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March 20, 2013

Inbox — March 20, 2013

Letters to the Editor

Correction
The Feb. 27 cover story “A Matter of Time” incorrectly stated there are no dues to join the Louisville TimeBank. Though the organization is a nonprofit, an annual fee of $25 is required for individual members, $40 for families. The majority of this fee goes toward background checks and operating costs, including website maintenance and software. LEO regrets the error.

We Welcome Everyone
In last week’s Inbox, Merle Bachman expressed dismay that the Louisville TimeBank (as presented in the Feb. 27 cover story) had a particular religious point of view to the exclusion of others. I, along with the Louisville TimeBank leadership, want to be clear that the Louisville TimeBank is not affiliated with any religious doctrine. TimeBanking was created by Dr. Edgar Cahn, who self-identifies as Jewish, and one of his main goals of TimeBanking is to reweave communities through interdependence and reciprocity. These values are consistent with many world religions, not only Christianity.

While researching this article, I was questioned by the writer, Paul Curry, on how the TimeBank community has similarities to a church community. I am agnostic, and I am cautious about this particular issue as we have members of multiple faiths, as well as no faith. I did agree that there are many of the wonderful aspects of church — the community and caring that I had experienced growing up as a Presbyterian minister’s daughter. I think, in the writing of this excellent article, that the nuance of this conversation did not transfer well, leading to misperceptions of who we are and what we do.

The Louisville TimeBank is about building a community drawn from the entire community. People of many faiths, and those who do not believe. Straight and gay. Ethnicities from around the globe. Louisville citizens from all our diverse neighborhoods. Our common goal is to form the shared bonds of neighbors helping neighbors.

To Merle specifically: We love that you are excited about TimeBanking! We invite you (and everyone else) to join us at our next potluck and find out for yourself what we are all about. You will find it on our website, louisville.timebanks.org.
Beth Thorpe, Louisville TimeBank coordinator

Stop Horsing Around
LEO columnist Marsha Lynch may be an expert in the kitchen, but her knowledge of welfare issues related to animals raised or ultimately used for food is sadly lacking (regarding her Feb. 27 Industry Standard column).

The objection to eating horsemeat is not about “our crazy aversion to the French” but has everything to do with the fact that horses are embraced as noble companions and are not raised for food in America. Horse slaughter, whether in U.S. or foreign plants, cannot be humane due to the nature of this industry and the unique biology of horses. Horses cannot be killed humanely in a slaughterhouse environment. In addition, horses routinely receive many drugs during their 20-plus-year lifespan (including phenylbutazone) that are labeled “not to be used in animals intended for human consumption.” Clearly, horsemeat is apt to contain drugs considered dangerous for humans to ingest.

Also, her depiction of foie gras production couldn’t be further from the truth, as ducks and geese raised for foie gras are force-fed so much that their livers become diseased and enlarged. Her implication that cruelty issues surrounding the production of foie gras have been eliminated has little basis in reality.

The producer-preferred production method is considered so cruel that it has been banned in more than a dozen countries and California, and renowned chef Wolfgang Puck has denounced it on grounds of inhumane treatment to animals. Ducks, geese, horses and all animals ultimately consumed for food deserve minimum humane standards of care.
Mary K. Korfhage, Highlands