Angus Phillips took issue with an anti-hunting essay that appeared in the October Esquire, saying that author Joy Williams's ideas were distorted by her readings of "popular outdoor magazines" rather than by her observations of typical hunters in the field {"Latest Broadside at Hunting Is Far Off Target," Sports, Nov. 28}.

Contrary to Mr. Phillips's argument, the popular magazines and videos marketed to hunters do reflect the interests of hunters; hunters wouldn't buy them otherwise. Outdoor Life, Peterson's Hunting and the four other largest circulation hunting magazines -- with a combined readership approaching 10 million -- consistently display photos of grinning hunters posing with gunned-down animals.

Editors of such publications feed the hunters a diet of kill stories featuring kodiak bears, black bears, mountain lion, caribou and deer. Similarly, popular hunting videos, such as "The Kill" and "Passing Through," climax with gruesome hunting kills where the replayed scenes of back-slapping hunters and bloodied animals demonstrate that the killing is the central plot.

What's more, Mr. Phillips speculates that Joy Williams failed to observe any hunts in the field and that, as a result, she can't understand the activity. That's like saying one shouldn't criticize rape if one hasn't committed or observed such an act.

Besides being a reluctant reader and viewer of hunting magazines and videos, I've witnessed hunters slaughter dozens of animals. Such accounts confirm my opinion that hunting is a vile and ethically indefensible activity.

WAYNE PACELLE National Director, The Fund for Animals Silver Spring