Thanks for your story about George Webber, multipersonality extraordinaire ("The General," Our Town, March 19). My spouse and I have been delightfully entertained by his historical knowledge and mirthful yet rapier-like wit on multiple trips to Northern California. Finally, someone has reported the story of one who many family and friends have found to be one of your area's best-kept secret entertainment talents. Viva the walking tours of Sonoma and Napa valleys!
Peter M. Rose
In her article "The Meat of the Matter" (Feb. 20), Christina Waters waxes on about "a new renaissance" in meat-eating, as if that were a good thing. The "back to the pasture" movement may help carnivores feel better about what they eat, but more "humane" farming methods don't make animal farming kind and compassionate. Just a little less cruel.
I wonder what Ms. Waters thinks goes on in those "family-run" slaughterhouses? Brother and sister hold the pig while mom hands dad the knife? She is really grasping at nonexistent straws if she thinks that animal slaughter can be a tidy, humane process. Using words like "dispatched" to describe the violent wrenching of life away from a 400-pound pig shows a Mary Poppins&–like naiveté with more than a spoonful of wishful thinking on her part. We're not sending these animals off to boarding school. Slaughter is an inherently brutal, bloody process and cruel because it is completely unnecessary.
Mainstream scientific and nutritional agencies such as the American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada say we don't need any animal products to live long and healthy lives. Despite Ms. Water's feeble optimism, mainstream science still holds that animal products increase the risk of many of today's most serious diseases including heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
Why do we bend over backwards to justify the unnecessary exploitation of other species? The use of animals will always be plagued with serious moral issues. There is a lot more joy in learning to cook, eat and dress without these products, rather than trying to stuff the inherent cruelty of animal exploitation into an uncomfortable fit within an ethical framework that doesn't really meet even the most minimal standards of humanity.
Up here on the Love Level, the second-floor office in which editorial gnashes and composes, we have a lyrical saying about the annual Best Of the North Bay issue, published just last week. "Once we apologize," we whisper to one another, fairly shaking with anticipation, "it's all over for the year!" Then we make a special Love Level symbol with our thumbs and pour more lukewarm water over the same tea bag we've been using all day. It's just that giddy.
This year marks a spectacular round of apology. For starters, there's the matter of the Readers Choice winners from the Everyday category that were to have printed last week on p85 but lay restfully underneath a soy-ink-based layer of advertising instead. These two columns of rock-solid winners are found this week on p37, and man are we haunted-dreams-sorry about that last-minute production snafu.
Further items on our scarlet A-for-Apology list include:
Clavey River Equipment is delighted to be reached by phone at their actual number, 707.766.8070.
Great Sunsations Tanning Spa won honorable mention for Sonoma County in the Best Tanning Salon slot but never darkened our master list of winners and so was accidentally omitted. This fine establishment may be found in the Brickyard Center, 508 Seventh St., Santa Rosa. 707.545.6786.
Bernstein Orthodontics have two locations to address overbite, underbite and crossbite. While we're certain that Dr. Peter Bernstein of Seavey Road in Petaluma is one heckuva doc, he was not the winner; Dr. Rael Bernstein is. His offices may be found thusly: 515 Farmers Lane, Santa Rosa. 707.575.0600. 8741 Brooks Road S., Windsor. 707.836.8360.
And finally, we're willing to state with fair certainty that there is no surf shop with a Petaluma address found in Napa—at least not in this universe. And if there is, lawd knows, we apologize.
(It's all over!)