Antibiotic-free diet a key to health
President Barack Obama directed federal agencies to serve antibiotic-free meat and poultry in government cafeterias. The Food and Drug Administration will require animal producers to obtain authorization from a licensed veterinarian to use drugs to treat a specific disease, rather than just to promote rapid growth, as is current practice. As much as 80 percent of all U.S. antibiotics are used in animal agriculture.
The moves come amid growing concern about the link between routine antibiotic use in animal agriculture and human infections by bacteria that have developed resistance to antibiotics because of their excessive use. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that antibiotic resistance causes 2 million illnesses per year in the U.S. and 23,000 deaths. It also adds $20 billion per year in health care costs and $35 billion in lost productivity. Animal products are not just linked to heart disease, cancer and stroke.
While government agencies reduce antibiotics in animal products, the rest of us can do better immediately with wholesome vegetables, fruits, legumes, grains and a rich variety of plant-based meats, cheeses, milks and ice creams available in every supermarket. These foods contain all the nutrients we require, without the deadly pathogens, antibiotics, carcinogens, cholesterol and saturated fats.
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Walk a mile at minimum wage
Many local workers shared facts and personal accounts to support Lexington's proposed minimum wage increase during a public comment session. Interspersed were a few people wringing their hands about profit margins and regional competition.
The real gem, though, was the argument that steak dinners cost too much in cities that mandate a living wage. Another great moment was when a nonprofit representative bemoaned the possibility of having to use volunteer help after a minimum wage increase.
What those opposing this common-sense increase overlook is that the needs of the many outweigh the wants of the few. No one owes you the luxury of a cheap steak dinner or the convenience of not having to manage volunteers. However, people who works 40 hours a week should be entitled to a wage they can survive on.
In Kentucky, minimum wage workers need at least 65 hours per week to afford a two-bedroom apartment.
Those worried about how an increase in the minimum wage may inconvenience them need to walk a mile in their employees' shoes. They may care less about their steak dinner if they spend a month not being able to afford hamburger.
Tear down courthouse
The old courthouse is an ugly old building, always has been and always will be, no matter how much money is spent on it. Tear it down.
John L. Ragland
Large, pink rabbit on line two
Anyone who believes the National Security Administration will pay any attention to bills passed by Congress probably believes in the Easter Bunny.
Summer pet care
With the rise in temperatures comes much suffering for animals.
Dogs are descendents of the wolf, which spends days in the cool forests or in rock shelters. Just as the wolf seeks shelter, dogs also need shade. Rather than providing shade, a doghouse sitting in the sun quickly becomes an oven.
Dogs and cats also need plenty of fresh, clean water every day. Water will stay cooler and cleaner if it is in a bucket, rather than a shallow bowl. The care of a pet ought not to be put entirely in the hands of a child; adult supervision is required.
Many supposedly loving pet owners make the grave error of leaving pets in cars while they run errands. Animals and babies are found dead every year locked in cars with the windows cracked. Even temperatures as low as 65 degrees can quickly soar to 120 degrees inside a car.
Having an animal requires time and money. If you are unwilling or unable to give either, please don't get an animal. Each minute of each day, 12,500 dogs and cats are killed by animal control agencies. You can help stop this suffering by having your animals neutered or spayed.
Hunt for meaning
A letter writer's criticism of Kentucky Afield for showing children learning about gun safety was misguided, shortsighted and bordered on infringing on the second Amendment and a person's desire to teach about respect, responsibility and family.
The Pittman-Robertson Act dedicates percentages of sales of firearms and ammo to restore wildlife decimated by overharvest. I enjoyed this on a recent weekend in Kentucky, chasing squirrels in the hills of Hart County. Five hunters took a total of seven squirrels. We hunt with .22 caliber scoped rifles to place precise humane shots. We also consume the free-range wildlife we harvest. To harvest something means you don't wipe it out, but take the appropriately allotted limit. We could have brought back several more, but took seven because they are animals with keen senses.
The fellowship with hunters around a campfire, enjoying good company and good food, talking about politics and the blessings God has given us was a time none of us will soon forget. Perhaps the letter writer should try that. Maybe understanding "fun with guns" would have a positive impact on his life. He could appreciate the rights that so many of this country's finest have sacrificed to provide.
North Vernon, Ind.