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Sunday's Letters to the Editor

The cost of meat

EDITOR: Nicholas D. Kristof's Friday column talks about the meat industry ("An unappetizing look at the meat market"). It starts out by talking about the disastrous environmental impacts and the medical consequences of antibiotic use as well as the impoverishment of small farmers. But then he talks about the benefit of reduced meat prices. I reject the idea that the reduced price offsets the other damage that the meat industry is doing.

More important, we as a country are suffering from chronic health problems, such as but hardly limited to obesity, that are caused in part by eating too much meat. We would all be much better off if we raised meat under natural conditions and just accept the monetary cost. It would be better environmentally, medically and economically as well as in terms of preventive health. Industrial meat production has no benefits for the population at large.

EDWARD MEISSE

Santa Rosa

Real-world skills

EDITOR: There are many foibles in the American education system. Insufficient funds, dropping test scores and the overall quality of education are just some of them; but what I find particularly flawed is the lack of financial education.

As a high school student, I am taught how to graph sine curves, but not how to balance a checkbook. I am taught how to calculate kinetic and potential energy, but not how to invest my money in a responsible manner. I am taught how to derive the equation of a hyperbola from little given information, but I am not taught the value of a dollar.

School is supposed to prepare you for life but which seems more valuable: teaching pre-calculus, trigonometry and physics or financial education?

RYAN McKNIGHT


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