Vegetarians speak: The Brooklyn Paper mailbag • Brooklyn Paper

Vegetarians speak: The Brooklyn Paper mailbag

To the editor,

I write in response to the article that concluded that vegetarianism is “wilting” because the promoter of a vegetarian restaurant festival is having difficulty enlisting restaurants to participate in her event (“Stick a fork in it! Vegetarianism wilts on eve of borough fest,” Oct. 18).

There are at least 20 purely vegetarian restaurants in the borough, and if they’re not doing well, it may be because the restaurant business is a tough one, and these are tough times. Restaurants for omnivores don’t typically last long, either, but optimistic restaurateurs open new places all the time. At least two of the vegetarian places on the abbreviated list you published have opened just in the last few months.

I’ve been a vegetarian for many years, and it would appear that more and more people are joining me. Maybe there are people who’ve gone back to flesh because it’s allegedly raised “humanely” (I really can’t get my head around that), but I haven’t met any.Janet Gottlieb, Park Slope

• • •

To the editor,

The hysterical headline in The Brooklyn Paper overlooks the fact that the number of vegetarians and vegans has virtually doubled in the last decade. This has happened because people are much more aware of the fact that factory farms are pure hell for animals.

Cows, chickens and pigs that are raised in so-called humane farms still suffer and die for our taste buds.

Wayne Johnson, Brooklyn Heights

• • •

To the editor,

Michael McLaughlin’s announcement of the death of plant-based diets is absurdly premature.

While a 2006 Harris poll says that only 2.3 percent of the U.S. population is vegetarian, the continued growth of vegetarianism and veganism is undeniable.

Books on veganism are top sellers, and New York’s poshest restaurants now offer completely vegetarian meals.

Friends of Animals’ “Vegan Restaurant Guide to New York City 2009” lists 22 vegan-friendly restaurants in Brooklyn. Stop by Fort Greene’s Red Bamboo some Friday or Saturday night, and you’ll see the joint is jumpin’.

Maybe journalists who are keen to announce the vegetarian trend is over just need to visit such restaurants and do some delicious, investigative eating.

Peter Kobel, Flatbush

The writer is affiliated with the

Manhattan-based Friends of Animals.

Term limit debacle

To the editor,

Angela Jones recently wrote that “term limits are not needed in a democracy [because] voters have the option to keep productive officials or throw the bastards out” (“This term-limit fight is just starting to heat up,” letters, Oct. 18).

But term limits were instituted because our system is rigged to keep incumbents in office forever — the fact is that they almost always win, regardless of the quality of their work, because they enjoy the support of political machines or other forces that voters have almost no control over.

In Bloomberg’s case, it’s two billionaires — the mayor himself and his new ally, Ron Lauder — who treat the mayor’s office as their private fiefdom.

Democracy showed — twice — that the people of New York want term limits. Case closed.Joe Boms, Park Slope

• • •

To the editor,

I am adamantly opposed to abolishing term limits. It is outrageous that the mayor and Council would contemplate doing an end-run around the voters.

Term limits are necessary in New York.

Those who do a good job should move up to higher office to do good for more people. Those who do a bad job should go, no matter how adept they are at the cronyism and corruption that has ensured eternal political fiefdoms in the past.

Lastly, it’s a crock that the only public hearings the mayor and Council held on the matter were during the weekday when people is already afraid of losing their jobs and reluctant to take long lunch hours to testify. It’s even worse when they take that risk, as I did, only to wait unsuccessfully for hours to get into the chamber because the mayor and his allies in the Council have packed the room with their supporters.

Everyone knows we need some serious housecleaning in Washington.

If this nonsense passes, then we’ll have to do the same here.

Scott Powell, Park Slope

Fight for power

To the editor,

I spent a day last week in a trailer park in Bristol, Pennsylvania going door to door talking to voters, many of whom were undecided. One young woman told me she liked Obama because if anyone could help her economic situation, it would be him. But her father died about five months ago, and she says if she voted for a black man for president, he would roll over in his grave.

I acknowledged she had a situation to deal with, then told her why I was voting for Obama. She listened to me. I didn’t talk about John McCain or Sarah Palin. I just talked calmly and championed Barack Obama. I think I’m making a difference. I think it means something to people that people like me will come and talk to them. It’s more effective than CNN or FOX.

We have a long way to go for an Obama victory, but I hope you’ll join me on weekends in Pennsylvania. It’s a crucial state and we can win it.Margaret Daly, Manhattan

The writer is a former editor

of The Brooklyn Paper.

More from Around New York