Can't allow Ukraine to devolve into war

Economist Paul Romer, speaking of economic matters, is credited with coining the phrase, "A crisis is a terrible thing to waste," meaning there is profit to be made in crisis solutions.

A crisis is in the making in the Ukraine; the profit potential comes from military hardware provided to the combatants. So we are now hearing saber-rattling from John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Rudy Giuliani.

They will probably receive support from others because the clever military complex has tactically installed production in almost every state. How do legislators vote against such jobs in their states? And if providing arms fail to resolve the Ukrainian dispute, what is the next step?

Another crisis strategy available for the Republicans is to label President Barack Obama weak in defending the country. That tactic had been in play even before the Ukraine situation. Should Obama be swayed by that Republican strategy? Are you ready for another military adventure with a questionable outcome?

Might there be another type of crisis: When the populace is ignored in opposition to perpetual war?

Marv Tripp

Oakland

Balanced diet offers plenty of benefits

Recently, this paper published another anti-meat missive by an Oakland resident. A simple search at www.insidebayarea.com reveals that this is the seventh letter since last March that the author had printed in the paper.

These letters invariably recommend veganism while ignoring that there are well-documented risks associated with an unconsidered all-plant diet. Perhaps the most significant nutrient such a diet lacks is B12, which is important for the formation of blood and proper functioning of the brain and which cannot always be made up for with supplements.

One study in the Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism found that 92 percent of the vegans tested were deficient in B12.

Some of the other benefits of eating meat include: Protein that is critical to keep your body functioning. Abundant iron, a mineral that helps your body build new red blood cells. Creatine, vitamin A, vitamin D, and all the B-complex vitamins, including thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, folic acid and vitamins B5, B6 and, yes, B12.

As part of a balanced diet, meat and other animal food products have incredible health benefits.

Jeremy Russell

Director of Communications and Government Relations North American Meat Association Oakland

State Fair board must outlaw cruelty

I recently hand-delivered a petition to all 120 state legislators, requesting support for three animal welfare issues at our California State Fair (July 11-27):

1. A ban on the brutal farrowing crates. Pregnant sows are caged and kept nearly immobile for three straight weeks, and forced to give birth on a bare metal grid -- a true crime against nature (and a violation of Penal Code 597t). No county fairs feature these cruel exhibits.

2. A ban on giving away goldfish as prizes. About 15,000 goldfish were doled out at the 2013 fair. Many will meet an early demise, be dumped in the wild or flushed down the toilet.

3. A ban on the sale of hermit crabs as pets. All are taken from the wild, depleting local populations. Like the goldfish, these animals are treated as expendables -- what a terrible message to send impressionable young children.

The State Fair board has received more than 3,000 letters in support of these modest proposals. Please contact your own senator and assembly member and urge them to sign the petition -- good for the animals, good for business.

All legislators may be written c/o The State Capitol, Sacramento, CA 95814. The Fair Board may be emailed at calexpoboard@calexpo.com.

Eric Mills

Coordinator Action For Animals Oakland