March 13 letters from readers

Mar 12, 2013

Be on the lookout for horse meat

To the editor:

Last week, food safety officials in United Kingdom, France, and Sweden found traces of horse meat in ground beef sold across Europe.  Massive recalls and lawsuits are ensuing.

Can it happen here?  Horse slaughter for human consumption was banned in the U.S. between 2007 and 2011.  But now, a New Mexico slaughterhouse is getting approved by U.S. authorities to slaughter horses for human consumption, and a Philadelphia restaurant has already announced plans to serve horse meat.

I marvel at our hypocrisy of rejecting the notion of horse or dog meat on our dinner plates, while condemning cows, pigs, and chickens to the same fate.

Obviously, we have established special relationships with horses and dogs as our companions, protectors, and sports protagonists, rather than as food.

But where is the ethical and logical distinction, given that all these animals are endowed by individuality, sentience, and an ability to experience the same feelings of joy, affection, sadness, and fear that we do?

Fortunately, our health food industry has spared us from having to choose which animals to pet and which ones to eat.  Their delicious soy and grain-based meat alternatives are available in every supermarket.

Weston Madrigal



Lake Junaluska decision is unfortunate

To the editor:

Strange hearing local leaders talking about a “wedding” of the property owners of Lake Junaluska Assembly with the city of Waynesville. No date for the wedding but apparently someone is programming it very soon. Why?

However, there has to be a divorce before the wedding. For 100 years the Assembly has been living with a growing community of persons and families. The Lake has been one and the same entity. It has been a marriage, perhaps even made in heaven.

The Assembly is divorcing these people. There will be no property owners or residents at the Lake. No one to flesh out the advertised “place of Christian hospitality” but staff of a conference center. It becomes the location of a business and no longer a community.

Imagine owning property at the Lake since 1977, living here since 1997 and suddenly being classified as a visitor at the Welcome Center. No one will live at the Lake except the new residents of the columbarium at the memorial chapel. We will be city dwellers in Waynesville.

The Lake administration, staff and program will be a separate entity from the property owners. No more obligations to residents or authority over them. No residents! The marriage covenant of a century is broken. Historic homes will be moved into Waynesville.

Hopefully, residents will become good citizens of Waynesville, contributors to quite a different community, learning new rules to obey. No hanging on to what no longer will exist.

The Lake Assembly will operate without any advice or assistance from those who no longer live there. No more property owners association. No one will have property at the Lake. No more Lake community life.

The community will cease to exist. New property purchasers will continue to buy with no thought of involvement with the Lake Assembly. They will live in Waynesville.

I am opposed to the divorce of partners of many years and therefore opposed to any proposed marriage. We are told there cannot be an annulment of this new hitching. But it appears so easy to separate the residents from the Lake Assembly. It has begun and is also permanent, too. Even in a amiable divorce, the divorcees don’t live with each other.

How do we celebrate the Lake Junaluska centennial at the same time we are proposing to divide it into two parts? Never the twain shall meet. No longer anyone dreaming that some day they can live at the Lake. No property available.

Art Swarthout

Lake Junaluska

Thank you, Larry Bryson

To the editor:

I would like to salute Larry Bryson for his many years of service to the people of Haywood County and to offer support to Sheriff Greg Christopher as he undertakes the duties he is now charged with.

In conversations, and in working beside Sheriff Christopher over many years in his role in the NC SHP, I believe that he will hope for the support of all boards, organizations, political parties and individuals, but, whether he receives that support, or not, he will go steadfastly forward in facing the most emergent issue at hand--the escalating use of alcohol and other drugs by children. Yes, children. The use of alcohol and other drugs at ages eight, ten and twelve is not the exception, it’s the rule. By the time they are in high school, they are already in a dangerous and deadly world. Their “friends” are drinkers, party-goers, pill-providers and hard-core drug-dealers.

There is no place for career politicians, powerplayers or those who fear any kind of political retaliation in the battle to save a whole generation from the death and destruction we see everyday in the news, in the schools and in our homes.

I know that Sheriff Christopher may meet strong and steady resistance from unexpected places. I believe that he will weather those storms and emerge stronger and more determined than ever.

I was at a meeting, not long ago, in Raleigh, and was seated beside NC SHP Sgt Chris Wood. He spoke to me about Greg Christopher as “the man I want to be”, “a person I look up to , not only in his career, but in life”. They served in the Highway Patrol together.

For anyone who doesn’t know Sgt Wood, I can say this-if he’s looking up to someone, it’s farther up than most of us could see.

Ellen T. Pitt

Mothers Against Drunk Driving

Western North Carolina