In his "Trappers fight back" letter defending trapping (see Letters, Sept. 17, 2009), Rick Hawk expressed empathy for the man who was attacked by a raccoon in Seattle. I wish he would have had similar feelings of compassion for my neighbor when her beloved dog Buddy died a horrible death in a conibear trap set next to a popular skiing trail in 1997. When interviewed by the Daily Inter Lake, Bill Hawk, the trapper who set the trap and Rick's brother said, "This animal died because of its owner's stupidity."
For most of us there are relatively few watershed moments in our personal histories. That day after Christmas in 1997, when Laurie (my wife) and I skied up to our neighbor cradling Buddy's lifeless body in her arms, forever changed the way I encounter life. Sometimes it is difficult to know how we can live more peacefully in a world striven by violence, but of this I am fairly certain: The cruelty of recreational trapping does not honor the primacy of mercy to the weak, the powerless and the oppressed.
Bob Muth Sr.