Eric M.
(recovered crystal meth addict)
Upper East Side

Meating of minds

Your article on industrial livestock operations (CAFOs), "Asthma Goes Rural, Thanks to Amnesty for Polluters" [Aina Hunter, villagevoice.com, February 9], was timely and interesting. Lest New York City dwellers think they are far removed from the consequences of this obscene method of "farming," take heed of the following:

There are at least three permitted CAFO operations in the New York City watershed. Think about the possibility of antibiotics, E. coli, cryptosporidium, and nitrates among other contaminants in your drinking water.

The dairy and meat products produced on CAFOs reflect the inputs used to keep the herd alive in hideously overcrowded conditions. Think about antibiotics, pesticides, fungicides, hormones, and pus in your food supply.

And you are supporting the operations with huge subsidy payments from your state and local taxes. Most of these operations can't stay in business without corporate-welfare payments courtesy of you, the taxpayer.

You can help stop this travesty by asking legislators why the DEC is avoiding calls from frantic neighbors all over the state. You can ask for an immediate moratorium on new permits for CAFOs.

Most importantly, you can try to select pasture-raised meat and dairy products or cut back on meat and dairy consumption. Check out Just Food (justfood.org), Local Harvest (localharvest.org), and Friends of Rural New York (friendsofruralny.org).

Yvonne Tasker-Rothenberg
Chair, Sierra Club Atlantic Group Farm and Food Committee

Nicole duFresne, doubly annihilated

Jarrett Murphy's consideration of the racist aspects of mainstream media portrayals of the murder of Ms. Nicole duFresne ["A Murder Made for the Front Page," February 9-15] was on point! As a feminist scholar and activist, I share the public's sorrow over the senseless murder of a beautiful young woman. However, the unique particularities of Nicole duFresne's personhood are doubly annihilated when she is objectified into a commodity, reduced to a stock character in one of the deepest dramatic plots in white American culture: the erroneous belief that African American men hunger to murder, rape, and violate white women. Press attempts to sensationalize Ms. duFresne's death pay no homage to her life, offer no comfort to her loved ones. The absence of journalistic grief and anger in response to all the other incidents of senseless violence and wasted lives in our beloved city simultaneously reflects and further mobilizes racist fantasy and fears. Murphy's references to the Central Park jogger case and research by Natalie Byfield of the Black Media Foundation and Kelly McBride are helpful, but too superficial. Voice readers deserve a deeper discussion of the enmeshed history of journalism's sorry complicity with Wall Street and real estate interests—especially now, in the midst of contentious economic, political, and cultural battles to redefine who belongs in Manhattan, who is entitled to work and live and dream here . . . Nicole duFresne presente!

Gerrie Casey
Assistant professor of anthropology
John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY

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