Letters

 
Last Updated: Friday 10 July 2015

A case for vegetarianism

Prevention, we all know, is better than cure. A healthy diet and lifestyle is the best precaution. Excess fat, especially from the consumption of meat, makes one very susceptible to a range of diseases. It was intriguing to read about health officials in West Africa warning that the consumption of bushmeat from hunting wild animals is spreading deadly viruses in humans, including the hiv ('What price, gorilla meat', Down To Earth , Vol 6, No 7; August 31, 1997).

The spread of "mad cow disease" in the uk and the controversy ensuing from it is well known. The news that hundreds of fisherfolk in the coastal areas of Kerala have fallen prey to paralytic food poisoning after consuming shellfish ('Low on mussel power', Down To Earth , Vol 6, No 15; December 31, 1997). It has been reported that six people died and a large number of people had to be hospitalised hours after consuming mussel. Pathological tests confirmed that the cases of food poisoning were caused by consumption of mussel meat. Amidst all this, why not avoid "killing for meat" and turn to vegetarianism?...

Innocent sufferers

Some 200 industrial units in Delhi, most of them small-scale units, were closed down in November 1996 following Supreme Court orders as they were polluting the environment. However, the workers at these industrial units were left high and dry. They cannot fend for themselves anymore. There have been reports that some of them have committed suicide.

Even the government recognises that the contribution of industry to the pollution in Delhi is about 17 per cent. Of this, a major chunk is from the three thermal power stations. Small-scale units contribute in insignificant levels to Delhi's pollution levels. Moreover, there has been no notable drop in the pollution levels in Delhi following the closure of the above-mentioned units.

What is the logic in keeping these units closed, causing untold harm and suffering to the workers? Unlike in the case of shrimp farmers and tanneries, the owners of these industrial units are not putting any pressure on the authorities to find a solution. They are eyeing the benefits of selling prime land at exorbitant prices and buying land at cheap rates in other localities under the pretext of relocation....

Peace of mind

The article 'Thought therapy' (Down To Earth, Vol 5, No 16; January 15, 1997). It was extremely interesting. A mention must be made of the Buddhist technique of Vipasana . The Vipasana International Academy in Igatpuri, Nashik, Maharashtra, which has branches all over the country, conducts 10-day courses for beginners. No money is charged for meditation. I have benefited from one such course and would recommend it to any person interested in attaining mental equanimity....

For cleaner products

I am a consultant with Agro-Silvo Horticultural Projects in Trichy, Tamil Nadu, and regularly come across details and information regarding environmentally sound products in Down To Earth . I am a regular reader of your magazine and am happy about your enthusiasm and interest on environmental issues and problems. I suggest that you add a supplement for advertisements from promoters of such products. I hope that you will bring out such a supplement in the near future....

Towards self destruction

I have recently joined your subscribers' list. I want to congratulate you for bringing out a fine magazine. Every issue compels me to think about the environment and how crude we are in playing around with nature. Most of us in India are like Kalidas, cutting the very branch on which we are sitting. However, it would be a good idea to publish the magazine in Hindi as well. The people who need to involved in the conservation of our environment cannot read English....

Truths about research

In our country, nobody wants to establish and develop institutions for research. The ones that are there suffer from innumerable problems. For example, at the department of environmental biology of Rewa University, every type of instrument is in such a bad condition that it cannot be used. Consequently, Ph D and M Sc degrees are being given to those who do not have any authentic knowledge. Just who is responsible for this state of affairs?...

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