Don't have a cow: I am getting so tired of the self-righteous and defensive agriculture folks and carnivores who prickle up at any (well-earned!) criticism of a food production system that is clearly in need of a fundamental overhaul and a diet that is wreaking havoc on Americans' health ["What's the Beef with Vegetarianism?," Matt Smith, Column, 4/28].
Here's the deal: What we're doing now isn't working. I don't eat meat myself; that's not the point. Whether people eat animal foods or not, CAFO (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation) "animal factories" are an environmental, ethical, and human-health disaster, and our nation's top killer diseases are all hugely related to diet. That's the reality of the situation. Deal with it.
Consumers are perfectly within their rights to say, "There appear to be some benefits to eating more plants and less meat." Agriculture folks and meat eaters need to quit being so defensive about the whole thing. Eat what you want; clog your arteries as you see fit. But maybe not everyone wants to go down with that (stroke/obesity/diabetes/heart disease/cancer-ridden) ship!
If anyone is veg-curious, it's a very satisfying and rewarding way to eat, and I'm not a bit sorry for saying so.
Little Rock, ARkansas
We've got the beef, where's the point?: The reason so many people are perturbed enough that "they happened to be wasting their own valuable time complaining about an innocuous local measure that is not backed by the force of law" is that, as a person who lives and works in San Francisco, my tax dollars are paying these same people to ignore real problems like the homicide rate, the inability to shut down an after-hours club, or the increasing difficulty of starting a business or making a film in the city. Instead of facing one of those problems the supervisors decided to, instead, suggest that restaurants carry vegetarian food — something that they already do, due to market demands. The issue isn't the fact that the city is suggesting an alternative to meat; it's the perfect storm of wastefulness and pointlessness. Next it should pass a law encouraging people to sleep regularly, or stating that work is a means to make money. Much like [Smith's] column, it's utterly pointless.
Charles T. Oles
Snitch Blog Comments of the Week
In response to a blog post about a proposal that San Francisco should boycott the state of Arizona over its new stringent immigration law: Come on, you bitter racists. Illegal people cannot take Social Security benefits or welfare; they don't have Social Security numbers. Are you seriously angry because they are taking the jobs you won't do? You want to be bent all day laboring on farms, cleaning entire offices in buildings, or making food all day in the back of a hot kitchen? If those are the jobs you are angry that these people are taking, you should get a college degree in this rich land of opportunity and get a better-paying job.
I really like my fruits and salads when I'm having my steak dinners, and I'm happy for the laborers who work all day in the hot sun who make that happen. Plus we've all somehow migrated here, and these people are no different. They're looking for a better life, too.
Arizona's law does suck, but I don't get why it should be okay to "profile" anyone and everyone from Arizona as someone not to do business with. I guarantee you there are plenty of folks in Arizona who think it sucks.