I was moved to tears by the article on the increased population growth in Petaluma ("The Road Ahead," Nov. 11). I lived in Petaluma as a young woman in the 1970s, and it was too crowded back then! How about educating all races, socioeconomic groups and ages about the destruction of our planet on which we all depend? We have normalized overcrowding, pollution, noise, crime, animals going extinct and fighting over resources. How about only allowing newcomers who have one child or none?
Some traditions are positive and make society stronger, but some have proven to weaken our character, damage our health and are cruel to others. The tradition that we must scrutinize today is the merciless killing of billions of farmed animals, and particularly poignant this month, the Thanksgiving turkey.
What was traditionally seen simply as "food" by older generations requires deeper reflection and examination with new eyes. Much like chickens bred for their meat, turkeys are overcrowded in windowless, filthy buildings and forced to live in their own waste. Suffering and misery is all they know.
As people become aware of the wretched conditions birds endure in the poultry industry, companies are attempting to appease customers by describing turkey meat as "humane" or "free-range." Unfortunately, these labels are largely insubstantial and unregulated, and animals are still debeaked, de-toed, violently handled and sent to a frightening, painful slaughter under these "humane" labels.
Tradition should uplift and strengthen a community. As long as a tradition causes suffering, it is hindering our entire society's ability to thrive. By practicing compassion, love and kindness, we can create a society where our holiday traditions facilitate a better world, for ourselves and all species on earth.
I saw Oldtymer's letter about my story ("Busted Again," Nov. 4). I would like to respond. I have been through the courts many times for growing and supplying medical marijuana to low-income patients. Every single time the case has been dismissed. Oldtymer, you have characterized me as being a greedy person, and all about making money. Only one problem, oldster! There is no money. The district attorneys in all my cases would have pursued the charges if they had seen criminal activity. And they did not. The fact is, 18 felonies dismissed is overwhelming evidence of my compliance with the law in each and every case. That's why the district attorneys dropped the charges: because I didn't break any laws.
Oldtymer, if you are broke and can't afford medical marijuana, I will provide it for you. You'll have to get a recommendation from a doctor. My lawyer informed me that even after the new laws go into effect, I'll still be able to give medical marijuana out to my collective members, farm-to-patient.
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