As a person who sells meat for a living and is proud of my job and products, I feel like I need to reply to Mr. Jacobs' call to "[replace] meat and other animal products in our diet with a healthful, eco-friendly spread of vegetables, fresh fruits and whole grains" [Re: Letters, "Meat Is Murder(ing) the Earth," April 23-29].
La Montañita Co-op's Meat Department's beef comes exclusively from River Canyon Ranch. The cows are raised on organic pasture in Northern New Mexico. Their finishing pasture, where they spend the last 70 days of their lives, has organic wheat, soy and corn, as well as plenty of grass. The eco-footprint of the raising of these cattle and slaughter, dry aging and delivery is much less than that of conventional cattle.
Our meat department also sells Pollo Real chicken and Shepherd's organic lamb, both raised sustainably and humanely here in New Mexico. The question I'd like to ask is this: If New Mexico just ate vegetables, would that help the environment? Our local produce farmers do wonderful work, but the truth is there is not enough arable land in our state to support our population on vegetables alone. Ruminants (cows and lambs) turn plants we can't eat into products we can eat. Most vegetables available to the public in our state require a good deal of resources to get them here, making them less eco-friendly.
Making the right decision for the environment usually comes down to the question of where and how the product was produced. A condemnation of the livestock sector as a whole is unreasonable.
Let's talk about sustainability responsibly, New Mexico!
Dave Payne, Meat and Cheese Department Team Leader La Montañita Co-op, Valley Albuquerque
[Re: Letters, "The Don's Raw Food Manifesto," April 23-29] Hats off to the Don. The soapbox diatribes of Don Schrader have never failed to give me a chuckle. This time was no exception.
Don has the right idea. I think the God I believe in wants us to sow seeds, sing songs and nothing more, and I could easily climb aboard that wagon.
The reality is, this is a capitalist society, God bless us all, and I'm not ready to walk away from it. Besides, I have too many bills to pay.
Part of the Don’s strategy is easy enough. I don't like smoke in my lungs, so cigarettes and pot are easy to just say no to.
And over the last year, for the first time in my adult life, on most nights I actually get eight hours sleep. And you know what? I like it!
But there we part ways ... I can't imagine a world without cheeseburgers and bacon. Yes, Don, I like carrots, but like the bumper sticker says, "I didn't climb my way to the top of the food chain to eat carrots."
That said, it really is messed up when you think about it. We live on a planet where everything eats everything else. How violent and screwed up is that?
Like the renowned men of old, Don walks everywhere and says he hasn't ridden in a car since 2001. I'm sure that's healthy, Don, but I'm not ready to discount fast cars and open roads.
Don, I can't imagine a world without wine, micro-brewed beer and bourbon. All guaranteed to bring about your early demise, but oh-so enjoyable!
And I've tried my whole adult life to drink more water; I know it’s the best thing for you, but it's tasteless and ... what was it that W.C. Fields said about water's effect on pipes and the disgusting things fish do in it?
In many ways, Don Schrader is right-on. I'm nowhere near there yet, and I have three words for him: "Good for you!"
Jim Rishe Albuquerque
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