30 January 2008

From Today's New York Times

To the Editor:

Re “Rethinking the Meat-Guzzler” (Week in Review, Jan. 27):

Mark Bittman answered my prayers by writing an article exposing how the meat industry contributes to global warming, world hunger and other issues plaguing our world. But there is indeed a simple answer to these problems: Go vegan.

Elaine Sloan
New York, Jan. 28, 2008

To the Editor:

“Rethinking the Meat-Guzzler” suggests a reduction in meat consumption by every citizen as a way to reduce pollution and dependence on foreign oil and ignores the developing evidence that genetics dictate the appropriate quantities of meat consumption for healthy living for each individual and the recent evidence that dietary cholesterol may not, in fact, be the cause of disease.

The “one size fits all” diet championed by Mark Bittman is what needs more reanalysis.

All those who care about proper nutrition must look at the developing science, which may suggest that diet should be customized: some may need to decrease their consumption of grains and increase their consumption of meat.

But much more attention and discussion needs to be directed to the meat industry, particularly its barbaric treatment of the helpless animals that are in our servitude.

Brian O’Reilly
Montclair, N.J., Jan. 27, 2008

To the Editor:

The majority of people do not understand what society is causing because of our appetite for meat in every meal. Whatever happened to the Sunday supper, while every other day is potato stew or corn chowder? Having a roast or baked chicken used to be for special occasions.

We have become the pigs, and we are paying the price with our health. We reap what we sow.

Michelle Gordon
Gulfport, Miss., Jan. 27, 2008

To the Editor:

“Rethinking the Meat-Guzzler” was misguided. Raising livestock is the best use of most pasture land, not growing crops. Animals turn grass, a k a sunlight, into high-quality proteins, minerals and fats that are an ideal food for humans. Meat is an excellent source of food and far higher quality than just plants.

We are evolved to eat meat—it is right and natural. What is wrong is factory farms. Do not confuse the garbage output of confinement animal feeding operations with healthy meat. CAFOs are unsustainable, as noted in the article, but there is an excellent alternative. Buy locally raised pastured meats from farmers in your area. Ask for local foods at your stores, and when you can, deal directly with the farmers so more of your money flows into your local economy and supports local farmers.

Walter Jeffries
Orange, Vt., Jan. 27, 2008
The writer is a pig farmer.

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