Think of the grandchildren

John Kotsopoulos writes: Re. “‘No one wants to know you’: unemployment catch-22 for older Aussies” (Friday). Next time some idiot blows hard about forcing oldies to work longer, tell them to go to any large shopping centre during the day and check out the number of nannas and grandpas pushing their offsprings’ offspring about.

Force the oldies to work longer, assuming they can find work,  and watch the demand for government subsidised childcare skyrocket. But that’s OK because their taxes will help pay for this, and wow, watch the GDP move ever higher. Tax churn at its best.

Eye of the tiger

Lachlan Barnes writes: Re. “Tigers don’t change their stripes, even behind bars” (Thursday). I have several points to raise about the Des Bellamey article. Nobody was surprised or outraged by the tiger attack. Nobody on seeing a tiger in the flesh, even when they are performing tricks in an enclosure, thinks they are harmless. Zoos and other animal handling facilities have worked tirelessly in Australia to reduce stress and anxiety on animals. All animal handlers acknowledge the fact large animals even non-predators may attack or even seriously harm them in play. It was, in fact in play that the attack referred to in the article occurred — if it was a genuine attempt to attack the trainer would have been killed instantly. Bellamy even managed to contend that the tiger attacked both because of the stress of captivity and as a natural instinct, perhaps separating this contradiction by at least one line may have made it less obvious.

Anthropomorphising the actions of one killer whale viewed in one unbalanced film as an argument to remove all animals from captivity is a curious line of reasoning. I could go on because literally every sentence contained an error or overstatement. A person doing a dangerous job was injured, that job has a large focus on conservation, and for some reason PETA went on the attack.

Seeing animals in the flesh and developing captive breeding programs undoubtedly raise awareness of endangered species and in a small way help to practically conserve species. Bellamy seems to hate the idea of people making any money from animals, even when it has a basis in conservation, and Bellamy is instead pinning all conservation hopes on a miraculous turn-around in habitat destruction.

I’m not surprised by the views expressed by the special projects co-ordinator of PETA — it is a fringe organisations whose extreme views are well-documented. That PETA’s simplistic, extreme and sensationalist views continue to be reported by respected media outlets does surprise me.

What’s wrong with Qantas?

Pat Kirkman writes: Re. “Sandilands: we shouldn’t save Qantas if it can’t save itself” (Friday). Here we go again! It seems that the “management” of Qantas has a very short memory, they now want a level playing field. Do we not all remember the short shrift at least two small airline companies suffered when trying to enter the market? No special deals for them. We have a sentimental relationship with Qantas. Surely they should be able to work out their own salvation.