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Letters to the Editor: 9-13-2012

TOO LATE FOR TALK

The lowest Arctic sea ice volume ever recorded! Yet another confirmation of rapid human-caused global warming. But climatologists are not cheering; they’re not celebrating the vindication of their theories. The results they predicted are not happening in a petri dish or a computer model — they’re happening in irreversible real time in the real world, the only world. And they’re happening faster than predicted.

Visualize this: almost all of Oregon, including the Cascades, experiencing above-freezing average winter temperatures. That is the mid-range prediction for the year 2100 cited in the Atlas of Oregon, published over 10 years ago.

The Register-Guard says it’s “time for Obama, Romney to discuss climate change.” Please, it’s way too late for that. Obama has been fast-tracking tar sands pipelines and Arctic oil drilling.

There may still be time for local communities to slow down the pace of the climate crisis. Coos Bay wants to speed it up by helping to export coal to Asia. Here in Eugene, we can do the right thing by urging our city councilors to pass City Resolution 5065 banning passage of coal trains through Eugene. Phone, email, attend City Council meetings. Neither Obama nor Romney will take the climate crisis seriously unless we take action locally.

Jere C. Rosemeyer, Eugene

 

BUTT-WIPE INDUSTRY

Lately, I’ve been seeing more trucks with bumper stickers proudly reading “If You Don’t Like Logging Then Wipe Your Ass With Plastic.” 

Thank you, proud loggers, for now it all makes sense to me. Now I can sleep at night knowing that it truly is necessary to clearcut forests, degrade the entire food chain, contaminate and compromise the watershed, and render thousands of species of plants, animals and insects endangered — so that our fat asses can be supplied with butt-wipe! 

The first man-made plastic was invented and presented in London in the mid-1800s. The first documented use of toilet paper was by the people of medieval China. Americans did not really embrace TP until the mid-1800s, and in the early 20th century it was becoming more common for average households to use TP. 

So, I guess it’s time now to harvest the soft lamb’s ear leaves in my backyard. Natives used mosses, leaves, wool, ferns, hemp, seaweed, shells, etc. I would go up the hill in my neighborhood and collect such things; however, that hill has been logged and more than likely has been contaminated with 2,4-D herbicide by the proud logging industry.

K.J. Hawn, Cottage Grove

 

PASSION FOR THE ANIMALS

Greenhill Humane Society has been coming under fire quite harshly lately. I am not writing here to cast judgment upon anyone here, quite the opposite; I wish to praise and thank all in our community who take on the responsibility of caring for our domesticated wild friends who cannot speak up for themselves.

I totally respect the passion people share when writing editorials. Thank you for standing up for what you believe in and for putting yourself out there! For full disclosure, my wife is a local veterinarian. Thus over the past 15 years I have had the pleasure of meeting many caring folks from veterinary hospitals and local nonprofits. As with any issue in Eugene, there are as many ideas/solutions for animal welfare problems as there are people involved. I consider myself blessed to know many of these deeply caring and hard working folks. 

I am asking that we all take a breath and give thanks to all who are working on behalf of our amazing, furry four-legged friends. Let us set aside our differences and be grateful for everyone’s contributions. It saddens me to see so much time and energy being spent on bickering when we could be using that passion in a positive direction. 

I will leave to others who work in the veterinarian profession to address details of appropriate animal care. All I will say is that I know personally many folks who work and volunteer at Greenhill and they are all good, caring people doing very difficult jobs, the very best they can, day in and day out!

Tim Boyden, Eugene

 

UNPOPULAR DECISIONS

I support Greenhill and its mission. I am offended by people who make inflammatory statements without disclosing all the facts. I am offended by personal attacks directed towards Greenhill’s veterinarian, director and other knowledgeable and devoted animal welfare professionals. 

Oakley has become the poster child for what Greenhill is apparently doing wrong. Oakley suffers from painful ear infection, kidney failure, arthritis in all four legs, a cancerous tumor, painful eye disease, and dementia causing him to act unpredictably aggressive and making treatment of his health problems difficult. This was confirmed by a veterinary specialist. Mister was an FeLV/FIV positive cat with cancer and a terribly painful eye condition that rendered him almost blind. Greg had multiple, overwhelming health issues. No amount of testing and diagnostics would have been useful in helping to save his life. 

Still the questions remain. Is it “humane” to send an animal with overwhelming health issues to a rescue or hospice situation? Is it really being “rescued” if its suffering continues just so people can say it wasn’t euthanized? What if it doesn’t receive the care it needs to alleviate its suffering? When this happens, the mission of humane care for animals becomes about people making a poor decision just so they don’t have to feel bad.

So when you accuse Greenhill of being a “kill” shelter because they make unpopular but medically sound decisions based on what is best for the animal, you are barking up the wrong tree.

Randi E. Golub, Certified Veterinary Technician, Eugene 

 

CARTESIAN CHICKENS

The most offensive part of your Aug. 16 cover story on locally raised chickens was when Ephraim Payne smugly praises Derek Brandow for thanking the chickens for their “sacrifice” on butchering day.

Never mind the exaggerated claims of sustainable agriculture — despite the fact that these grass-fed chickens still consume 10 times their weight in grain. Never mind the questionable label of “healthy food,” despite overwhelming evidence that eating meat is responsible for epidemics of heart disease, various cancers and a host of other maladies.

While these assertions are mere misinformation, the logic of “humane slaughter” is not even internally consistent. To say one should — or even can — act humanely, we’re acknowledging that chickens are sentient. If they are sentient, with a capacity for suffering, pleasure and relationships, if they fear death and love life, then genuine humaneness would take their interests into full account.

Considering truly sustainable, delicious, healthy and nutritious alternatives are readily available, how can one claim that cutting a chicken’s throat after living one tenth of her natural life span is humane? Can we really pat ourselves on the back for not torturing her beforehand?

If you want to eat meat, you can either adopt Descartes’ 17th century view that chickens (and dogs, cats, cows, etc.) have no souls, intelligence, perception or sensation, or you can choose to look the other way. However, it simply makes no sense to claim humaneness when killing to appease one’s taste buds. Instead, why don’t we give thanks for the fact that we don’t have to?

Lucas Spiegel, Eugene

 

IGNORING THE PEOPLE

Ambrose Bierce defined “corporation” as an ingenious device for obtaining profit without individual responsibility. Our local county officials also take no responsibility when they turn a blind eye toward the safety and wellbeing of citizens and only represent millionaire developers.

This is the case of the latest decision that was made concerning the site review of Parvin Butte Aug. 25.

One hundred people testified in person and writing against the Lost Valley Rock Products quarry. A large animal vet testified that blasting and rock crushing will have negative effects on large animals. A woman testified that veterans suffering from PTSD living in a veterans’ home close to the quarry site are having negative reactions to blasting and rock crushing noises. OSU extension staff testified of the negative effects of dust on organic and hay crops close to the quarry. A man with 80 percent hearing loss worries about losing the rest of his hearing and has submitted letters from his doctors.

Rattlesnake Road will be used to carry this rock and has no pull-offs or shoulders and will impact the safety of residents who bike, walk their dogs and ride horses on this road. Rattlesnake Road was not built to handle trucks that weigh over 45 tons. Are Lane County residents expected to repair the road damage caused by these private trucks?

Gary Darnielle, the hearings officer, said clearly the site review process as interpreted in this decision does not provide the protection expected by most of the community.

 What an understatement!

Arlen Markus, Dexter

 

UNWRITTEN DECREES

This letter is in regards to Jerry Ritter’s letter asking to see a decree to provide housing to the homeless [8/16]. Mr. Ritter, there were unwritten laws and decrees in this country centuries before the first welfare line of illegal aliens. But they weren’t called as such. No one would go hungry or without a warm place to stay, especially children. To me you sound like the 1 percent — if we didn’t have this law written for you then it does not apply. I am glad you would rather have your taxes go to provide housing for the 1 percent rather than provide it for our own children. 

Ken Bryant, Springfield