Looking through my calendar of national observances, it appears that October is turning into "food month," beginning with World Vegetarian Day and World Day for Farm Animals on Oct. 1-2, continuing with National School Lunch Week on Oct. 14-18 and World Food Day on Oct. 16, and culminating with Food Day on Oct. 24.
World Day for Farm Animals Day (www.wfad.org), on Oct. 2, is perhaps the most dramatic of these. It celebrates the lives, exposes the abuses, and memorializes the slaughter of billions of sentient animals raised for food. Recent undercover investigations showed male baby chicks suffocated in plastic garbage bags or ground to death, pigs clobbered with metal pipes, and cows skinned and dismembered while still conscious. Moreover, a recent Harvard study of more than 120,000 people confirmed once again that meat consumption raises mortality from cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Animal agriculture accounts for more water pollution than all other human activities. A 2011 United Nations report recommends eating less meat to reduce greenhouse gases.
The good news is that our meat consumption has been dropping by nearly 4 percent annually! Enter "live vegan" in a search engine for lots of useful transition tips.
Once again Pam Sohn dazzles us with her journalistic brilliance. She chides Chattanoogans and Americans for our backward resistance to change for not lining up to buy Volkswagen's VL1 diesel-electric plug-in hybrid, a sure sign we are brain-damaged by inhaling hydrocarbon fumes when we fill up our gas-guzzlers. But, hey, I'm ready to get with the program to save the planet. I'll follow Pam's example as soon as she ponies up the $146,000 to purchase one of the 250 two-seaters available worldwide. Oh, she neglected to tell you knuckle-draggers the price-tag, a regular omission whenever the Times writes about green technology. Now all we need is a Clay Bennett cartoon ridiculing us for our stingy reluctance to stop global warming. After all, 250 of these precious cars will undoubtedly halt climate change in its tracks.
KEN SHEETS, Hixson
You brighten my day and make me smile.
The new larger colorful photo's of people and pets with the delightful captions are a great addition to the new format.
In this world of some good news and mostly bad news, this is a welcome change. Thank you for making things more cheerful and homey.
ANNA MAE KARNES, Rossville
Here are some thoughts that apply to our culture today.
"Tolerance is the virtue of a man without conviction." G. K. Chesterton.
"To employ the soft words and honeyed phrases in discussing questions of everlasting importance; to deal with errors that strike at the foundations of all human hope as if they were harmless and venial mistakes; to bless where God disapproves, and to make apologies where He calls us to stand up...is cruelty to man and treachery to Heaven. Those who on such subjects attach more importance to the rules of courtesy than they do to the measures of truth do not defend the citadel, but betray it into the hands of its enemies. Love for Christ, and for the souls for whom He died, will be the exact measure of our zeal in exposing the dangers by which men's souls are ensnared." Sermon, June 7, 1885, Bishop George Sayles.
"When the Church of Jesus Christ becomes weaker and more timid in the face of sin, the enemies of God become stronger and more arrogant. This is precisely what we are seeing in our cities in America today-a timid and fearful church surrounded by enemies who are emboldened by the church's passivity and unwillingness to proclaim Truth." Flip Benham.
Democrats and Republican leaders have failed the people. Democrats; Barrack Obama, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and Republicans; John Boehner, Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell are spineless weaklings that don't care what the people want! The people don't want Obamacare and don't want government to spend more than they take in. Is that too much to ask?
They are all about posturing and blaming the other side but neither has addressed the concerns of the people. Obama out of hatefulness has wielded his presidential power just to spite the people and upset them to no end. Obama is good at dividing the people by giving to one while taking from the other. John Boehner has zero principals and only confuses the issues by his crazy shenanigans. Neither wants to balance the budget or save the people from this new form of taxation with layers of regulations known as Obamacare. We do have some new principled leadership on the horizon and their names are Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, Justin Amash, and Paul Broun. The people deserve leaders that actually care about their well-being, make decisions based on whether we can afford it, whether it is constitutional, whether we really need it and ultimately consider the consequences of their action or inaction.
CHARLES STOKER, Meno, Ga.