Letters to the Editor

From the week of September 25, 2003

That's when I realized that, though there aren't many absolutes in this world, I couldn't support the meat industry in good conscience. I agree that we all need to become more connected with where our food comes from, but I think all students should take a field trip to a slaughterhouse when they're in elementary school. While PETA's melodrama can make its message easy to dismiss, the unvarnished truth will be enough to make many kids vegetarians for life.

Kate Johnson

Cattle call: I was disturbed by Jason Sheehan's column about the PETA video he watched. And I was especially disturbed when he followed up by stating, "I think third-graders should be made to watch it before lunch." Third-graders (and people of all ages) have the right to receive an unbiased education about their food origins. This goes much deeper than simply informing kids that pork comes from pigs and beef comes from cows. I wonder how many children realize that 1.5 percent of the population produces our food and that 100 percent of the population eats food. Do they understand that real people -- the American farmers -- are providing for the most basic of our human needs? And because of this, kids and their families can come home at the end of the day and watch TV or play sports instead of having to go out and hunt for their evening meal?

PETA does a serious disservice to the people involved in agriculture and should not have any involvement in the education of America's youth. It's time kids learn the truth about their food origins and develop an appreciation for the people who have taken on such an important job.

Janelle Davis
Kansas City, Missouri

Rug burn: We are not "all executioners when dinnertime comes," as Jason Sheehan claims. Most of us who have seen PETA's video came to the same conclusion that Sheehan did and acted upon it: We stopped eating meat.

His September 11 Bite Me column makes perfect sense to a logical conclusion -- and then abruptly and mysteriously changes course to "the only thing you can do is think before you eat." What? If you see this footage and you do think, you become vegetarian.

This is very puzzling: After his sophomoric introduction and obligatory attacks on PETA, it was a lovely surprise to realize that he understood the horror of slaughterhouses; he got it! But then he pulled the rug out -- from under himself.

Nancy Pennington

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