from global warming. He said that he will
not rescind the Bush rule, although Congress gave him authority to do so. What
other surprises will this appointee have for us re those of us who respect the
need to treat the animal world with kindness and compassion?

I was shocked when I heard you appointed Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius
Sec. of Health and Human Services. Maybe after reading her bio, I should
have been pleased to learn that she is a former Ohioan and daughter of former
Governor of Ohio John J. Gilligan. Well I'm not. I read that she is among the
political women who go hunting to court the outdoorsmen and women of their
electorate.

The article mentioned that statistics show that the nation's 80 million hunters,
anglers, and wildlife watchers have contributed more than $108 billion to the US
economy -70 billion alone generated from hunting and fishing. Sadly, as they say-
money talks and compassion is thrown out the window. It would seem to me that
these people are recreational hunters and fishermen - not in need to replenish
their food stores as in pioneer days or even in the Depression time of the Roosevelt
era.

And just recently the most disappointing thing about your presidency is your
own lack of concern re the suffering of calves and geese. On CARE2 was an article
stating that you and your family eat veal and foie gras. Surely, you must be aware
of the terrible suffering these two foods cause to the animals.

I'll never forget reading in the 70's or 80's about how little boy calves are
wrenched from their mothers at birth and put into crates which allow them
absolutely no room to turn around. That alone should make anyone of compassion
decide that veal will no longer be part of their meal. But there is more - the
mothers feel the absence of their calves and I read that a farmer was once told
by his neighbor that he heard the calf crying at night. No, said the farmer - it
was the mother- crying for her calf. Why can't we feel for the animal condition?
Look into their eyes and tell me you do not see their souls.

At this time I wrote a letter to a veal producer re this cruelty. I have a response
from one of the owners which shook me to the core. Basically, he told me that if
I was so concerned about the calves then I should send money to this company in
their behalf. (Put my money where my mouth is.) Really, it does sound incredulous-
doesn't it? I do have that letter some place. For me, it represents classic hard-
heartedness of this farm corporation.

And then eating foie gras in France or even Chicago where one compassionate
legislator was able to get passed a ban on it in the restaurants for a time. But
I believe the uncaring Mayor was instrumental in having it rescinded.

I wish that your family would visit a foie gras farm where the geese have a tube
(powered by electricity) inserted into their gullets 4 times a day with grain. Talk
about being full - this is no happy meal-taking for them.

I have been loathe to criticize you before because I believe that you were beset
with so many problems and was working so hard to find solutions, but now I
cannot remain silent in view of your seeming lack of compassion for animals.
I felt that your Humane Scoreboard record put out by HSUS was commendable.
I dared hope that you would be a president who had compassion for animals.
Sadly, as someone once told me - there are no compassionate presidents. I
hope he is wrong.

Even though I am no longer a PETA member because of some of their
controversial stances - I do applaud them for whatever good they get
accomplished for the animals. Yes, I felt that fly-swatting incident was ludicrous,
but then realize none of us individually or in concert with others are perfect.

And so too, neither you as president or I as a citizen is perfect. But I hope we
will learn from our mistakes. I hope you will recognize that animals are part
of God's creation and deserve to be treated humanely and compassionately.
So far, I don't believe you are measuring up in this regard as I would have hoped.

However, I do believe that you are trying very hard to put the nation back on
course and are very concerned with the needs of people who are suffering
misfortune. One day I hope that I can say this of you re the animal condition
too. I always pray for the president in office, so you can be assured that I will
pray for you as well. God bless.