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“MEAT CLEAVERS” (THE DIStrict Line, 3/24) was a waste of ink and newsprint, and should have been spiked.

Matt Labash was excessively concerned about the clothes the vegetarians were wearing, not any ethical, health, or environmental issues related to diet. He had the gall to count celebrities for and against vegetarian causes, as if faded Hollywood actors have much impact on anyone’s opinions. By the way, James Garner had a multiple bypass operation during the “Real Food for Real People” ad campaign, where he sneered that he refused to put vegetables on his steak kabobs.

The author then went on to suggest that poor fashion could be cured by meat consumption, and that vegetarians have “scorbutic” complexions (related to scurvy, a disease caused by insufficient vitamin C consumption, a nutrient found in fresh fruits and vegetables). With that type of logic, the American Meat Institute would be happy to hire him as a PR flack.

Meat consumption is decreasing as people become more aware of the horrors of factory farming, antibiotic and hormone residues in meat, the clearcutting of forests for meat production (especially to grow the needed grains), the link between cholesterol and heart disease, and other health problems. The Environmental Protection Agency has found that over 90 percent of Americans’ exposure to dioxin, an extremely toxic byproduct of chlorine-based bleaching and industrial processes, is from bio-accumulation up the food chain into animal foods. Dioxins and similar pollutants are fat-soluble, and are found in greatest concentrations in fatty animal foods—flesh, milk, and eggs. Vegan diets are the single best way to drastically reduce toxic exposures.

Surely Washington City Paper is not so desperate for stories that they had to stoop to a full page of personal attacks masquerading as reporting?

Takoma Park, Md., via the Internet