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Letters to the Editor: Why you should ignore the cattle industry and stop eating beef

Cattle are seen at a feedlot in Columbus, Neb., last year.
(Nati Harnik / Associated Press)

To the editor: With his column on beef and the resources needed to produce it, David Lazarus has empowered us, without the government, to reduce global warming and preserve our precious water resources.

We should boycott beef. Consumers control what gets produced, and by consciously changing our choices, we can tilt the slippery slope up a bit from further damage to the planet. Producing beef uses more water than any other agricultural product.

Don’t listen to beef producers, which are trying to dissuade us from switching to plant-based alternatives. Go ahead and be the change.

Sandy Mishodek, Running Springs

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To the editor: There was a time when an article recommending we avoid beef suggested we turn to poultry instead. As an animal advocate, I found the articles painful to read, given that so many more animals are killed for the same amount of protein when the animals are smaller, yet their lives are just as packed with suffering from birth to slaughter.

I am grateful to the folks at Beyond Meat, Impossible Foods and now even at the various major food companies, who are now bringing us plant-based burgers that are the obvious substitute for the traditional kind. In taste tests, some of these products cannot always be distinguished from animal beef.

I am also grateful to Lazarus and the Los Angeles Times for touting these plant-based products’ benefits and helping to usher in a long-awaited new day.

Karen Dawn, Santa Barbara

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To the editor: I think the government should stop subsidizing the beef industry.

It currently pays farmers to grow feed crops. This keeps feed prices low, which in turn suppresses beef prices. If cattle growers had to pay a fair price for their feed, beef prices would naturally rise and beef eating would decline.

Also, Congress is considering putting a price on carbon fuels to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Perhaps it should also consider a per-head tax on cattle to reflect the cost to the environment of raising cows.

Murray Zichlinsky, Long Beach


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