Readers write: Making America _____, and beef or no beef

Letters to the editor for the March 4, 2019 weekly magazine.

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President Trump listened during a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington in April. In his first two years in office, Mr. Trump has rewritten the rules of the presidency and the norms of the nation's capital.

Making America _____.

In response to editor Scott Armstrong’s challenge in the Jan. 21 Weekly Print Edition to complete the sentence “Making America ...”: Don’t fill in the blank. It is just “Making America.” America is always being made. Native Americans and immigrants have been part of this process for centuries. All of us make America. 

What have we made? America means high ideals – freedom, human rights, and equality. We “make America” by striving to have our behavior match those ideals. 

May we continue to “make America.” It stands for something in the world and does not need to be qualified.

Theodore S. Arrington

Albuquerque, N.M.

Beef or no beef

Regarding the Feb. 18 article “Farmers have a beef with alternative ‘meat’ ”: I’m with Nicolette Hahn Niman and Will Harris – both of whom support meat being eaten – as well as with ranchers and farmers in this debate. 

As a farmer’s daughter, though I am long removed from my rural Midwestern roots, I have been bemused, perplexed, and sometimes dumbfounded at the lengths to which plant and synthetic food producers have gone to make substitute meat, poultry, and pork products. It just seems like false advertising to label these foods as though they came from animals. 

My vegetarian and vegan friends eat plant- and vegetable-based diets; some include dairy and eggs. None purchase, prepare, or knowingly eat faux animal protein products. 

I absolutely agree that worldwide, the agribusiness, factory farm model has created unsustainable environmental conditions. In my own actions, I have consciously made the decision to consume less meat, pork, and poultry as well as to purchase it from a local ranch using sustainable practices. However, I believe that “better living through chemistry” doesn’t always apply, even in modern life.

Mary Raver

Wickenburg, Ariz.

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.