Beef about US imports
Let’s just say that I walk to the burger joint on the corner and buy a 100 percent pure US beef hamburger for NT$79 or whatever. Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) and prions aside, I can’t do this in good conscience knowing that I’m fueling an industry that is ruining the world.
Not a penny of what I pay for my US beef goes to stop deforestation in Brazil, where they’re cutting down trees like crazy in order to grow soy. Why? Because they ship this soy (by boat) to the US, where it’s shipped (by truck and sometimes train) to farmers in the Midwest who plump up all these factory-housed cows (and pigs) and then send the final product (by air) to the tiny island of Taiwan, literally on the other side of the world. Not a penny of what I might pay for a burger goes to offset the carbon-dioxide pollution caused by the shipping because everyone takes Earth’s atmosphere for granted.
The US farming industry has fattened Americans to the point of bursting, and now they want to export their hegemonic dietary catastrophe across our Earth. Shame on those people at the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) who keep pushing US beef on Taiwanese consumers. Likewise, shame on the recent Taiwanese trend for children to be as overweight as their US counterparts at the same age. Eat some Taiwan-grown vegetables, people.
On the other hand, I do occasionally get a burger, and if I’m in a bad mood and want to be cruel to two cows instead of one, I order it with cheese. And if I’m particularly depressed about climate change, I’ll phone in my order and get them to deliver it by scooter. Let’s all try to do better than this.
Yonghe, Taipei County
Happy with snail’s pace
A recent article about how technology is changing our lives (“A decade of tech evolution from broadband to tweets,” Dec. 20, page 9) described just how profoundly the new “digital age” has impacted modern life. However, one aspect of the digital revolution that the article did not address is the way we now think about print newspapers and their online news sites.
I still love reading my daily copy of the print edition of the Taipei Times, and I much prefer it to reading the same news stories on your Web site, even though the Web site is easy to navigate and very readable and I do occasionally surf there, too.
However, as a middle-aged woman, I prefer reading on paper surfaces, clipping out stories and underlining sentences with my handy pen when I want to highlight or circle something.
Even though my husband likes to joke with me that I am addicted to what he calls “the daily snailpaper” — which usually arrives on our doorstep with news that is 12 hours late; sorry but that’s the truth for all snailpapers today! — I prefer the snailpaper to the digital paper.
Call me old-fashioned, but that’s how I like it.
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