Perhaps the News Tribune’s Samantha Erkkila had a hard time explaining hunting to her daughter because children have a natural empathy for animals and aren’t going to understand why hunters want to gun them down for entertainment. (Erkkila wrote a column Oct. 9, headlined, “Explaining death to a toddler on the grouse hunting trail.”)

Since Erkkila clearly cares about her own child, perhaps she should consider that animals love their babies, too. And when a hunter kills a grouse, they may be robbing her chicks of their mother or tearing a family apart.

Hunting may have been necessary for cavepeople, but most of us can now find just about any food we like at our local grocery store. With a plethora of healthy fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, and even tasty vegan meats at the ready, we don’t have to kill animals to survive. And we certainly don’t have to teach our children that violence against animals is acceptable and that taking their lives is fun.

Michelle Kretzer

Norfolk, Virginia

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The writer is with the PETA Foundation.