Abortion is a Baseline Issue
To the Editor:
Anyone who would deny a woman safe, legal medical care in her own community would deny anyone, anything, anywhere. Justice Alito, et al., say that isn’t so, but we know how honorable Kavanaugh, Coney Barrett, Thomas, and Gorsuch are with their lying talk about honoring legal precedent.
So, what can we do? Here in Vermont we are fortunate to be able to pass a constitutional amendment guaranteeing a woman’s right to reproductive choice. But how do we help women living in misogynistic, repressive states? We can support political candidates that support women’s reproductive rights. We vote.
But more than that we need to help women in Republican-controlled states travel for the health care they need. This is especially true for low-income women. By supporting Planned Parenthood and other organizations supporting women’s rights, we can help women victimized by this right-wing tyranny.
The Supreme Court and its oppressive cohorts in state governments are now condemning all women to compulsory motherhood. There are no exceptions for age (young or old), rape, incest, health of the pregnant woman, fetal deformity, or any other considerations of the woman involved.
Abortion is not a single issue. This is a baseline issue. Anyone who is not a heterosexual white male is now a vulnerable second-class citizen.
Robin Taylor, Marshfield
Freedom for All – People and Animals
To the Editor:
When we think about our independence and freedom in the United States, I wonder how many people think of the freedom of farmed animals. There are currently 1.6 billion animals in our nation’s 25,000 factory farms who often never see the light of day.
Cows, chickens, pigs, and more are subjected to unnecessary breeding, overfeeding, abuse, and slaughter each and every day. The majority of these animals are raised in environments unfit for any beings, and there seems to be no end in sight.
But releasing animals from cages, crates, and the psychological torment of BigAg and slaughterhouses can happen and is truly a step towards independence for all. When we stop treating animals as commodities, overall suffering in the world reduces, the Earth can heal, pandemic and antibiotic-resistance risks are reduced, and human health will improve.
Luckily, there are options. Browse any grocery store or food co-op and you’ll uncover a variety of delicious, and nutritious, plant-based burgers and more. Companies like Beyond Meat, Impossible Foods, Gardein, and Field Roast are showing up at cookouts across the country and are proving that this 4th of July there can be freedom for all.
Moses Belinie, Montpelier
Climate Actions Large and Small Matter
To the Editor:
As a student intern with the Vermont Public Health Association, it was distressing to learn that some Vermonters believe that because our state is small, our efforts to combat climate change are futile. If smaller communities use their size as an excuse to remain stagnant surrounding climate issues, we will achieve little success; in psychological terms, the bystander effect will block action. Only through collective action will the human race overcome the existential threat of climate change.
Vermont, though small, does have a substantial population, and that population has an impact on the environment. The individual and collective actions of well over 600,000 Vermont residents contribute significantly to atmospheric, plastic, and water pollution. Initiatives and laws spearheaded within Vermont are vital steps in addressing the climate crisis and could serve as a model for other states.
According to Vermont Rep. Martin LaLonde’s (D-Chittenden-7-1) 2022 End-of-Session Report, almost a quarter of Vermont’s funds from the American Rescue Plan Act are going toward climate change investments. Vermont leads the nation in this category, aiming for a “green recovery” from COVID-19, and by doing so, mitigating future public health risks created by climate change.
Montpelier has several notable climate initiatives, including its commitment to reach net-zero carbon emissions for municipal operations by 2030 and to obtain city-wide neutrality by 2050. Montpelier taking this step will help set carbon neutrality as a precedent for other Vermont towns and other state capitals.
Global climate action starts locally. Just as a machine cannot function without its small but essential parts, global solutions to climate change can’t happen without the participation of all regions, large and small. The actions that Montpelier residents, and Vermonters as a whole, take to address this global threat are as crucial as any other region in solving this issue.
Madi Sandy, Jericho
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