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Reader clucks for plant-based eggs

The U.S. egg industry is reeling from a colossal outbreak of avian flu, mostly among egg-laying chickens.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 48 million birds, accounting for 11 percent of the nation's egg-laying hens, have been slaughtered for fear of infection during the past few months. The effects are far-reaching, from how to dispose of millions of potentially infected bird carcasses to job losses and rapidly rising egg prices.

More than 40 countries have restricted U.S. poultry imports. Although the precise cause of the outbreak remains uncertain, the horrendous conditions in today's factory farms make egg and chicken production extremely vulnerable to disease outbreaks, and therefore, not sustainable.

A number of innovative companies have stepped in to offer plant-based alternatives that mimic closely the taste, texture and cooking properties of eggs and chicken. They are available in the frozen food section of every supermarket.

Many of us favor replacing polluting fossil energy sources with clean renewable ones. That takes concerted national action.

But every one of us has the power to effect that same transition for our food sources every time we shop for food.

Tristan Bell

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Free enterprise can work with market

Pope Francis was right in both conceding the need for economic growth and in excoriating a model that concentrates wealth at the top and leaves the poor to scramble for the remains.

As currently applied, free enterprise is "dung of the devil," "a new colonialism" and "a subtle dictatorship." I agree. (See Leonard Pitts' July 19 Times column for the reasons why.)

The pope wasn't suggesting that we throw out the baby with its bathwater.

Free enterprise, when actually free, does an excellent job in setting prices and creating wealth, but performs poorly at setting wages. That deficiency can be overcome.

Free enterprise needs a base for a reference for setting wages and a fair distribution of wealth. A base would serve as the footing that Atlas needs to lift the world.

An employees' market would provide the base that free enterprise needs to eliminate the mess that the pope excoriated while it continues to facilitate economic growth.

James O.B. Wright

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Forget the past; fix the culture

If black activists who are concerned about taking away the honors Bill Cosby has gotten over the years and the NAACP which is concerned about the monument on Stone Mountain would join forces to help the black culture, they would make a difference in a lot of lives. The second "A" in NAACP stands for "advancement."

If both forces would go into the schools and stress the importance of education and hard work to achieve success, they would be accomplishing some good.

They could also go into the projects and monitor the youth in staying away from drugs. This would save some lives for it is the drugs and the gangs where lives are being lost in the projects.

The concern should be what is important to the black culture in the present and the future. Dwelling on history of 150 years ago is only pulling the culture down.

Stone Mountain should not be a concern for the culture. The concern should be looking inward and the future of the youth.

Hazel Steel, Cleveland, Tenn.

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