Bad year for meat 

This has not been a good year for the meat, dairy, and egg industries.

In January, ABC News provided extensive coverage of cow abuse by the dairy industry. The BP oil spill in April called attention to an even larger Gulf "dead zone" caused by the massive amounts of animal waste dumped every day by the Mississippi river. A month later, a U.N. report urged a global shift towards a vegan diet to reduce world hunger and climate change.

In June, FDA asked factory farms to stop routine use of antibiotics that lead to drug-resistant bacterial infections in humans. August witnessed the largest ever recall of more than half a billion eggs harboring salmonella.

Finally, this month, President Obama signed into law the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act to replace fatty animal products and other junk foods in school lunches and vending machines. According to the School Nutrition Association, 65 percent of U.S. schools now offer vegetarian lunch options.

For a New Year's resolution, we should all consider following suit. I found a great website at www.LiveVegan.org with recipes and tons of other useful info.

Luke Molina

Little Rock

Corporate America

A government of the people, for the people and by the people has turned into a government of the corporation, for the corporation and by the corporation. All this has been accomplished by the Republican Party in the years since President Eisenhower left office. They have ignored his warning about the military/industrial complex and what it would do to America.

The GOP has constantly reduced the taxes on the wealthy, while making sure that the working American pays their fair share.

As a record number of Americans are struggling to get by, many of the largest corporations are experiencing record profits and their CEOs are receiving record-breaking bonuses. According to one report, the average CEO earns $5,430 per hour, which is 344 times the pay of the average worker and is 10 times the pay gap that existed 30 years ago.

Congress has become a subsidiary of the corporations, while democracy is dying. I don't agree with all the Democrats do, but I cannot again vote for the party that has ruined American's economy. I can't see why any working American would still vote the Republican ticket.

G.M. Kesselring

Van Buren

We Americans are strange people who continue to stand in the rain with no umbrella and then wonder why we are getting wet. We complain about the lack of jobs without addressing our lack of production. If manufacturing is the engine that drives any economy and we manufacture nothing, why are we surprised there are no jobs? Everything we consume is shipped from Asia, Central America, Mexico or Canada. We don't even produce all the food we eat.

Corporate America, which has become addicted to quasi-slave labor, has been successful in busting the unions that once created the greatest economy in modern history. Little by little, the economic security we had known was gradually eroded as factory after factory began moving overseas and unions continued to be demonized. Now, 30 years after the assault on the working class began under the Reagan administration, we stand waiting for a miracle to happen overnight. No president, no matter the party, can turn around in two years a condition that took 30 years to create.

Our Congress has been complicit in our economic demise by giving in to corporate demands that work against the middle class. Until we citizens become mature and responsible enough to elect intelligent statesmen of integrity who will work for us, and stop scraping the bottom of the barrel for self-serving politicians who are only interested in maintaining power, nothing will ever change. Until we realize that we are being played by politicians who peddle fear and strife, nothing will ever change.

Edwina Lockhart

Little Rock

Why bang heads?

Why in the world do the football players, after a good happening, have to BANG their heads together and-or hit each other on their heads? To me, that is so stupid. Do they not get enough trauma from all the hits and physical abuse they seem to enjoy playing football? Or is it that as a 72-year-old retired registered nurse and woman, I do not appreciate the macho behind it? I have asked a male friend and he says, "That is just part of the game and their way of showing happiness."

So, maybe I understand their viewpoint, plus, I do love to watch football. So carry on, oh ye of the male species, to prove how macho you are. But here I sound like an old nurse: Please do not bang your heads for no reason because I have taken care of too many of you and it is very serious. You have to live with your brain for a very long time if you expect to get old like I am.

Beverly A. Clary

Little Rock

Dandy Don

The recent death of Don Meredith, a football and broadcast star, as well as a very decent human, brought back memories from 1958 and 1960.

In 1958 on a recruiting visit to SMU during their spring practice I watched Meredith — then a sophomore — complete 18 of 22 passes in the rain. (Who is this guy?) Later that night my host, an end, and I along with another high school recruit were in a car with Meredith, driving home from a movie and dinner about midnight. Meredith stopped to buy a Sunday paper from a kid standing miserably in the rain. "How many papers you got?" Meredith asked. "6." "Here's $6, go home."

In 1960 SMU opened the season at Rice. Meredith, then a senior, had a good game, but SMU lost. I was a sophomore tackle who played about 45 minutes. After the game, walking off the field Meredith came across to congratulate me ... and tell me he remembered my visit to SMU.

Robert Johnston

Little Rock

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