I see that David Martosko, whose letters attacking doctors, scientists, environmentalists and animal advocates appear regularly in newspapers across the country, has surfaced in the VC Reporter (See “McGregor’s wrong-headed letter,” Letters, 5/01/08). 

I first noticed one of Martosko’s letters a few months ago in the Orange County Register where he portrayed those of us gathering signatures for the Humane Farming Initiative as “loud, obnoxious, uncompromising, naked animal-rights protestors.” (OC Register, 10/17/2007)

Martosko signs his letters “Research Director, Center for Consumer Freedom.” (CCF). The CCF is a front group for the restaurant, alcohol, tobacco, meat and dairy industries which claims that it’s mission is to defend the rights of consumers to choose to eat, drink and smoke as they please.  (A front group is an organization that purports to represent one agenda while in reality it serves some other party or interest whose sponsorship is hidden or rarely mentioned.)

Martosko gets paid for his smear campaigns.  His disrespectful letter in the VC Reporter where he dismisses animal rights advocates as “nuts” is typical of his writing style.

He glibly asserts that, “There’s absolutely nothing environmentally unfriendly about eating a balanced diet, including meat and dairy foods.”

The fact is that millions of people in the U.S. consume animal products two or three times a day, all year-round. It is the sheer magnitude of the demand for meat that has resulted in factory farming emerging as one of the top two or three contributors to the most serious environmental problems facing the world today.

The United Nations Multinational Study revealed that livestock production causes more global warming than all forms of transportation combined. It takes 16 times more farming, forestry, mining and oil consumption to sustain a meat-based diet than it does to produce a plant-based diet. Millions of people eating less meat could save the Central American rainforest from being cut to fulfill the demands for feed from the livestock and poultry industry.

Slaughterhouses are major polluters of ground water, lakes, rivers and streams, filling them with poisonous residues and animal waste. Animal agriculture is the greatest producer of sewage wastes in the U.S. Chemicals from the pesticides required to grow massive amounts of animal feed wash off into rivers and end up in the ocean, destroying marine life.

It takes 25 times more water to produce a pound of meat than it does to produce a pound of vegetables. The land required to produce a one-fourthpound burger can produce 36 pounds of potatoes. The feed used to produce one eight-ounce steak could feed over 45 people!

And that’s just the tip of the melting iceberg. Anyone who ignores these facts must be getting a nice pay check from the meat and dairy industry.

Suza Francina,
Former Mayor,
Ojai

Gallegly’s experience needed

Rep. Elton Gallegly’s more than 20 years record in Congress has earned him positions on may important committees: Foreign Affairs subcommittees, ranking member on Europe and the Western Hemisphere, the Judiciary subcommittees on Refugees, Border Security, and International Law, Natural resources, Select Committee on Intelligence, Terrorism, etc. These appointments indicated his level of competence, experience and the respect that his colleagues have for him.

It would take years for a new freshman replacement to reach the level of representation and effectiveness that Gallegly gives us. With the war in Iraq, our immigration problems, Iran and North Korea’s nuclear weapons programs, the need for field workers in our Ventura orchards and agricultural enterprises, etc., it is obvious that we need experienced representation. 

To take the risk of a replacement that may be incompetent and would certainly be inexperienced to represent us during these critical times is, to say the least, imprudent. 

Warren Faue,
Ventura