July 18, 2005

Move It or Lose It
Isn’t the chief objection to 2 Columbus Circle [“The 2 Columbus Circle Game,” by Tom Wolfe, July 4–11] that it’s simply in the wrong place? The little jewel box of a building clearly belongs in a more relaxed setting. Isn’t there some way it could be dismantled and relocated, perhaps to a grassy knoll in one of the city’s parks? Someone might even donate a set of chimes, and we could hear the Angelus every evening at six—or whatever would be deemed less sectarian.
—Eugene F. Shewmaker, Ridgefield, Conn.

Duck and Cover
An atheist would tell you humans don’t have souls [“Does a Duck Have a Soul?,” by Marshall Sella, June 27]. Would that make serving human flesh okay by Sella’s absurd reduction of human history regarding the treatment of animals? Do dogs have souls? Catholics say no, but I don’t know any who eats dog. Also, Michael Ginor’s comment that soon you’ll only be able to get foie gras from China or India is like bemoaning that the only place left today to legally buy child porn is Russia. Gosh, what a loss!
—Alex Torralbas, Stamford, Conn.

I applaud your attempt to give an unbiased summary of the foie gras wars. However, there were no photos of the gavage procedure, in which cornmeal is force- fed by high-powered tubes to the ducks. I bet if the public saw that, many more people would get the inhumanity of this process. But, then again, do the people who can afford foie gras really care?
—Michael G. Giuseffi, Manhattan

Jeffrey Dahmer thought that human parts were pretty tasty, the Masai drink cow’s blood, and some folk favor live monkey brains. Just because something tastes good doesn’t mean it was put on God’s green Earth to be consumed. Ariane Daguin and her foie gras colleagues need to believe that they do no wrong so they can continue in their line of work.
—Valerie Gilbert, Manhattan

The anti–foie gras people are missing the boat by miles. We have tens of millions of chickens raised in poultry Guantánamos. Chicken feces contaminate waterways, threatening our health. The same goes for pigs raised on porcine factory farms whose pollution drains into the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Those bleeding hearts who lament ducks’ souls are averting their eyes from the ongoing environmental damage caused by factory farming in this country.
—Lorna Salzman, East Quogue, N.Y.

Do the Right Thing
As the natural family planning coordinator of the Archdiocese of New York, I take issue with the author’s superficial treatment of NFP [“Not Your Mother’s Rhythm Method,” by Rebecca Milzoff, June 27]. It is not something that is cruelly imposed on couples by the Catholic Church. Besides, the use of contraceptives and premarital sex are not Vatican problems, they’re societal ones. Separating sex from babies creates a culture of death for everyone. And there’s more to NFP than mucus, folks. It’s about honoring your sacramental bond. It comes down to the acceptance of children in love—not as a potentially dispensable mistake.
—Julie Szwejbka, Manhattan

Thank you for drawing attention to the Catholic Church’s best-kept secret: its teachings on love, sex, and marriage. Its teachings on human sexuality are the path away from the heartbreak described weekly in your “Mating” column and toward joy-filled marriages.
—Anne Tozzi, Yonkers, N.Y.

One Man’s Trash
Great story on curbside shopping, or “scavenging,” as the writer calls it [“From the Sidewalk to Your Living Room,” by Grant Stoddard, June 27]. I prefer to think of myself as a “discardiologist” rather than a scavenger: For more than eighteen years, I’ve followed the bulk-trash pickup schedules of nice areas in the suburbs and shopped there. Thanks to this obsession, I’ve redone my home interior many times and sold many of my finds for good money (to make up for what I spend on gas, which is getting expensive). I’ll continue to curbside-shop until I can no longer hoist a table onto the roof of my car and tie it down.

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July 18, 2005