Yes, we should all be vegetarian

In “Rewriting the menu” (Oct. 7), Watts Grocery restaurateur Amy Tornquist is quoted as saying that she believes “it’s impossible to say, ‘We should all be vegetarians.’” The author of the article, Jane Hobson Snyder, indicates that this comment was followed by laughter by at least some of the local food experts participating in a recent conversation about the new book Just Food.

As we work to create a global food system that is more fair and environmentally sustainable than the one that exists today, I agree that it is wise to implement strategies that take into account the fact that most of us eat meat. However, I find our progression toward becoming a vegetarian nation only as laughable as the fact that we have already transitioned into an era where slavery is illegal and where a woman’s right to vote is guaranteed by law. That is to say, not laughable at all.

As someone on the front lines of the animal protection movement, I would like to point out that one of our primary goals is to end the exploitation of farmed animals by humans. We could be prudently disregarded, I suppose, if we were not achieving substantial victories each and every day that benefit us all. But we are doing just that.

I hope that Independent readers are aware that according to the American Dietetic Association (among others), balanced plant-based diets are appropriate for humans during all stages of life. No matter how much one may like the taste of meat, milk or eggs, the fact remains that causing unnecessary harm to animals is not the kindest choice we can make. This year, as always, compassion is in fashion. Are you hip?

Loren Hart

Dancy a must for school board

Rarely do candidates come along with the qualifications, intellect, leadership skills and big-picture view Susana Dancy has. She is an absolute must for the Chapel Hill-Carrboro School Board.

With three children in the district, she has seen firsthand the challenges facing our elementary, middle and high schools, as well as the challenges parents face when advocating for their children. She is a team player who has led the effort for the long-overdue construction of the Carrboro High School arts wing using federal stimulus money. She has frequent contact with key players within Carrboro High, the board of education, Lincoln Center and county commissioners, and she has been a tireless presence at school board and county commissioner meetings. As a real estate developer for first-time homebuyers, she has keen insight on working with budgets during challenging times. She reviewed figures for the CHCCS budget and identified a discrepancy that turned out to be a district error; it was then fixed.

Please don’t let this opportunity pass to have such a qualified, talented and effective person on our school board.

Jim Rogalski
Chapel Hill

Editor’s Note (Oct. 21, 2009): The writer is the candidate’s husband.

Slade for alderman

Having known alderman candidate Sammy Slade for several years now, I am impressed by his deep knowledge of and commitment to Carrboro. He has demonstrated his love of our community and its values through a variety of projects that have helped to make Carrboro a better place to live. He has been at the forefront of innovative projects in Carrboro and would continue to bring pathbreaking ideas in service to our community in his capacity as alderman.

In these times of unprecedented political vitriol, Sammy brings a refreshingly gentle and soft-spoken eloquence to political discourse. What an asset to our community to have another voice that combines passionate conviction with a calm demeanor, serving to build bridges and work for consensus.

Please join me in supporting Sammy Slade for alderman.

Paula Michaels

Choose Czajkowski for mayor

While the upcoming Chapel Hill mayoral and Town Council elections may not be as glamorous as 2008’s presidential election, it is important that voting remain integral. With that in mind, I strongly urge residents to make the smartest choices for Chapel Hillmayoral candidate Matt Czajkowski, and Town Council candidates Jon DeHart, Matt Pohlman and Gene Pease.

Matt Czajkowski’s history as town councilman exemplifies his devotion to making downtown Chapel Hill a safer, more inviting placehe has been the only council member to advocate for improved lighting, the antipanhandling ordinance and better parking. Vote Matt Czajkowski for mayor of Chapel Hillthe sensible choice.

Christopher B. Willis
UNC Senior

Enough is enough

Chapel Hill town employees whose health care benefits are greater than any of which I have ever heard are benefiting at my expense (and yours) from council’s blatant ignorance of proper expenditures. Mayoral contender Mark Kleinschmidt cannot imagine what it is like on our end, since he does not own property and therefore pays no property taxes. I am unwilling to support this kind of thinking, which is ultimately out of my pocketbook (and yours). I trust that Matt Czajkowski, aided by several of the like-minded Town Council challengers, will work hard to extricate us from this mess.

Ed Adkins
Chapel hill