Letters – Our Readers Write: Autumn 2021
Letters published in the Autumn 2021 edition of In The Hills magazine.
The regenerative farming article by Cecily Ross [“It’s All About the Soil” summer ’21] was inspiring and encouraging. In an industry dominated by factory farms, it’s heartening to hear about farmers taking a different path because when they do it right we all benefit.
Less heartening to read about was how short the lives of the cattle are on at least one farm. They are slaughtered at 18 to 24 months, about one-tenth their natural lifespan. The farmer claims, “…it’s a hundred per cent okay to eat grass-fed beef the way we raise them.”
Well, for this vegan reader, it’s never okay to eat a fellow creature, let alone one that has barely had time to live. Soil renewal helps to combat climate change. Another important act any individual can do to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is to stop eating meat.
Good for the planet and good for the soul. There’s nothing more regenerative than that.
Kirk Szmon, Palgrave
No humour in climate change
I am a huge fan of Dan Needles. I totally love his brilliant Wingfield series and salute him as a winner of the 2003 Leacock Medal for Humour. He also brings regular laughs to this household with “True Confessions from the Ninth Concession” in every issue of In The Hills.
But he did the whole world – and all children everywhere, including his own – a huge disservice with his latest column [“It’s the End of the World … Again” summer ’21]. By making light of the climate crisis as just another storm that will pass, Mr. Needles clearly doesn’t grasp what’s already here – with much more guaranteed to come – thanks to humanity’s love affair with burning fossil fuels and our reluctance to get off them. The horrors of heat domes, mega-droughts, crippling floods and wildfires vicious enough to create their own weather systems have woken up many this summer, finally.
Dan Needles says humanity’s record of predicting the apocalypse has been “very poor” and he’s right. We’re proving far better at creating ugly messes and the climate crisis is a huge one that could well trigger our day of reckoning.
Like Mr. Needles, I love the sunny side of the street, but at this point, dark clouds and drifting wildfire smoke are closing in fast. It’s time for everyone who loves life and sunshine – and respects science – to get off the sidelines and fight for that livable future our kids so richly deserve but see fading all too fast.
Liz Armstrong, Erin
The Belfountain blues
I cannot believe it has come to local villagers needing reservations to wander in the lovely Belfountain Conservation Area [“Belfountain Under Siege” summer ’21]. I moved from British Columbia to Orangeville in 1985. Belfountain and Erin were our places to renew our spirits. I’m feeling fortunate to have wonderful memories of visiting Belfountain with family, friends and out-of-province/country visitors. I’m feeling heartbroken that it has come to this.
Nicola Ross’s article is so incredibly well written, packed with information and presented with passion. I am going to send a link to the online version of the story to others too, because it does an excellent job of presenting our horrid dilemma of today.
Lee Douglas, Erin
Jim Menken appreciation
I was thrilled to read this recognition of Jim Menken [“Tree of Life” summer ’21]. He designed and completed a work of art for my loved late husband – a duck, goose, raptor and songbird – a year ago on the edge of our property. It was very timely since we all needed something positive to view and enjoy. People are still stopping to take pictures. At one point during the creative process, I wandered out and said to Jim it was a good thing I was not paying by the hour since so many people stopped by to talk to him and he gave them all the time in the world explaining the process. A few have asked how much it cost and I just reply it was worth every penny.
Laurie MacNab, Milton