Readers offered praise for Noah Williams, the second grader whose essay about why animals should not be called things was published in the The Hartford Courant.
Oh, out of the mouths of babes! Noah is a wise little boy. I hope his compassion is contagious. —Shannon K.
My son is still in that time of real innocence and interest in the world around him. He has started to notice that certain things are "meat." Like today, he asked me: "Was pepperoni an animal?" I’m trying my best to foster his instincts to nurture. I refuse to allow him to be desensitized; quite frankly I think that when a child loses their natural ability to love and feel for nature it has many repercussions in our society. —Lisa J.
God Bless Noah Williams! What a great essay! Thank you Noah! I hope you continue to reach out to people with your insight, thoughtfulness and kindness. —Patricia Caple
In response to Wayne’s Newsweek column, readers also shared details of their own path toward animal protection. Among the comments we received:
I just finished reading Wayne Pacelle’s essay in the current issue of Newsweek and I am proud to be a member of an organization with such an enlightened, capable and caring man at the helm. I have always felt the kinship Wayne describes with animals and still remember with horror the first act of animal cruelty that I witnessed 30 years ago by a classmate. The good news is that the tide is turning and we are making progress. Thank you Wayne for all you do to help the animals. You are one of my heroes! —Geri Gilmore
Wayne, having just read your Newsweek column, I am again reminded why, though I contribute to a number of animal issue organizations, The HSUS remains the bedrock of my source of inspiration and information. I especially appreciate and enjoy reading your blog daily. In your pigeon shoot description, your observation of this traditional event reflecting less about an animal cruelty event and more about our own nature—that animal cruelty is really about people—was especially insightful. This perspective is easy to lose sight of. Last Thanksgiving I deep-fried two free roam turkeys for my family reunion. Although I grew up on a farm in rural Alabama, I was just beginning to rediscover (I might add painfully rediscover) the state of our farm animals today. In 2007, my first year as a vegetarian, the deep fryer will remain silent and abandoned, a relic of the past. I will celebrate this year by truly giving thanks for our wonderful animals but most of all I will give thanks for the effort of people like yourself that have given us the priceless gift of new perspective, a new vision of ourselves and our animal friends. Thank you. —Bill Campbell