By Joel Warner
By Michael Roberts
By Alan Prendergast
By Michael Roberts
By Michael Roberts
By Amber Taufen
By Patricia Calhoun
By William Breathes
"The Harshest Hit," William Breathes, September 19
I was incredibly moved by William Breathes's story, "The Harshest Hit," about the life and death of Jenny Kush.
Hers was a harsh death, indeed. The fact that she worked to educate people about marijuana and was killed by a drunk driver is an unbelievable irony. It is time for the legal double standard to end!
If you read the article, the problem besides the drunk driver is the way the on/off ramp is set up — and despite other deaths, the Colorado Department of Transportation has done nothing. You see, here in Colorado, one death is a blip.
I just want to say thank you to Westword for making this a cover story. I didn't know this girl, but the story has haunted me since I first read about it. I can tell by her pictures and what friends have said about her that she was a life-loving person who deserved to live. I don't smoke weed, nor do I drink — but I do agree it is unbelievable that alcohol is legal and weed is not. And when I read yet another story of some selfish, stupid fucking drunk stealing time on this earth from another innocent person because they decided to selfishly drive after glutinously stuffing themselves with booze, it makes me want to go to a bar just to beat some drunk fuck's ass. I hope the chick responsible gets life — but she probably won't. She will probably be out of jail inside of the next ten years. Meanwhile, there's a drug dealer somewhere in the U.S. being sentenced to 25 years. This bitch will be taking shots again decades before the drug dealer gets out.
William Breathes, this is beautifully written and an amazing tribute. You captured her achievements as both an activist and a person. That's what everyone loved about Jenny: She was the most genuine person you ever met.
In a community where we are always fighting for something — a cause, a law, a business, an ego — Jenny was a beacon of positivity, and she shared that light with everyone.
My favorite quote from the piece was from Jeremy: "She always said that if everyone would care about everybody else, you wouldn't have to worry about yourself, because someone would automatically be caring for you."
That's Jenny. And somewhere out there, she is smiling.
Posted at westword.com
Editor's note: Read the original story and many more comments at westword.com.
"The Cruelest Cut," Alan Prendergast, September 12
If one chooses to have a cat, it's customary to keep the whole cat, not just parts of it. Spaying and neutering have a purpose: to prevent unnecessary euthanasia. Would you sever your child's fingers so they wouldn't smear jelly on the walls? I wonder if veterinarians would be so quick to recommend declawing if the payoff wasn't so lucrative. The vets should do a self-test on one of their own fingers to see if they are still okay with the procedure. How pathetic that greed trumps compassion. No anti-animal-cruelty law is ever "wacky" because some people consider humans superior to animals.
Remember that humans are the sole species on the planet that can claim the fact that they sometimes kill for absolutely no reason. You call that superior?
After reading Alan Prendergast's "The Cruelest Cut," and seeing that some Colorado veterinarians are trying to ban cat declawing statewide, I am so happy that recently I did not rush my cat into an inhumane operation simply because she behaved like a normal young cat. As a longtime cat lover, I have owned many cats, only one of whom was declawed (this happened before I adopted her). I have to admit, from the people perspective, a declawed cat has a couple big advantages: neither the furniture nor you are shredded.
I never thought I would seriously consider declawing, as it seems cruel. I agree that people who are more concerned about their furniture than their pet should not have a pet. Recently, however, after my two-year-old (healthy and active) cat, in what appeared to be an unprovoked attack, gave me several severe deep scratches on my arm that drew a lot of blood, my first reaction was to call my veterinarian and schedule a declawing operation.
No one at the vet's office tried to talk me out of it, not even pointing out there can be severe and painful complications for the cat. However, after a couple of days, I changed my mind and canceled the procedure. When I later talked to my vet about it, she said perhaps the cat had "attacked" me because I had been stroking her too long and she interpreted my excessive attention as an invitation to play more aggressively. That made sense to me, and I'm a little more careful now, watching for signs that she is not getting too excited (ears back, tail twitching). I also need to regularly clip the tips of her claws. The problem was me, not my cat.