Saturday letters: An argument for veganism, and the failure of our democracy |

Saturday letters: An argument for veganism, and the failure of our democracy

We have allowed social norms to supersede our own

On Jan. 27, the world will observe the International Holocaust Remembrance Day. The date marks 75 years since the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, Hitler’s largest death camp. It’s an opportune occasion to reflect on how each of us can help end oppression.

A key question facing historians is how could an enlightened society that produced our civilization’s greatest philosophers, poets and composers also produce its most notorious mass murderers? How could it get millions of ordinary citizens to go along. Was the Holocaust a peculiarly German phenomenon, or are other enlightened societies capable? And, is it just about killing humans, or does it extend to other sentient beings?

Jewish Nobel laureate, Isaac Bashevis Singer provided a clear answer when he wrote: “To the animals, all people are Nazis.” His message was that, even in our own country, we are willing to subjugate our own compassion and affection for animals to those of our society. We have allowed social norms to supersede our own.

It follows that the only way to end our own participation in oppression is for each of us to reclaim our own moral values. Our very first step should be to drop animals from our menus.

Fred Stoddemeyer
Glenwood Springs

The world will bear witness to the failure of our democracy

(This letter was originally addressed to eight select U.S. senators including Cory Gardner.)

Dear Senator, I am from Colorado. From what I have read and observed about you, you are one of the senators who we might hope to facilitate an honest impeachment hearing.

I’m neither a Democrat or Republican, but I would like to encourage you to vote to hear witnesses in the impeachment hearing of President Trump. From what I have seen as a non-partisan voter, he appears to be guilty of bribery or extortion of Ukraine. But, without witness testimony, truth cannot be established. If witnesses such as Rudy Giuliani, John Bolton, Mike Pompeo, Mick Mulvaney and possibly Mike Pence are not interviewed, the truth cannot be discovered. If the senate refuses to interview witnesses, they are, without a doubt, obstructing and flaunting our democracy and their Constitutional responsibility to ensure an honest attempt to rule on the impeachment of President Trump.

This senate will go down in history as an example and catalyst of the failure of our democratic form of government. As an independent voter, I am disgusted, alarmed and ashamed of a majority of the senate — locking arms and blocking the discovery of facts underlying the impeachment. If witnesses, documents and facts are barred from exposure in this impeachment investigation, the rest of the world will bear witness to the failure of a democracy.

Please do not fail our nation.

Jim Markuson
Glenwood Springs

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