updated 02/06/1989 AT 01:00 AM EST
•originally published 02/06/1989 AT 01:00 AM EST
Thank you, Drew Barrymore, for sharing your story about teen alcoholism with us (PEOPLE, Jan. 16). After reading the story, my 14-year-old sister came forward to let the family know that she too had a problem with drinking. Like many others, I'm sure we always had the attitude of, "It would never happen in our family." By sharing your story, you allowed us to catch the problem before it got out of hand.
Drew Barrymore is the perfect example of a child whose parents did not discipline her. Sometimes the first to say no must be the parents. Drew should be commended for her courageous uphill struggle to lead a meaningful life and for her efforts to help others avoid her tragedy.
It amazes me that Drew's mother had "no idea what was going on." If she had read PEOPLE's Star Tracks section, she would have seen her daughter partying and hitting the nightclubs at an early age. No child needs that much space or time. My son is almost 17, and I know where he is and what he's doing. Children need guidance, not a mother who wants to be a sister.
Santa Barbara, Calif.
If Drew Barrymore were an ordinary child she would now be in foster care, her mother charged with child endangerment and the adults who provided her with the addictive substances facing legal action.
La Mesa, Calif.
I'm tired of spoiled movie stars who drink, take drugs, go to a clinic and then expect us to feel sorry for them while they tell all. Drew, grow up.
DR. BIRUTE GALDIKAS
How wonderful that there are dedicated people such as Dr. Galdikas who selflessly work to save endangered species such as the orangutan. Dr. Galdikas is teaching us that orangutans are part of our family. Can you please tell me where to write to my long-lost relatives and send support for her work?
Donations may be sent to; The Orangutan Foundation, 822 S. Wellesley Ave., Los Angeles, Calif. 90049—ED.
Mr. Nugent's defending his right to hunt is as lame and mindless as the sad excuse for rock music that he has been recording all these years. According to Mr. Nugent, hunting prevents the lingering death of animals after a harsh winter. Maybe he doesn't realize that the lack of food that leads to starvation is caused by man's devastation of the wilderness. Maybe he doesn't realize that there are ways to stop overpopulation—such as birth control—which don't involve blowing innocent creatures into tiny bits.
Highland Park, Ill.
We are constantly being told that animals slaughtered for their skins or hunted for recreation must be harvested by humans to save them from starving to death or dying of disease. Free-roaming animals can and do control their own populations when allowed to do so without human intervention. Hunting actually increases the reproductive rate in the remaining females of a hunted species. Starvation and disease are unfortunate, but natural ways of ensuring that the strong of a species survive.
Teresa Gibbs for PETA
(People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals)
I would like to know how we as a society can allow Walker Railey to just walk away from what he did to his family. Not only to his beautiful wife, now in a vegetable state, and to her parents, who are caring for her, but also to those two children deprived of their mother. Blaming it on demons just doesn't do it for me, Walker.
God bless Peggy Railey's parents for their love and devotion. Their respect for life and for their daughter as a human being is an encouraging lesson for all of us.
Where can I send a contribution to the trust set up in Peggy Railey's behalf?
Contributions may be sent to: NorthPark National Bank, NorthPark Cntr., P.O. Box 12206-TRUST, Dallas, Texas 75225—ED.
In response to Dr. Lee Salk's comments about the country's devil-may-care daycare attitude, let me say that I have a 3-year-old who is in a day-care center of my choice. She is well cared for and happy. Like most young women, I need to supplement my husband's income. My daughter has brought happiness and love into our lives. Don't tell me I can't work, have a child and love her too.