Alibi V.20 No.13 • March 31-April 6, 2011 


Born Free

Dear Alibi,

The symbiotic relationship between man and the domesticated animal is one in which we can track historical changes in the development of society. Approximately 10,000 years ago man shifted from a nomadic lifestyle to a more sedentary one. The advent of harvesting crops and domestication of livestock can be considered the beginning of modern societal constructs. Just as the animals where rounded up, the people were now moved to more centralized areas. The liberties of the individual were limited by laws that the few held over the many.

The Industrial Revolution forever changed the way society would function as a whole. For the farm animal this would be a disastrous event that lead to a cruel form of being. The most significant part of this revolution was efficiency overriding ethical standards. Animals were now seen as profitable commodities, their existence as beings would be overlooked as big business researched ways to lessen the cost of raising them in a dignified manner. At the same time, the dehumanization of the work place was underway. People working on an assembly line were forced into mechanical labor as a way to sustain a meager way of life.

The re-creation of the farm animal, in the laboratory, is a nefarious representation of how far business and government will go to achieve their avarice goals. If you were allowed to peer into the modern day chicken coop, you’d see breast heavy birds falling face forward into their own feces. The health of the animal is not an option when the breast is so highly profitable. The American worker has also been tampered with to the point that obesity has become the leading health issue of our times, and the multiple physical ailments that are directly attributed to a poor diet. The overweight, medicated employee is a compliant worker that has lost his ability to function outside of the machine.

I think it is time to let all the animals run free again.

Robert Feuer

(I Don’t Love That) Dirty Water

Dear Alibi,

In most people’s views I'm considered pretty healthy. I steer clear from soft drinks. I practice yoga three times a week. And I've been working on fueling my body with more veggies and fruits.

But that hard work and effort is being reversed by New Mexico’s dirty water and air. According to an Environment New Mexico report, the Four Corners Power Plant is releasing large amounts of mercury into the environment. These pollutants are diminishing my goal of living past 100 and its not even because of something that I’m doing. It’s what local companies are doing.

Coal-fired power plants release thousands of harmful pollutants into the atmosphere each year, such as mercury, soot and lead. And the worst part is that power plants around the country are fighting to continue to pollute the environment and put people’s health at risk.

For example, the Clean Air Act that’s helping to clean up and update existing fossil fuel energy sources is under attack by industry lobbyists who are trying to stop these measures in Congress.

Why would you want to stop something that could potentially reduce toxic mercury pollution, reduce ozone levels to protect communities from toxic coal ash and halt global warming pollution from coal-fired power plants?

We need to stop this madness. I urge the EPA to place the strongest standards possible and support the Obama administration in backing these efforts, because I need a healthier future to live.

Abigail R. Ortiz

Environment New Mexico intern

Ortiz y Pinos Say the Darndest Things

Dear Alibi,

[Opinion, “License to Rage,” March 17-23] Wow. Somebody needs to take away [Ortiz y] Pino’s license to write. He always makes an outrageous statement then provides “evidence” that has no basis in fact. No surprise there. The fact is that New Mexico driver’s licenses are being bought and sold to criminals, many of whom don’t even live in the state. Law enforcement recognizes this and says it makes tracking criminals very difficult, if not impossible. Is [Ortiz y] Pino so naive to think that a criminal is going to provide his/her true address? The fact is that people who broker driver’s licenses are offering fictitious addresses to their customers. The fact is guns can be bought with a driver’s license. But we know no one would ever buy a guy [sic] to use in a crime. [Ortiz y] Pino suggests that we need to write laws that make it convenient for people to follow or they’ll just ignore them. They ignored our laws by crossing the border. Illegal aliens have no need for a driver’s license, because they don’t belong here. I’ve visited many foreign countries. I never had any issues renting and driving a vehicle. The reason was I had no intent to break their laws by staying permanently. Providing any services to those who choose to consciously break our immigration laws only rewards their criminal activity. At the end of [Ortiz y] Pino’s article, I noticed he was a college instructor. Was this a kindergarten college instructor? If [Ortiz y] Pino wasn’t on Art Linkletter’s show several decades ago, he should have been.

Virgil Miller

Correction: The Villanelle Contest results published in last week’s Alibi [Arts & Lit, “Write Like Plath,” March 24-30] incorrectly credited the poem "Grandma Bonnie and Clive." The poem was written by Susan Paquet.

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