Suicide is a devastating blow to those left behind. Having lost two friends to suicide, I genuinely understand former Duluth City Attorney Gunnar Johnson's desire to do "something" to honor his cousin while running the Iditarod sled dog race this year (“Iditarod musher to carry list of lives lost to suicide,” Feb. 20).

But trying to link a lost loved one to an event in which dogs routinely lose their lives is misguided. The Iditarod represents suffering — suffering for dogs forced to haul sleds for hundreds of miles under the worst weather extremes. Many sled dogs spend their non-running hours chained to ramshackle houses in stews of their own waste.

We must extend our circle of compassion to all those with whom we share this planet. That includes not treating dogs like replaceable equipment.

John Di Leonardo

Norfolk, Virginia

Newsletter signup for email alerts

The writer is a senior manager of “Animals in Entertainment” at PETA, or People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.


Readers' View and Local Views

Letters are limited to 300 words, must be the original work of the author and must be exclusive to the News Tribune. Letters are edited for style, space, accuracy and civility.

Letter writers are limited to one published submission every 30 days.

With rare exceptions, the News Tribune does not publish poetry; letters that are anonymous, libelous or attack other writers; consumer-complaint letters; thank-you letters; or letters generated by political or special-interest campaigns.

We will consider exclusive Local View columns of 600 words or fewer. Authors should possess unique insights, and their commentaries should demonstrate greater knowledge of their subject than letters.

Email submissions to: letters@duluthnews.com

Mail to: Readers' Views, Duluth News Tribune, 424 W. First St., Duluth, MN 55802.

Fax to: 218-720-5120.

Include a full name, address and daytime photo number. Only names and hometowns will be published.