News From Terre Haute, Indiana

January 2, 2014

Readers’ Forum: Jan. 3, 2014

The Tribune-Star

---- — Why antagonize Russian leaders?

American society and its political leaders simply are amazing. Russia, the host nation, for the upcoming winter Olympic games, disfavors the advocacy of gay rights. Under that nation’s laws and culture, such relationships serve as an abomination. As the saying goes, “It is what it is.”

Rather than respecting Russian societal norms as they are, the United States government with its imperious attitude, is sending a delegation, to include two openly gay individuals, to the opening and closing ceremonies of these games.

Why must the United States thrust its gay rights value system upon another culture which under Russian law is egregiously repugnant? Why must the United States be in the affairs of the Russian state, as well as blatantly poking Russia in the eye on this issue and pontificating its gay rights agenda upon Russians in the first place?

Were the Russian government to sermonize such a criticism of an aspect of American social policy, or take any direct action as is the case with this Olympic games delegation, the media talking heads and Washington politicians would be all up in arms and on their soap boxes with such a great sense of moral indignation and vigorous rectitude over this Russian intervention into the internal affairs of the United States. John McCain and Lindsey Graham would have a field-day on the Sunday morning talk shows.

— Earl Beal, Terre Haute

Going meatless for the new year

With New Year’s resolutions being developed, consider the popular trend toward a healthy, eco-friendly, compassionate and meat-free diet.

According to Harris Interactive, 47 percent of American consumers are reducing their consumption of animal products. USDA projects this year’s per capita chicken and beef consumption to drop by 8 percent and 17 percent, respectively, from their 2006 peaks. Similar dramatic drops are projected for pigs and turkeys. Milk consumption has fallen by a whopping 40 percent since 1970.

A number of celebrities are going vegan. They include Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres, Jay Z and Beyonce. Microsoft founder Bill Gates, PayPal founder Peter Thiel and Twitter founders Biz Stone and Evan Williams are funding plant-based replacements for meat and eggs.

Fast-food chains like Subway and Chipotle are responding to the growing demand by rolling out vegan options. Taco Bell has found that 43 percent of conversations about meat were negative. The Baltimore, Los Angeles and San Diego school districts, serving more than a million meals a day, have adopted meatless Mondays.

How about dropping animals from the menu for this New Year’s resolution? Entering “Meatout Mondays” in a search engine brings tons of useful recipes and transition tips.

— Tommy Caton, Terre Haute