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Letters to the Editor: Food sea-change a result of climate crisis

December 24th, 2021 8:10 AM

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EDITOR – For many years I have been writing letters to newspapers, pointing out the bewilderingly large numbers of animals killed in a Christmas tradition.

I have asked readers to consider Christ’s eternal message of love and compassion.

But a remarkable thing has been happening over the last 24 months. People all over the world have been turning towards a plant-based diet and a vegan lifestyle.

We have seen how the supermarket shelves have been filling up every week with more and more vegan options.

Personal health concerns continue to turn people towards a varied diet with a big emphasis on fruit and vegetables.

Yet the biggest change has come as a result of climate change, and the message that has come through loud and clear: that the single most effective action an individual can take in order to reduce their personal carbon footprint is to stop consuming animal produce. This is not a fad – it’s a sea-change. The food industry knows it, the media knows it. The politicians are behind the curve as usual, but even they are waking up to the fact that animal agriculture and climate change are inextricably linked.

Gerry Boland,

Keadue,

Co Roscommon

Middle-aged men are ‘stigmatising’ abortion

EDITOR –  Fetal pain relief is medically unnecessary, as the vast majority of abortions occur long before the central nervous system develops.

In rare late-term abortions where this may not be the case, anesthesia is already used that passes through the placenta to the fetus. Supporters of the fetal pain relief bill in the Dáil on Wednesday, December 15th, would have known this, but nonetheless forced a debate that could only serve to stigmatise abortion service users and providers. I can think of few more shameful days in the Dáil than Wednesday, when a series of middle-aged men who will never experience a crisis pregnancy stood up and discussed abortion in terms of rural vets, as if the women and pregnant people of Ireland are mere livestock.

Ciara Kennedy,

Rebels For Choice,

Lehenaghmore, Cork.

Double speak from our Taoiseach

EDITOR –  On December 15th, Animal Welfare Awareness Day, the Taoiseach hailed the work of people who strive to alleviate the plight of animals in Ireland. His message came as the government announced the allocation of €3.7m to animal charities. While I welcome any financial support for animal welfare, this allocation represents a mere 4% of the amount doled out to horse and greyhound racing a fortnight earlier. These received a whopping €88m in State grants, despite both industries claiming to be runaway money spinners.

What does this say about government priorities?  Right now, coursing and hunt clubs are out in force.  I like to think that a future Taoiseach will back the abolition of bloodsports and the prioritisation of animal welfare over gambling, profit, and the need to watch dumb creatures suffer for human amusement.

John Fitzgerald,

Callan, Co Kilkenny.

Virus isn’t the worst crisis for some

EDITOR –  Despite all the difficulties we have faced close to home over the past year, it has been inspiring that so many of your readers remain steadfast in their commitment to help those living in poverty around the world – through their support for Christian Aid Ireland.

The arrival on our shores of the Omicron variant is another reminder of the need to vaccinate the whole world against coronavirus.

However, for millions of people around the globe, coronavirus is not the only – or even the worst – crisis they face. Conflict and climate change are powerful drivers of poverty, and millions of people in countries such as Afghanistan and South Sudan have been caught between the effects of both.

Political instability in Afghanistan, combined with the worst drought in 27 years, have worsened the country’s hunger crisis.

We have all been moved by the heart-breaking scenes as starving Afghan families do all they can to try to feed their families. We have even seen the most desperate contemplate selling their own children to buy food.

Christian Aid has worked in Afghanistan for around 30 years and we are responding still, by providing food packages to some of the most vulnerable families. And we are working hard to press governments to allow more humanitarian aid to reach those most in need.

I want to thank your readers for the sacrifices they make to share what they have with those who have so little.

Their exceptional generosity is bringing hope to communities struggling with the effects of coronavirus, conflict and climate change.

Rosamond Bennett,

Chief Executive

Christian Aid Ireland,

Belfast.

Have politicians no shame?

EDITOR –  It has been reported that political parties in Ireland have been granted lottery permits, under the Charities Act, to hold raffles. Once again it seems members of these parties have no shame. However, in my opinion, this reflects also on those responsible for issue of such permits. What happens in this country is a disgrace to decency, honesty and integrity.  I suggest it is time the ‘normal’ people ask themselves – should we allow the privileged, the wealthy, and vested interests to abuse this country and its people?

Michael A Moriarty,

Rochestown.

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