Tuesday March 12, 2013

Who’s to say what we should eat?

Editor of the Reformer:

Last month, food safety officials in United Kingdom, France, and Sweden found traces of horse meat in ground beef sold across Europe. Massive recalls and lawsuits are ensuing.

Can it happen here? Horse slaughter for human consumption was banned in the U.S. between 2007 and 2011. But now, a New Mexico slaughterhouse is getting approved by U.S. authorities to slaughter horses for human consumption, and a Philadelphia restaurant has already announced plans to serve horse meat.

I marvel at our hypocrisy of rejecting the notion of horse or dog meat on our dinner plates, while condemning cows, pigs, and chickens to the same fate. Obviously, we have established special relationships with horses and dogs as our companions, protectors and sports protagonists, rather than as food. But where is the ethical and logical distinction, given that all these animals are endowed by individuality, sentience, and an ability to experience the same feelings of joy, affection, sadness and fear that we do?

Fortunately, our health food industry has spared us from having to choose which animals to pet and which ones to eat. Their delicious soy and grain-based meat alternatives are available in every supermarket.

Brent Regan,

Brattleboro, March 5

Protecting our shorelines

Editor of the Reformer:

The spring floods of May 2011 as well as the destruction of tropical storm Irene is fresh in my mind and probably it’s the same for most other Vermonters.


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I see that the Vermont legislature is considering a bill, H.223, to encourage lakeshore property owners to keep vegetation along their shorelines. In our area, that would mean South Pond, Deer Park Pond, Hidden Lake, etc.

In Windham County, according to the Windham Regional Commission, there are 40 lakes and ponds, with shoreline totaling nearly 100 miles. The vegetation along these lakes and ponds helps keep floodwaters (and we probably will continue to see big floods in the coming years) from doing serious damage.

Please tell your lawmaker you support them taking steps to help reduce the threat of flooding along lakes and ponds, and pass H.223.

Lynn Levine,

consulting forester,

Dummerston, March 3

Dutch doing a great job

Editor of the Reformer:

Upon reading your article on the Rockingham Town Meeting, I felt I had to respond to the proposal to eliminate the Economic Development position currently held by "Dutch" Walsh.

Tom MacPhee stated that the proposal was "Ill conceived." Mr. MacPhee was being kind. This proposal was just plain stupid. Bellows Falls is a wonderful community that is finally beginning to prosper with new business, renovated properties in the downtown area, future development on "the island" and so much more. It is due to the efforts of many, under the guidance of Dutch, his knowledge, his unwavering energy and his ability to get things done.

I too feel that this was a biased personal attack and am happy to see that it got voted down.

Sharon Boccelli,

Bellows Falls, March 5

Budget perspective

Editor of the Reformer:

Why is it that when our government needs to do "cuts" it usually is something that has to do with the poor, elderly or disabled. And why on earth do they ever think about cutting stuff from our veterans? You know the men and women who have fought to keep us "free." They have given their lives and limbs, mental health, etc., yet they are being treated like they’ve done nothing to earn anything they receive. How unfair is that? Someone in our government needs to step up to the plate to protect the people from these cuts.

If you need to "cut" stop paying to rebuild the war torn countries. They wanted war, not the USA. They say "Charity begins at home." Why shouldn’t the government begin to practice this. Our people need to be secure and stop having to worry about what they are going to lose next month or whenever. And yes I fall into a couple of the categories mentioned.

It’s no wonder mental health problems, suicide and crimes are so high. Many are dwelling on the negative in their lives. Why? Because we seldom hear anything positive that is going to help us and not hurt us.

I feel everyone in the government should have to live the life of the poor, elderly and disabled for one month with no outside help other than what we receive. Stand up and "Walk a mile in our shoes" to see what it’s like.

Dorothy Parker,

Bellows Falls, March 6