Trap Will Kill Rats, But Not Problems

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Thank you for the article "In Man vs. Rat, the Humans Get a New Edge" [January 21].

I was fortunate to travel widely in my U.S. Navy career, and can attest to the abject poverty in many parts of the world. The world media seems to only dwell on the rapid rise of the economies of India, China, Brazil, etc., without showing the disparity between the haves and the have-nots. While we Americans are debating what amount the economic stimulus checks should be, there are those who are worrying about their next meal (even if it is rats and "recovered" grain).

Peter Magoon


Woodbine, Ga .  

The article on the Irula rat catcher was, well, quite catching indeed. To hear that a simple device costing a mere quarter could quadruple Mr. Krishnan's daily earnings (from 25 cents to $1) was startling and made me feel quite sure that even a small donation of money to some organization responsible for making such instruments available to these Indian exterminators would make a difference. But the last paragraph revealing Mr. Krishnan's delight at being able to tote home four times more the number of rats to feed his nine children made me far more anxious to contribute to some sex education and birth control pills to a country already overburdened by a population of over a billion individuals.

John C. Hendricks


Temple , T exas  

I read your article about the better rat trap being built for the Irula people in India and must confess to being greatly dismayed by the story. Our ancestors who ventured out onto the savannah millions of years ago had no literacy rate at all and yet managed to tame fire, invent the spear and bow and arrow, and many other things. The ancients used hand pump bellows made of wood and skins to operate furnaces and forges, yet the Irula to this day can't grasp this simple notion? It takes a non-governmental think tank to come up with it and sell it to them for $25 a pop? It sounds to me like the UN is helping some enterprising Indian businessmen to bilk millions of dollars from people who eat rats and make a dollar a day.

Jim Barks


Cumberland , R . I .