I was appalled to see an article about — and credibility given to — a tiny group of people who claim they want to legally have sex with animals ("Animal Instincts," Thomas Francis, August 20)! Worse, they are trying to legitimize their cause by latching onto the gay marriage issue. Same-sex marriage is about two adult humans in a consensual relationship who are granted all the legal rights anyone else would attain. These "zoophiles" are not in the same ballpark. Any time a person forces sex on an animal, a child, or someone who is mentally challenged, it is abuse, plain and simple. Animals, children, and the mentally challenged are not capable of making such decisions; that's why they cannot legally enter into contracts.
I applaud Nan Rich of Broward for proposing a bill making bestiality a felony in Florida; unfortunately, it failed in the House. I am hoping it will pass in the upcoming session.
I would like to thank you for your article; it's being passed around in our gathering places and via IM, and people are really excited about it. I don't believe that it heralds in a new era of tolerance, as some are claiming, but it's certainly giving us hope. For all of us who have animal partners, our greatest fear is that we will be outed to the authorities and have our animals taken and killed. We spend so much time and effort making their lives safe and happy, and yet the very love that compels us to do everything we can for them is the same that could cause them to be destroyed. It's a horrible Catch-22 to be in. There is no safe way for us to be vocal about it, with that threat hanging over our heads.
I've been actively zoo online for the past 12 years and with an animal companion for the past six. Also, you may find that the female zoo perspective is somewhat scarce; in my experience, we make up only about 20 percent of the population of zoos online. I would be delighted to offer any information I can, in gratitude for the extraordinary sensitivity you displayed in your piece.
Name withheld by request
Dogwood Acres, North Carolina
This latest issue of yours takes the cake. Although the writer Thomas Francis did a great job of explaining what zoophilia is, your choice of pictures for the cover went beyond disgusting. The inside photo of a man with his so called "bride" would have been more acceptable.
The sad thing is, you have good investigative writers. [But] your paper is hurting itself by stooping so low with a cover showing a mature man French-kissing a dog.
Name withheld by request
Down With the JBs
Very good and fair descriptions from a nonfan, for the most part ("Concert Review: The Jonas Brothers at BankAtlantic Center, August 19," Deirdra Funcheon, Blogs.BrowardPalmBeach.com/CrossFade). [But] your mention of a Bayer aspirin commercial was just insulting — the advertisement you speak of is for the Bayer Diabetes testing equipment Nick uses and directly relates to his story at that point in the concert. Of course the "ring" is the purity ring. "Fly With Me" is not "sappy" — it's the "credits song" from the movie Night at the Museum 2. You did get the "Joe is the hottest" part right, but then again, a blind woman could tell that! BTW, in case you are wondering: I'm a 50-year-old woman, married 25 years this month, with three kids (none of whom are JB fans in the least). Their music makes me happy and brightens my days.
Octavia V. Caputo
Nesconset, New York
Thank you for "Shattered by the System" (Gail Shepherd, August 13). As if Eric Brody's accident and all he and his family has been through weren't bad enough, it is unfortunate that these insurance companies spend so much time and money fighting the very claims they are supposed to pay. This is the whole purpose of insurance, isn't it? My son recently had a similar accident, and the parents of the driver are physicians; does this mean we will have to fight a similar battle? God help us!
I enjoy your columns (Night Watch, Tara Nieuwesteeg) and have visited several bars (the Lodge and Nippers come immediately to mind) after reading your reviews. Ya just never know what's going to happen around here when you leave home. Keep up the good work.