I SIMPLY had to respond after being accused by Jeremy Whaley of lacking compassion for my fellow human beings (The Press, January 28).

There are people for whom I have immense compassion, but, as a species, the human race has a lot to answer for in the way we treat other forms of life.

You have only to read Pauline McSweeney’s shocking exposé of the way animals are treated at the end of their lives, often lived in horrific conditions, to understand how we let every other living creature down.

Beautiful animals are slaughtered to provide pampered and spoilt women with more money than conscience with their skins; battery chickens and other farm animals live in appalling conditions to save humans from spending more on their upkeep than is required; and you only have to contact the RSPCA to realise just how cruelly animals are used and misused by us.

Yes, Jeremy, you are right; the human race is my least admired form of life on this planet. But I also hate any form of cruelty to anyone unable to defend themselves and would always be compassionate and defensive to anyone who suffers at the hands of others.

Heather Causnett, Escrick Park Gardens, Escrick, York.