Letters for August 12, 2004

Modest means, great sacrifice

Re “Aftershocks from Iraq” by Chrisanne Beckner (SN&R Cover, August 5):

Thank you for publishing the intriguing story of Sgt. Richard Sandoval, the brave Woodland Marine reservist who was among the first to cross into the hot zone in March 2003, surviving the war in Iraq.

While his personal story is compelling, it also raises the wider question that should continue to be asked until those in power in the “Versailles on the Potomac” are forced to respond: Why are the deaths and injuries associated with this “mercenary” war being borne solely by those of modest means, while the owners of Halliburton and other rich Republicans reap obscene profits from unethical defense and oil contracts? The people of this country are waking up now, searching for answers and crying out for justice.

John McCormack

Neither food nor bombs

Re “Anarchists get fed up” by Dale Nelson (SN&R News, July 29):

The article says Food Not Bombs (FNB) began as an anarchist collective. The dictionary defines anarchism as the “absence of any form of political authority; a utopian society made up of individuals who have no government and who enjoy complete freedom.” The frequently-asked-questions page at FNB’s Web site, at www.fnb.org, states FNB’s purpose: “to create sustainable institutions that prefigure the kind of society we want to live in.”

Human society began with government by God. Theirs was a sustainable system with everything they could ever have wanted or needed here or producible, and all was recyclable and reusable. Having boundless health and endless life, they were to extend the boundaries of the garden God had planted as their perfect start around the Earth, creating a global paradise of peace and joy.

Though having only one law, the first human pair declared independence from God, choosing to make their own decisions as to good and bad. History testifies abundantly as to the result of independence from God. For thousands of years, man has experimented with every conceivable form of government, political philosophy, and economic and social system. None has been successful in creating desirable “sustainable institutions” for the benefit of all humankind.

The Bible explains why efforts such as those of FNB will never succeed. It has nothing to do with their earnest and conscientious activity, but it has to do with our imperfect human system. An ancient king wrote: “That which is made crooked cannot be made straight” (Ecclesiastes 1:15).

When God created this planet as the home for his human family, he reserved to himself the right to set standards of right and wrong. Human rule was “made crooked” from the start, as it was based on lies about our ability of self-government and cannot be “made straight.” However, God has revealed that he will replace all present government with his own. His kingdom “will crush and put an end” to human government of Earth, and then “the creation itself also will be set free from enslavement to corruption and have the glorious freedom of the children of God” (Daniel 2:44; Romans 8:21).

Diane Church

Fighting or eating, it’s still foul for fowls

Re “That’s not entertainment” (SN&R Guest comment, July 29):

Thanks for bringing to light to the issue of cockfighting, but I must address the people who are upset that this exists at all. I feel confident that their next meal will be a Chicken McNugget or, for those who experienced Super Size Me, a broiled chicken. Give me a break! Ninety-nine percent of all chickens you eat live a much more tortured life than any fighting cock does.

Did you know that 9.3 billion chickens were killed in 2001? Chickens and other birds are not covered under the Humane Slaughter Act, and though many countries ban the battery cage for its inherent cruelty, egg producers in the United States still cram hens into small, wire cages where they can’t flap their wings for their entire lives. Soon after birth and without painkillers, the beaks of baby chicks are seared off with a hot blade—and yes, they can feel the pain.

Broilers, the chickens we eat, and turkeys are confined to large warehouse-style sheds, housing tens of thousands of animals, competing for food and water and never breathing fresh air or seeing the light of day. And all the growth-promotion antibiotics force the birds to grow so abnormally fast that their legs and organs can’t support their enormous weight, leading to bone and joint problems. Now that’s as bad as any fighting cock on steroids has it. And while fighting cocks get razors tied to their toes, turkeys get their toes amputated (also without painkillers) to reduce the fighting between birds because of their overcrowded conditions.

I guess it’s our culture that makes it acceptable to torture animals prior to digesting them.

Cockfighting and factory farming are both horrifying, and both must be stopped. Wake up, you carnivores! You are supporting much worse than cockfighting every day, at every meal.

Gale Hart