Try going meatless this Thanksgiving

President Barack Obama will get a break from Obamacare when he pardons the traditional Thanksgiving turkey.

Each of us can also set aside our cares by pardoning a turkey and choosing a nonviolent Thanksgiving observance -- one that gives thanks for our good fortune, health, and happiness with a life-affirming, cruelty-free feast of vegetables, fruits, and grains.

And here are more terrific reasons:

You will stay alert through the entire football game; You are what you eat. Who wants to be a "butterball"? Your vegetarian kid won't have to boycott the family dinner. You won't have to call the poultry hotline to keep your family alive. Fruits and vegetables don't have to carry government warning labels. You won't sweat the environment and food resources devastation guilt trip. You won't spend a sleepless night wondering how the turkey lived and died. Your body will welcome a holiday from saturated fat, cholesterol and hormones.

Our own dinner this Thanksgiving will feature a Tofurky, lentil roast, mashed potatoes, corn stuffing, stuffed squash, candied yams, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. An Internet search on "vegetarian Thanksgiving" got us more recipes and other useful information than we could possibly use.


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Samuel Bentino

Oakland

If you care about air, show at the meeting

In the Bay Area, we like to think of ourselves as environmentalists, but we export more refined petroleum products than any other metropolitan region in the country.

Our five East Bay refineries process the heaviest, dirtiest crude oil. Plans are under way for many of these refineries to start handling significant amounts of Canadian tar sands oil, called the most toxic fossil fuel on the planet.

Shipping channels in the bay are being deepened, refineries are being re-engineered, and plans call for hundreds of rail cars a day to pass through the East Bay carrying tar sands.

Tar sands crude, besides being a climate catastrophe, is corrosive, causing more accidents that impact communities and workers, produces huge quantities of petroleum coke, and smells. Petroleum coke is fine particulate matter that contains heavy metals and can lodge deep within our lungs.

There will be a hearing on this issue at 9:45 a.m. Dec. 4 at the Bay Area Air Quality Management District meeting, 939 Ellis St., San Francisco. If you care about your health and safety, please come.

Kathy Kerridge

Benicia

Farber doesn't need review; pay too high

Recent reports in this paper indicate that CEO Nancy Farber of Washington Township District is up for a salary review. However, this district has once again shown a total lack of regard for the taxpayers of this community.

On the one hand, reports indicated that the district is experiencing reduced revenues at clinics, and asking employees to use vacation time. But on the other hand, there seems to be enough money for a salary review for Farber.

How is it that the board seems fit to pay someone $5,000 to review her salary? The conclusion seems to be that her $1 million-plus salary, perks, benefits and bonus package is not enough. What? Her compensation has always been an obscene waste of our health care dollars, and don't forget that these are our dollars.

This community owes upward of $500 million in bonds, for which we will continue to pay for the next 30 years. Enough already, let's get a new board that speaks for the taxpayers of this community.

Sally Morgan

Fremont

Conference should get better coverage

For almost two weeks, the United Nations Climate Conference has been taking place in Warsaw, Poland, yet we are seeing virtually no coverage of this vitally important event in the daily press.

Amy Goodman has been broadcasting from the conference on KPFK -- reports from representatives of island nations of the devastation of their homes, eloquent appeals from young people to save the Earth, reports from scientists on the effects of climate change.

Several days ago representative of 133 poor countries walked out of the conference protesting the refusal of the rich nations to discuss compensation for damage from climate change caused by the emission of greenhouse gasses.

Why are the papers not reporting on this daily? In whose interest is this information being censored?

Lydia Gans

Berkeley