Sharing sea food
The July 27 editorial "The effectiveness of wildlife protections" (Our Views) highlights an interesting point: Protection of Florida manatees should be based upon science, not emotions.
In 1991, a minimum Florida manatee count via selective aerial surveys was 1,400 for the whole state. The actual population at that time could easily have been twice that number. Whenever the question was raised with the scientific community, "What should the minimum manatee count be to support the existing seagrass meadows food source?", the answer was always, "When we reach it, we will let you know." Over the years throughout Florida, the "goal posts" continue to be shifted with no concern over the seagrass meadow losses in size or the more difficult density.
The minimum manatee count in Florida by 2011 via selective aerial surveys reached 4,800. It is clear the population of manatees could easily be three to four times greater over the 20-year period. This presents a danger to seagrass meadows, because a manatee consumes 100 pounds of seagrass each day. Some say they just eat the new seagrass top growth, but there is some scientific evidence that they also eat the seagrass rhizomes or roots; such damage could take years to mend, if ever.
This eating behavior restricts the available seagrass food supply that supports fish populations, as well as a variety of wading and diving birds. There appears to be some evidence from commercial and recreational fishing reports that fish quantities have decreased over recent years.
The basic concern today is that some form of manatee count or population should be established by the scientific community to limit further damage to seagrass meadows. Since all the animals in the water world eat from the same food source, let's make some effort that all have a fair share of the food.
Sun City Center
Regarding "I am Trayvon Martin" (Leonard Pitts, Other Views, July 26):
I have read several of Pitts' columns over the years. It is apparent that appealing to a certain demographic is more important than evaluating data and evidence fairly.
Just answer one question:
When Trayvon Martin had four minutes to simply walk home, open the door and go in, why didn't he? Sorry to say, but at this point this 17-year-old became the stalker. The physical evidence supports this. Unmentioned at the trial, due to the judge's ruling and empathy toward the deceased young man and family, are other pieces of evidence that indicated Trayvon's culpability.
Accordingly, there are much better conversations to have regarding this event. Unfortunately, from President Obama to Al Sharpton to peons like Pitts, the standard racial baiting is the preferred psychological approach to political opportunity. So sad to waste an education and mind, but our arguably devolving black culture is doing a fantastic job accomplishing that. Pitts should be proud that he is at least partially responsible for this.
It is people like Leonard Pitts who want to cry race instead of addressing the problem of the subculture of knuckleheads who feel they have no choice but to live a life of crime. Many blacks fought and died, marched while being stoned and suffered many, many indignities to be where they are now. They should not allow a few knuckleheads to push their way to front of the line and be the standard-bearer of the populous of the other fine black folk who wish to live in peace and harmony.
Teresa Chagrin's letter "Control animal births" (Your Views, July 24) is one more example of PETA's attempt to outlaw companion animal ownership. Here is one example in their own words, from the PETA pamphlet "Companion Animals: Pets or Prisoners"?:
"In a perfect world, animals would be free to live their lives to the fullest: raising their young, enjoying their native environments, and following their natural instincts. However, domesticated dogs and cats cannot survive 'free' in our concrete jungles, so we must take as good care of them as possible. People with the time, money, love, and patience to make a lifetime commitment to an animal can make an enormous difference by adopting from shelters or rescuing animals from a perilous life on the street. But it is also important to stop manufacturing 'pets,' thereby perpetuating a class of animals forced to rely on humans to survive."
Remember, companion animals are just one generation from extinction. If we "outlaw" the sale of animals by breeders, where will the next generation of pets come from? The problem is the breeding of unwanted pets, not the breeding of pets in general.
LutzSave unattended animals
It is so disheartening to keep reading of animals left unattended to suffer and die. Come on, people, if you hear whining and barking for days and weeks on end, take a minute from your busy schedules to investigate the situation. You can always contact animal control for assistance.
These pets are needlessly dying.