Letters & E-mails
A Question of Ethics
I read with interest your list of countries viewed as ethical tourism destinations (“Ethical Traveler,” Spring). But given the issue of climate change and the vast amount of fossil fuels consumed by commercial airlines, is it really possible to be an ethical traveler to such far flung destinations as South Africa? Unless you travel by sailboat of course....
Tell us what you think:
Letters to the Editor
Earth Island Journal
2150 Allston Way,
Berkeley, CA 94704
An often-overlooked fact in the debate between meat-eaters and vegetarians (“What’s for Dinner?” Spring) is that animals are required for sustainable farming. I became a vegan to support my Buddhist belief that I should cause as little suffering as possible. After a year, I gave in to the fact that I was unable to get enough protein and vitamins to avoid anemia and a foggy brain. Others can do this, but I could not. I transitioned into a lacto-ovo-pesca-tarian, buying only organic, humanely raised or wild-caught sources, and my health was fine. A few years ago, I built a small homestead where I can grow my own food. In learning to do so I discovered the key role that animals play by providing pest control, brush management, fertilizer and more. A sustainable farm is a delicate ecosystem where all elements are inter-dependent. If you remove the animals, the system starts to break down.
Mine and Yours
I have been going to camp on the Yellow Dog River since I was old enough to walk. My aunt and uncle were smart enough to buy property near Bear Lake and the river. My husband and I now own this five-acre parcel. Nowhere do I feel the peace and comfort of Mother Earth like I do when I’m at camp. I have five granddaughters and I hope they and their children will be able to swim, fish, and walk this clean meandering river. I find it hard to believe that humans are filled with so much greed that they would take any chance that might destroy this beauty (“Minefield,” Summer) and pollute the largest source of fresh water in the world, which I believe will be worth more than anything they can mine. Once it’s done how will we fix it? Please raise your voice ... it’s time to say “NO!”
I was intrigued to see your cover story on mining coal (“Ready to Rumble,” Summer). As the parent of a child with autism, this toxic practice is one of the factors I believe can contribute to developmental disabilities. I have no desire to debate whether thimerosol causes ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder), but a quick review of an article by the Physicians for Social Responsibility titled “Coal’s Assault on Human Health,” and one can quickly gather that on top of the neurotoxins related to mercury exposure, diseases such as asthma, lung cancer, heart disease, and stroke are all linked to the mining and use of coal. As a parent with small children and a citizen of this planet, I hope that your Journal and other voices out there can convince others that coal-powered energy is not worth the long-term consequences on our planet.