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Killing Made Hip and Flip

I am writing to strongly object to the inclusion of the article “A Lobster Treatise” in your Summer Food issue last week. The graphic description of the killing of live lobsters in a hip and flip tone was like a razor in an apple nestled as it was among such pleasant summer titles as “Cool Patios, Sexy Cocktails” and “Dip into Summer.” At the least this article needed a warning—“This article will be deeply disturbing to any human with sensitivity for sentient life.”

For the author, I have nothing but contempt. The detailed instructions for slicing open a live lobster brought tears to my eyes as my balled-up paper hit the floor. Your words were hurtful. Your flip but pathetic attempts to apologize were unredeemable.

But for Artvoice, I have some deeper criticisms. I’m sure you would claim your paper to be a progressive one. It admirably investigates and supports national and local social causes many of which originate from a compassion for human suffering and need. But for many progressive groups, animal issues are not a factor. But what is progressive? Americans are appalled when they hear of cats and dogs being skinned alive in China or tigers slaughtered in Africa for tiger bone soup. (Yes, there is probably a recipe for that.) But that doesn’t happen here. We are progressive. But I agree with Blaine Hamilton, whose letter you published in this issue, that animal-food issues are very political.

I challenge Artvoice to bring animal issues into your editorial boardroom and to develop an editorial policy with at the least a baseline of humaneness so that there will never again be an article or cover that showcases killing or cruelty to animals.

Sue Sellingsloh, Buffalo

Artvoice reserves the right to edit letters for content and length. Shorter letters have a better chance at being published in their entirety. Please include your name, hometown, and contact number. E-mail letters to: or write to: Artvoice Letters, 810 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14202

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