The article "Science Becomes Elementary Fun," April 6, celebrated many excellent-sounding methods of teaching science to young people. However, the article went too far when it lumped in the use of animals with the magnets, power-generating bicycle, and model of the planets being used by innovative teachers.
Having responded to a large number of complaints of cruelty to animals in classrooms across the country, I believe your readers, especially teachers, need to understand that animals are 100 percent different from inanimate objects used for teaching.
The suffering of animals in schools is so great and so hard to prevent that we are asking all who are concerned to see that animals are no longer thought of as "learning tools." David Cantor, Washington, People for the Ethical Treatmentof Animals
The article "African Elephants To Remain Protected By International Treaty," March 13, was highlighted by a very dramatic photo depicting the burning of a massive elephant tusk stockpile in the Nairobi National Park in Kenya, demonstrating Kenya's opposition to the ivory trade.
The Kenya government misleads the international public by trying to play on emotion rather than intellect.
Elephant depletion in Kenya did not result from blind capitalism, but rather from lack of monies needed to train and hire more qualified regulatory agents. These funds could be provided by sales of elephant parts on an international market.
Through a policy of selective killing, the Kenyan government would not only ensure a healthy and replenished elephant herd, but also would provide additional revenue for the state.
Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Malawi have agreed to estabish a South African Centre for Ivory Marketing (SACIM). Kenya seems out of step with other African countries.
In order to reap the benefits the elephants have to offer, Kenya officials need to reassess their stance on ivory trade and consider the economic - as well as the emotional - arguments that have been presented. J. Paul Mansell, Russellville, Ala.
The article, "Living Off the Sheep's Back," April 16, depicts an unrealistically pretty picture of the wool industry. While Australian shepherd David Bell may feel his life is "a good life to live," I question how contented his sheep really are. The lambs are taken away from their mothers after only a few months, notches are cut in their ears, their tails are cut off, and they are given chemical baths.
These practices are cruel and would hardly result in a contented animal, as the article implies. Jennifer Friedman, Eugene, Ore.