Viewpoint - October 28, 2009

Reader miffed, columnist responds


I have been a reader of The Almanac for decades but an article in your last week's issue is the first time I have been prompted to write.

Your continuing coverage of the Woodside Goat Hill saga has been enjoyable to read and seems to reflect what I have come to consider the pastoral sentiment of The Almanac which includes affection and compassion for both the land and animals of our region.

It was therefore with considerable distress that I read Barbara Wood's Dispatches column about her chicken coop. Obviously copying the current vogue for pet chickens, she writes proudly about her care for her flock and in the same light tone describes with amusement and satisfaction a friend's attempt to kill a coyote by running him over with his/her car!

I found the tale repugnant, her moral hypocrisy disgusting and hope that her nameless "friend" is identified and charged.

If The Almanac sanctions articles of this kind which promote the killing of non-domestic animals in their natural habitat this is not a publication I want to continue receiving.

Janice Ross


Barbara Wood responds...

As a vegetarian, I actually do not sanction the killing of any animal, domestic or non-domestic.

I'm not sure what angers Ms. Ross about my hens, but in the eight years I have had them I have derived great pleasure from their company. Despite the fact that several of them are too old to produce eggs, I heartily encourage the "vogue for pet chickens" if such does exist.

And I do wish I could control the actions of others: I'd force them to all walk or carpool in a Prius, give up meat and bottled water, grow as much of their own food as possible and do volunteer work for 20 hours a week. Alas, I can only control my own actions, and sometimes my friends do not behave themselves!


Posted by R Reed, a resident of Woodside High School
on Oct 29, 2009 at 8:32 am

Some personal opinion:

While I may aspire to live a life in communion with all things, I also find life to be at times, messy and chaotic. I believe Ms. Wood's writing reflects some this chaos and maybe even celebrates it.

Indeed, my own actions are the only ones I can control. And I don't even do that very well at times, just ask my wife.

We love your writing, Barbara!

Posted by reading comprehension, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Oct 29, 2009 at 8:48 am

Apparently both Barbara Wood and her fan miss the point that the letter complained about the callous killing of coyotes and had nothing to do whatsoever with chickens.

Posted by R.GORDON, a resident of another community
on Oct 30, 2009 at 12:07 pm

R.GORDON is a registered user.

I agree with "reading comprehension's" post completely.
Also, it is remarkable how the particular coyote was recognized or spotted by whoever reported its condition.
Was the injured animal tagged, have a number on it's side or chicken feathers in its mouth or fur?

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.