Balloons cannot float free

Instead of a “fluke accident,” the Jackson Hole Daily article titled “Foil balloons caused fire,” [Sept. 3] should have said “preventable” accident in order to reinforce that balloons, particularly Mylar balloons, should never be allowed to float free.

The inability to control where the balloons and string land can have dangerous impacts for birds and wildlife as well.

Susan Crosser, Wilson

E-bikes — or something

The Trump administration is expanding the use of electric bikes into national parks [“E-bikes green-lit in parks,” Aug. 31-Sept. 1] — or something. I don’t even know what President Trump is up to anymore. I do know everyone wants to run around screaming on issues like this, but the best reaction is NO reaction. Nothing disarms a bully faster than being ignored.

Martin Neunzert, Ogden, Utah

Cats shouldn’t trump unborn

Recently, the New York State Legislature shocked the nation and, arguably, the world, by cheering triumphantly after passing a draconian law that cleared the way for abortions to occur in that state up to when a mother goes into labor. They apparently saw this as a victory for “reproductive rights freedom.”

Shortly after that strike against the innocent unborn, the same legislative body voted to outlaw the declawing of cats, on the putative reasoning that such a procedure is cruel. This indicates something curious about the thinking processes of New York legislators. The reason for declawing cats is not to cause them pain, and certainly not to torture or kill them, but rather to mitigate the damage caused by a pet on furniture and to create a more harmonious and loving relationship. The pet gets to live a happy life. I imagine many misbehaving kitties end up in animal shelters or worse. Therefore, declawing can lead to a positive good.

How can killing an “inconvenient” child amount to a positive good? Our founding documents confirm that we have a right granted — not by government but rather by our Creator — to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The United States Constitution was not written with any intention of giving anyone the right to kill the unborn. The justices who decided Roe v. Wade had to torque the Constitution into a pretzel to come up with their penumbras and emanations.

Let us hope and pray that the Wyoming State Legislature in its upcoming session focuses its attention on more serious issues than the purported rights of domestic cats. Following the lead of a number of conservative states, may it swiftly enact a bold law that upholds the right to life of the unborn whose hearts have begun to beat.

Sheila Leach, Cody

Eating vegan aids the Amazon

The Amazon rainforest is burning at an unprecedented rate, with an 83% increase in forest fires since the same time last year. Meanwhile, vast swaths of rainforest are being razed: In July alone, more than 500 square miles were logged, an area larger than Los Angeles.

If deforestation continues at this rate, the Amazon will become a savannah, which would destroy its capacity to process carbon.

Why is land being cleared at such a rapid rate, especially in a rainforest that provides the air we need to breathe? For animal agriculture, of course. According to The World Bank, cattle ranching has fueled up to 91% of deforestation since 1970. One of the main crops grown in the rainforest is soybeans used for animal feed, and some cattle ranchers even deliberately start illegal wildfires in order to make room for more animals. But deforestation isn’t just a Brazilian problem: Eighty percent of agricultural land in the United States is used to raise animals for food or grow grain to feed them.

What we eat has a direct impact on the planet, so let’s reject the flesh and instead choose nutritious beans, grains, fruits, vegetables, tofu, nuts, seeds and other earth- and animal-friendly fare.

By enjoying tasty vegan foods, we can help save the Amazon — and countless animals, too.

Alicia Aguayo, PETA Latino, Los Angeles

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