Readers respond to Katharine Mieszkowski's "Cut Class, Not Frogs."

By Salon Staff

Published October 22, 2002 7:30PM (EDT)

[Read the story.]

I can understand making fun of PETA's veg-activism points program, but please don't disparage teenagers for standing up for something they believe in. Young people are increasingly cynical about whether their voices matter at all. They don't vote and don't see the point. Small wonder they feel that way, when media authority figures like Ms. Mieszkowski, as well as the adults in their own lives, laugh off their convictions as the product of manipulative advertising campaigns and peer influence.

It's not like they're making an empty point. Every one of us makes choices that impact the suffering of animals; I don't happen to think it is silly or naive to take that fact seriously regardless of what you think of PETA, teenagers or even vegetarianism.

-- Elizabeth Durack

Regarding your article, "Cut Class, Not Frogs," I am offended by the flippant tone of the writer. My daughter (10) and I take very seriously the lives of animals, and we appreciate PETA's efforts to educate teens on what they can do to promote compassion for animals in school. I refused to dissect a frog in school over 20 years ago and educated lots of kids in the process. The quote by Morrissey, "If you love animals, you don't want to hurt them," to me is so simple as to be profound and truthful. Your writer obviously doesn't get it. Thankfully my daughter does.

-- Annette Mesco

What exactly is the point of this snarky little story? Katharine Mieszkowski sounds just like one of the 15-year-olds she's ridiculing. It's interesting that you chose to run another tiresome, one-note diatribe about PETA and vegetarians right underneath your lead story about mad-deer disease.

-- Cheryl Kohler

Thank you so much for your heavily sarcastic editorial piece on vegetarianism and veganism. Thank you so much for making it that much harder for us to be taken seriously. I'm an adult, I can buy my own food, and I have a difficult enough time getting people to respect the fact that I will not eat meat. If I were Jewish and could not eat pork, this would not be a problem. There is a definite attitude that if you are vegetarian or vegan, you're only doing it to be subversive. I cannot imagine how difficult it must be to be a vegan or vegetarian teenager. I know a Native American girl who did not want to dissect a frog in class and was summarily failed, being offered no other options by her teacher. God forbid she ask for a vegetarian alternative to her lunch.

-- Leigh Dragoon

Wow, a real user's manual for kids fighting dissection of live animals! Thanks so much for bringing this to the attention of kids--and the families that support them.

-- Wendy Lochner

Salon Staff

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