COUNTY CAT TAX
Let’s call it what it is – a tax on people who own cats. The Sangamon County Board needs money for its budget and this is the way they plan to get it. The requirement to register a cat and have it inoculated each year for rabies is ridiculous. For statistics on rabies, I had to go to the Illinois Department of Public Health. Their records run from 1990 to 2011. Within that time period for the whole state of Illinois, there were four incidents of cats with rabies, with the last one being in 1996. During the same time period, there were six incidents, in the state, of dogs with rabies ending in 1994. The interesting thing is that there were no incidents of rabies found in raccoons during that period of time. In 2010, they found 117 bats with rabies and only 32 cases for this year.
Considering the size of Illinois, I don’t see this as an impending risk as the county board portrayed it. It would be a shame to have an indoor cat subjected to yearly vaccinations when they never go out even to be walked like dogs. They stay in their own homes minding their own business and are now under attack. The only cats that might contract rabies (as unlikely as that is) are mostly feral cats and outside cats that no one will claim or inoculate. Cats aren’t walked into the vet on a leash like a dog. They are carried in a carrier. For senior citizens, people with health problems, or disabled people, it is a hardship to have to make an extra trip to the vet for an unnecessary inoculation.
Contact your county board member. The vote was 23 to 0 and I don’t know who didn’t vote. Maybe some letters to them showing your dissatisfaction might make them rethink their decision.
NOT SO SUPERNOVA
Thanks for being one of the few publications that got it right about the lack of visibility of the supernova [see “No supernova, but the star party goes on,” by Matt Schroyer, Sept. 8]. This whole “see with binoculars” hoopla is from people who don’t understand the moon. The supernova was discovered during the new moon or close to it. I saw it three days later with my 12-inch telescope in a national park under dark skies. I saw it again last Saturday and it outshone the rest of the galaxy. Tonight the moonlight was very bright and though I may have seen it, I wasn’t sure which blob of light it was.
Christopher James Foote
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the tragic 9/11 attacks. As you watch the memorial tributes and the news reports about wars in Afghanistan, uprisings in Libya, suicide bombings in Pakistan, and other hostilities around the globe, you may wonder what it will take to stop all the senseless violence in the world.
People often feel powerless in the face of so much bloodshed and discrimination, but each one of us has the power to end the pain and suffering that we’re personally responsible for. Every time we sit down to eat we have a choice – if we opt for humane vegan foods instead of meat, eggs and dairy products, a little less blood will be shed. Eating a veggie burger or a faux chicken sandwich instead of a hamburger or chicken flesh won’t instantly create global peace, but it will reduce the sum total of suffering and help us to realize that we can all make a difference in the world.
Let’s all give peas a chance – peace, too. For free vegan recipes and product suggestions, see www.PETA.org.
BARREL HEAD EMPLOYEES
Being close to this situation, I would like to point out to everyone that this has affected more than just Kevin Davlin [see “Barrel Head closes,” by Bruce Rushton, Sept. 8]. It has taken a toll on all of the people who worked at the Barrel Head, who were employed one minute and then unemployed the next, without proper warning. They never got their last paychecks. This won’t be the last we hear about this, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we don’t see a major reaction from the ex-employees of the Barrel Head.