LETTERS : We can oppose cruelty to animals and people

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The Independent Online
UNLESS you are employing a most subtle irony, your editorial "An `ism' for all eternity" (22 January) was astonishingly insensitive. You seem to believe that while human beings are suffering in the world, any attention to animal cruelty is invali d. Thisis not only arrogant but also ethically absurd.

One cannot (and should not) erect emotional boundaries so that only certain types of suffering stimulate our compassion. There must be room for resistance to all aspects of abuse on this planet. Concentrating at a particular time on a subject which we may actually be in a position to influence does not require the negation or neglect of wider issues.

Animals, as you point out, are unable to choose their fate, which is in our hands, and for this reason they deserve particular protection.

The movement away from "the use of animals for fur and cosmetics" was initiated by "violent" and therefore visible protest, which ensured the relevant information reached a public otherwise left ignorant by an indifferent media.

M R Guillon Moorgreen, Nottinghamshire