Meat industry is what's scary

Halloween zombies, witches, ghosts and goblins lurking about don’t scare me; what’s really frightening is the meat industry.

This is the industry that deprives, mutilates, cages, then butchers billions of cows, pigs, turkeys, chickens - animals who feel joy, affection, sadness, and pain, just like us … that exposes undocumented workers to chronic workplace injuries at slave wages, and exploits farmers and ranchers by dictating market prices …

The industry that contributes more to our epidemic of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and cancer than any other, then bullies health authorities to remove health warnings from dietary guidelines …

The industry that sanctions world hunger by feeding nutritious corn and soybeans to animals, instead of people …

The industry that generates more water pollution than all other human activities, that spews more greenhouse gases than all transportation, that destroys more wildlife habitats than all other industries.

Fortunately, our local supermarkets offer a rich selection of plant-based meats, milks, cheeses, and ice creams, as well as a colorful display of fresh fruits and veggies. According to the meat industry publication Feedstuffs, sales of plant-based foods doubled from 2017 to 2018, jumping another 20% from 2018-19.

That's what gives me my courage…and hope.

Sedrick Mackenzie

Santa Maria

What qualities do you seek in a President?

What do most Americans want in a President? Most would say character, with everything that word implies. The dictionary definition is a person who is honest, loyal, respectful, responsible, humble, compassionate, fair, possessed of integrity and has strong moral principles.

The man or woman, in short, should be an exceptionally "good" human being. Intelligence, judgment, and a stable mind are also obvious prerequisites. A good education and an understanding of history and government are further requirements, along with previous public or military service demonstrating an interest in helping others.

Being married isn't required, though ideally we'd want a model First Couple with a relationship based on true love, a marriage that could be admired and emulated. This person should have a lifetime of honest dealings and deep respect among peers.

Hopefully, his or her success would be self-made, so the person knew what it was to struggle. This President should understand the interconnectedness of the world now and the importance of our providing leadership, as well as being trusted by allies and the rest of the world. The kinds of associates the President has had over the years should be of high character as well. And his cabinet appointees should be dedicated to improving their areas of responsibility with the American people in mind, not wealthy friends whose investments would be factors in decision making.

Finally, the White House advisors must be experienced and dedicated to serving America and giving honest advice to the President, who should be worthy of their respect and command their loyalty, so there was never a revolving door in the White House. Perhaps the ultimate indispensable requirement is that the President must be of sound mind, a stable, reliable person. We must never ever have a war of any kind to simply "get even" with some country or the leader of that country or to show that the President is powerful, manly or womanly enough not to take any guff from anybody.

Those who largely agree with these needed qualities, you might want to keep them in mind as you vote in November 2020.

Jack Miles

Santa Maria

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