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Letters to the Editor

Readers write about earth-friendly diets, home births, Olympic boycotts, and alternative energy.

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In a shrinking world, redefine a luxury diet

Regarding the July 16 article, "Diet for a more-crowded planet: plants": I find it amazing that the political and environmental discussion about carbon footprints always argues that "we need to drive less" or "we need to fly less," but never "we need to eat less meat."

Quoting from the article: "Livestock generate 18 percent of the human-produced greenhouse gases in the form of methane, more than the transportation sector."

As human beings evolve, I think there needs to be a major shift in consciousness away from always wanting a bigger, more powerful, more polluting car, or even one's own jet.

Maybe, as part of our aspirations toward getting financially richer, we need to look at richness taken as a whole, to include spiritual, social, and intellectual richness.

When the sum total of that richness manifests itself, it looks more like a meatless or a less-meat diet, instead of the common idea that part of a rich lifestyle is more meat eating.

Give mothers more birthing options

Regarding the July 22 article, "Laboring to save home births": As a mother who chose to give birth at home under the care of a professional midwife, I read this article with great interest and appreciation. Considering our nation's deplorable infant mortality rate, and an increased surgical-birth rate in hospital births, I hope to see more stories about women's birth choices.

Like the women in the article, I have also attended rallies to support the licensing of professional midwives. And I observed that home-birth families include a very broad range of conservative, liberal, religious, and nonreligious individuals.

I would like to point out that while safety rates are clearly of utmost importance when it comes to childbirth, there are many other factors worth comparing between home and hospital birth experiences: quality of prenatal and postnatal care, childbirth education, breast-feeding support, nutrition education, etc. These aspects need to be evaluated in order for consumers (pregnant women) to be able to make informed choices.

Olympic boycotts are inappropriate


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