In response to my latest column about bashing bobby calves on the head (Taranaki Daily News, February 15), I must take issue with Mrs Clough of Eltham who wrote (letters, February 19): ''I very rarely read Rachel Stewart's column as I consider it shallow drivel.'' I'll have you know, Mrs Clough, I work very hard at my shallow drivel!
She also challenges me ''to actually spend some time living and working on a dairy farm''. Did she not read my entire column?
Yes, Mrs Clough, I can confirm that I do know a cow when I see one. My family's dairy farm in Whanganui, on which I grew up, did actually mean that I spent a bit of time living and working there. Later, when I was all grown up, I was even Whanganui's Federated Farmers president for four years. Do I understand farming and its associated stresses and strains? I think I might.
Which, of course, has no relevance whatsoever to Mrs Clough defending the indefensible with: ''No-one deliberately wants to break them [the animal-abuse rules] but sometimes circumstances get out of our control. It happens on every farm and we make no excuses for it.''
Maybe you should. It's called basic humanity and I invite you to try it.
- Taranaki Daily News
Should the media report suicide?