Nov. 17 2010 10:33 AM

Our readers tell us what they think about speciesism, the elections, women's rights and more

Have some respect

Thanks to Brook Larios' Sept. 15 “Nibbles” column for the shout out regarding my recent letter to CityBeat and its reference to speciesism, or the favor of one species over another in the name of our customs, appetites and comforts.

Worth noting is El Take It Easy's step in the right direction of sourcing the rabbits on the menu from local and, as Larios puts it, “sensible” ranchers. Knowing where your food comes from indeed pokes a hole in the shroud of detachment that the masses tend to live under.

And it's not just with food; it's in the clothes we wear, the medicines we take and the entertainment we enjoy. Take, for example, Enrique Limon's Sept. 29 cover story on charreada.

Yes, lassoing horses by their hind legs or bulls by their tails plays a role in Mexican culture. But do we allow ourselves to connect to the horse screaming and shitting itself in terror? Do we consider the worse abuse that occurs behind the scenes, even though “animal lover” Rigoberto Campos, leader of Charros de San Ysidro, insists it doesn't? The line can only be drawn in our hearts and our level of respect for all life. Suffering is suffering, and our choices make it or break it.

Elyssa Paige, Ocean Beach

First cut: the Pentagon

Thanks for your thoughtful analyses regarding the recent election and new GOP leaders of the various U.S. House (of Representatives) committees [“Editorial,” Nov. 3].

In particular, Buck McKeon, incoming chair of Armed Services, should—but, sadly, probably won't—outrage all fiscal conservatives. (Listening, teabaggers?) As noted, “He's collected hundreds of thousands of dollars from [weapons manufacturers] and, not surprisingly, is pushing for greater spending on weapons.” The GOP, Fox News and their minions whine incessantly about lobbyists and spending and then elevate the biggest lobbyist-spending whore around to committee chair. Nice.

People need to understand the connection between out-of-control federal war spending and the slashing of state and local budgets for roads, education, libraries, parks, etc.

Esquire recently commissioned four former U.S. Senators—two Republicans (Bob Packwood, John Danforth) and two Democrats (Gary Hart, Bill Bradley)—and a chairman (Lawrence O'Donnell) to hypothetically balance the federal budget. Free from lobbyists, reelection pressures and political influences, after three days of rigorous discussion and debate, they succeeded. And the biggest—by far—savings found? In the Pentagon's Cold War-based budget.

Note to fiscal conservatives: Unless reorganizing and cutting military spending is at the top of your list, you're full of shit.

Rick Chiszar, University Heights

Slavery in a ‘baby factory'

A reply to “Post-abortion” [“Letters,” Nov. 3]: I appreciate the respectful tone of the letter by David Schmeideberg in discussing this divisive topic. But his final implication that an abortion is morally similar to enslaving people seems backwards. In my opinion, forcing a woman to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term is akin to slavery, forcing employment as a baby factory against her will. We might reflect on the fact that when abortion was illegal, all sorts of women engaged in desperate illegal abortions, just as people who were enslaved desperately risked their lives to escape. These women were Christians and agnostics, Repub licans and Democrats, conservatives and liberals, rich and poor.

Many of us, probably a majority, do not see a difference in kind between an egg that is washed out of the body by menses each month and an egg that happened to contact a sperm in that time. An embryo is not a baby.

Carrie Schneider, North Park

This issue of CityBeat was sexually assaulted by Transportation Security Administration personnel before being declared safe for you to read.


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