Killing a giraffe
This is in response to "The death of Marius the giraffe; A zoo violates common sense and compassion" (Editorial, Feb. 11). While the zoo spokesman described the spectators looking at Marius being dissected as "very enthusiastic," looking at the Tribune photograph doesn't confirm that they were, especially the children.
In fact, it's a good thing the beloved giraffe was shown being fed to other animals. I bet a good number of them will turn vegetarians, especially the children. While there is a bit of hypocrisy that meat eaters are outraged by this sad event, it will make them think twice while eating their beefsteak well-done.
True, lions and leopards should be fed meat; why not the same meat that humans usually eat as mentioned in the editorial?
— Isaac Cohen, Chicago
Thank you for the very compelling and compassionate editorial regarding the unpardonable killing of Marius, a young, healthy and peaceful giraffe. The reality that Copenhagen Zoo officials authorized and perpetrated this unconscionable killing of a majestic creature is infuriating.
This has rightfully sparked an international outrage in addition to lamentably inciting many people to distrust all zoos. The overwhelming majority of zoos are very kind to their animal inhabitants. Zoos are needed to provide safety for many direly imperiled wildlife species, including rhinos, elephants, gorillas, tigers, lions and endangered giraffe species.
— Brien Comerford, Glenview
A great loss
The recent death of 46-year-old Academy Award-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman reportedly due to a drug overdose was recently labeled a tragedy. That's a poor choice of words.
While sad, needless and a great loss, Hoffman follows a long list of show biz people, including the late Amy Winehouse, who reached for a bottle or a pill to quiet the demons roaring through their heads.
The definition of a "tragedy" is something caused by a natural catastrophe. A mother diagnosed with stage-four ovarian cancer — that's a tragedy!
— Clark Weber, Evanston
No decent life
You wrote about watching "your children and your employer leave Chicago" in a recent editorial ("The road to Detroit; Chicago addresses its astonishing debts with . . . even more borrowing," Editorial, Feb. 5), and I may soon be one of them. I'm 31, married and will be a father any day now. My family has lived in the area for generations, and our roots here are as deep as they come.
But I am also fortunate enough to have gone to a good college (DePaul University) and to work in an industry that offers me the opportunity to live where I want — opportunities that previous generations didn't have. And as I consider the future here in Chicago, I increasingly wonder whether I'd be foolish not to leave.
Why? Because I can move somewhere else, like Denver or Seattle or Austin, and actually afford a house, pay significantly less in taxes, not put my kids through frantic entrance exams to get into a decent high school, not worry about being robbed on our sidewalk and, undoubtedly, have a government that better serves its people. Plus, when it's minus 2 degrees out and you're hearing words like "polar vortex" and you haven't left the house in two days, you can't help but dwell on these things.
What it comes down to is this: It is far too hard to make a decent life for yourself in Chicago.
That's such a shame, too, because there was a time when I couldn't imagine living anywhere else.
This isn't a liberal or conservative issue. It is, as the Tribune pointed out so well, what happens when you give politicians the ability to spend at will, with no apparent regard for the long-term health of the city. There are enough challenges to tackle in Chicago, ones such as fixing our education system, which would require a significant amount of investment and political will to improve, that will tragically languish because this city is drowning in debt and misplaced priorities.
So I consider my options because, like my father and his father before him, I try to think about what's best for my family. Only, unlike them, what's best may not be in Chicago.
Keep up the strong reporting, and thank you.
— Ted Schuster, Chicago