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Letters to the Editor: 9-20-2012

CIRCLE OF LIFE

In response to Lucas Spiegel’s letter [9/13]: It is debatable whether humans can be nutritionally sound without meat, especially when you look at nutritional deficits across generations. Dr. Weston Price traveled the world in the 1920s seeking traditional cultures that thrived without any animal protein at all, and he found none. Not one. 

I understand your arguments, Mr. Spiegel, because I was a vegetarian/vegan for 10 years. I am deeply committed to animal welfare and opposed to the torture of animals in factory farms. But when I became pregnant, and then nursed my daughter for almost four years, I found that nutritionally my body (and hers) required me to eat meat. One of my responses to criticism of vegetarianism had been “If I can kill it, I can eat it,” so I decided that, ethically, I had to kill my own meat.

I have learned a lot in eight years of farming. My main complaint is how difficult it is to obtain GMO-free feed in an era of corporate control over every aspect of our food supply, including our farm animal’s feed production. GMOs cause many health problems, which are exacerbated when the toxins are concentrated in the tissues of our meat animals. 

I am allergic to GMO foods, and subsequently must avoid corn, soy, canola, beet sugar, sunflower seeds, conventionally grown produce, and animals fed on GMO feeds. I raise my own meat in order to be in control of my animal’s feeds. I can drink milk from my cow, for example, but from no other cow in town — and I have tried the other pasture-based family dairies. They supplement with cow feed, which contains GMO corn and soy.

Back to the killing part: yes, I pray for my animals. I hold vigil while they die. I cry sometimes. And I find nothing smug about appreciating the ritual and respect that goes into those acts. If we “have to” eat meat, which some of us think we do, we’d better acknowledge that we are killing life to do it. 

I like to see people cheering over locally raised pasture-farmed animals and the attempts to disconnect from the factory and corporate methods of animal torture. Those of us who must eat animals must find an ethical way to do it. I am so inspired by my sense of well-being and spiritual connection with my food that I now teach others how to butcher humanely. I teach ritual of food-animal death. I teach circle-of-life. And I pray that when I die, I will become food for something else to live. Because I am part of that spiritual circle — just like my chickens.

Kara Huntermoon, Primitive skills instructor, Eugene

 

NOTHING IS SACRED

In response to Jennifer Donovan [Letters, 9/6] when she wrote to complain about a white girl wearing a feather headdress — to put it simply? Shut. Up. For one, the girl in the picture has Native heritage. For another, who cares? People wear priest outfits on Halloween or nun outfits to fetish parties, so if your gripe is with how it offends spirituality, are you saying Native Americans are somehow immune? Moreover, perhaps this was simply for fashion. Great. Again — so what? Tell you what: White people can stop wearing headdresses when Native Americans stop wearing “white people” clothes. Offended? Well, so am I.

Racism is not solely created by angrily hating another group of people or committing a hate crime. It’s created when one person draws a line in the sand between themselves and another person. The world has moved on. Nothing is sacred. And to be perfectly honest, we’re probably better off.

 Jeff Holiday, Eugene

 

TAKE BACK EPUD

On Sept. 11 I experienced a personal attack on our freedom of speech. I served on the Emerald People’s Utility District Board from 1981 to 1994. This was during the start-up time for this people’s owned electric utility. During the last two years I have become aware of some problems, one of which is limiting the “freedom of speech” at public meetings and another is the seven projected rate increases over the next 10 years.

I decided to run for the Board of Directors again. At the Sept. 11 meeting I was told that the yard signs I used 20 years ago need to be changed or the management, with approval of the majority of the board, will take legal action.

The issue is the EPUD logo. It does not have a copyright, but is protected by something called common law if they chose to take legal action. The EPUD web site says we are customer owners. We need to take back this utility. In November we still have the right to elect and change the management and majority of the board. Vote “smart” and please don’t let our freedoms slip away! Smart would be [voting] for both Laurie Smart and current board member Katherine Schacht.

Ron “Angelo” Davis, Cottage Grove

 

JUSTIFIED KILLING?

Absent a coherent rationale for the necessity of killing animals for protein, your cover story “Local Chicks” [8/16] panders to affluent people who are willing to pay extra to keep chickens happy until/while their (the chickens’) necks are being slit.

Humans can thrive without meat as a protein source. We eat meat because we like how it tastes. Is this justification enough for killing animals who, like us, want to live?

Bill Hampton, Eugene

 

ACTING TOGETHER 

Most of us say “think globally, act locally,” but we don’t really apply it. We are troubled when Congress won’t sunset the tax breaks given by the Bush administration to the very wealthy and the kickbacks for huge corporate farms, oil companies and drug companies. Many of us are not aware that some of the nation’s largest manufacturers are sitting on billions in cash reserves.

None of the outflow or reduced flow from the treasury has impacted the economy in any meaningful way. Where are the jobs these corporations and wealthy individuals were going to trickle down to the millions of underemployed and unemployed? Where does America’s innovation and creativity hide while other nations take the lead in green energy, efficient mass transportation and effective health care?

We were buoyed when Congress voted to cut the Pentagon’s budget; however, some members of Congress plan to repeal this action.

 It’s humorous to hear the sunset of tax breaks for the rich called “tax increases,” when it is not raising taxes; it is returning to the rates all Americans were obligated to pay in the pre-Bush decade.

Oregon is stepping up to the plate. A panel of Oregon voters decided to support Measure 85 in the November election, which will steer any future corporate tax kicker into the K-12 state education budget. Eugene’s City Council voted to place a resolution on the November ballot endorsing the concept that corporations are not people. Mayor Piercy announced that the National Conference of Mayors has endorsed a resolution to urge our government to reduce our stockpile of nuclear armaments. 

Expressing our concerns and acting together in a community effort can make a difference. 

Vincenza Scarpaci, Eugene

 

BUSH’S HIDDEN DEBT

Another of the popular lies of our day: It has been repeatedly and incorrectly asserted in the media that President Obama tripled the budget deficit. President Obama has indeed added to the budget deficit through stimulus that resuscitated our economy from the brink of collapse. This did not, however, come anywhere close to “tripling” the deficit.

 The fact is that Obama also stepped up to make sure that our national budget reflected multiple enormous expenditures that the George W. Bush administration had chosen to hide, keeping them “off the books.” These hidden costs had included the massive expenses of the War in Afghanistan, the War of Choice in Iraq, and the Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Program. When he provided transparency about these actual costs, Obama did not increase the deficit; instead, the public record of the deficit increased to reflect reality.

Petir Weerlig, Eugene

 

OUR LUNATIC FRINGE

Why wouldn’t we want to believe that climate change is a hoax? After all, this morning, like yesterday morning, is pristine and fresh and clear. The television footage of droughts and famine are happening too far away to “hit home.” We’re busy focusing on smartphone screens and shopping lists. Reality is what has become the inconvenient distraction.

Why would we ever be interested that our democracy has been slipping away, our government degenerating into corporatocracy right under our noses? The shrill Chicken Littles around us are all off-kilter kooks and should just go back to their platforms in the treetops. At least get a haircut and a shower. Homelessness isn’t my problem. Quit sticking it in my face!

These “threats” and “issues” like global warming, government corruption and Wall Street fraud haven’t touched most Americans personally. We are quite content in our cluelessness, thank you very much. Consumerism is our religion. We get all the news and manufactured controversy we need on network television. Our near future is perfectly rosy.

No families in my immediate circle have become homeless because of medical bills or layoffs. Street people are all druggies. Remove them from my sight — them and their lunatic fringe Occupy advocates!

My grandkids’ futures are already in serious jeopardy? Give me a break! It’s a beautiful day out there! I’m going shopping and then meeting friends for drinks at a sports bar.

Graham Hoyt Lewis, Eugene