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I don't even know what to say. I guess some people just love to *****.

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Cindy Greenlaw Benton: Dead animals make bad art

Published Nov. 16, 2002 CBCP16

There are people who are disheartened to see dead, mutilated, bloody bodies of animals -- whether on the road, at the veterinarian's office or in a full-color spread on the pages of our local newspaper.

I'm one of these people.

At dismayingly frequent intervals, the Star Tribune prints graphic photos of dismembered, dead or bleeding animals on its Outdoors pages.

On Oct. 6, a very prominent full-page story on the back page of the sports section featured bloody photos of deer-butchering procedures.

In its Oct. 9 edition, the Star Tribune carried a color photo of dead pheasants on the front page of the sports section.

These are only some of the more recent examples of such gory pictures. Over the course of the year, Star Tribune readers are treated to pictures of a wide variety of fish, fowl and mammal corpses.

Now that hunting season is underway, I sadly anticipate more such features.

I suppose it's not too surprising that these graphic photos are such a regular feature in your paper. A Star Tribune columnist, Dennis Anderson, wrote an appreciative Oct. 4 article on the virtues of elephant hunting under the headline, "Legal hunting methods don't threaten elephants."

If nothing else, that certainly was a novel opinion that you just don't hear that much anymore.

Putting aside for the moment the issue of whether killing animals for pleasure is rightfully categorized as "sport," I think it is fair to acknowledge that printing such photos is almost guaranteed -- at a minimum -- to disgust and appall a number of readers.

By now, certainly no one will be surprised to hear that I am opposed to hunting.

However, I don't think that devalues my concern about the gruesome photos carried in the paper.

Do I expect that people will stop killing wild animals and birds? Not really.

As a pragmatist, I don't anticipate that the Star Tribune will even stop printing pictures that I would refer to as "hunting pornography."

Realistically, thrill hunting is unlikely to disappear anytime soon.

However, it's reasonable to request that consideration be given to including a notice on the front page of the sports section when such graphic, bloody pictures are contained within the section.

I'd like to ask the Star Tribune to be much more sensitive in regard to its hunting coverage; indeed, I'd like hunting to be out of the paper altogether, but I just can't see that happening.

Perhaps there are those who feel that readers can bypass the sports section if these pictures disturb them.

But why should anyone have to forgo the entire sports section to avoid the photos that are simply inappropriate and disgusting for the general newspaper reader?
 

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I hope this person doesn't have a TV. What if she turned to the National news and saw the real devestation and the blood of people due to war or terrorism, or the starving. What does she do in the grocery store when she has to walk by the meat section. Does she know how that meat got there? There are far worse things in this world than a hunter showing pride and respect for an animal he or she has out smarted.
 

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You mean there's death going on in the world; oh my! This person will probably write the discovery channel next.

For a moment, I laugh. But sad enough, these people will be breathing down everyones necks down the road. I hope some people reply to that editorial.
 
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