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In the midst of Ross Talbott’s ranting about the deficiency of mothering in modern society, in his May 22 column, are two glaring missteps.

For one, he implies that there are no animals in nature that destroy their offspring. This is categorically untrue. Both male and female mammals, including large cats, canines, rodents, monkeys, primates and marsupials, have all been known to destroy their offspring for various reasons: not enough protection or food for offspring, too many offspring born into the group, competition for mates or hierarchy, offspring that will be unable to survive, and sometimes, for no detectable reason whatsoever.

Reptiles, insects and birds also kill offspring. In fact, to use Mr. Talbott’s example of birds, while most do protect the nest, it is not uncommon for birds to abandon a nest of eggs if they know it will be subject to predator attack or if the chicks will likely not be able to survive. The parental instinct is strong, but so is the species survival instinct; not just in animals, but in humans as well.



Mr. Talbott’s second misstep is confusing “mothering” with the expectations and structure of the nuclear family. Beyond the basic biological realities of birth and infant care, mothering shows up in a variety of ways across cultures and across time.

Calling for a repair of the nuclear family model and its presumed benefits is not the same as insisting that mothers behave in the way that Mr. Talbott prescribes. More common throughout the human experience is for children to be reared by various adults in their family and social groups, and with socio-cultural mores and education that belong not to parents alone, but to the society at large.



Mothers are never solely responsible for a child’s outcome, not throughout history, and not in our time either, despite the insistence of those who idealize a motherhood that has little to do with the realities of modern parental life. Our social fabric is the responsibility of all who exist within it, and what it looks like reflects all of us, not just those who are the easiest to blame.

Leslie Stoupas

Glenwood Springs

I am writing to urge Holy Cross Energy customers to vote for Kristen Bertuglia for the Holy Cross Energy Board. By now, customers have received their ballot in the mail. While the urge to toss it in the garbage may be great, think again. Every vote absolutely counts in this small election and a vote for Kristen Bertuglia will ensure that we have a progressive candidate being voted onto the board.

Kristen and I work together, and I can vouch for her hard work, perseverance and intelligence. She works on a wide variety of projects in environmental sustainability and makes sure that each project runs smoothly and efficiently. I have personally witnessed her commitment to sustainability in the town of Vail and throughout the region, as Kristen and her husband, Steve, work countless volunteer hours on the Vail Community Garden, clean-up days and many other projects to help our community.

Kristen will help Holy Cross Energy move towards more alternative energy options, which in my opinion will ultimately help bring down energy costs and hopefully increase the dividends we just received in the mail. You can make a difference by voting for Kristen Bertuglia.

Rachel Dimond

Vail


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