You hungry fiends: Recently I went with some co-workers to Denny's, and there, over lunch, someone with relatives in Coral Gables brought up your July 12 news story, "Death in the City Beautiful," by Tamara Lush.
Even though I was wearing my leeks and idea, no one knew I was a santero.
I listened as various medical professionals sat and talked about how horrible animal sacrifices were; I listened as they examined this issue from the viewpoint of animal cruelty and public health.
"What's so cruel?" I asked.
"They kill those poor, defenseless animals," one woman said while cutting her T-bone steak into small, bite-size pieces.
Another nurse chimed in, "All those chickens get their necks wrung." The grease from the chicken wings she was eating dripped down her chin. The irony of her own words, and lunch, were lost to her.
"And what's the health hazard?" I asked.
"Those animals, their carcasses are thrown into a dumpster where they just rot. It breeds disease." This she said while she motioned the waitress to remove her half-eaten plate of wings.
"Where do you think your food came from?" I asked. "What are you eating? Animals. And trust me, in the slaughterhouses, I'm sure, they neither lived nor died pretty. And that half-eaten plate of food? What do you think they're going to do with it? Throw it in the trash. It will go into the dumpster."
Everyone was in shock.
"And by the way," I added, "go check the dumpster at your local Albertson's on Tuesdays. They throw away pounds and pounds and pounds of unsold meat. It's 'expired,' and they throw it in the dumpster. Grocery stores, restaurants ... even you ... all of you throw meat in the trash when it goes bad. Even if santeros did throw their animals away, which they don't, isn't it all just rotting meat in the trash? What's so different?"
"And how do you know they don't throw it away?" she asked.
"I'm a santero. I have a freezer full of meat at home that I killed, plucked, quartered, and stored myself."
You could have heard a pin drop!
I grew up in the country. Since I was a child, it was drilled into my head that you should not eat what you cannot kill. When it comes to animal sacrifices, most people who abhor the practice are themselves meat eaters, but they have never killed a single animal in their lives. Until absolutely every person in Coral Gables becomes a vinyl-shoe-wearing vegan who never throws food to rot in a trash can, I think they need to grow up. The fact that they eat the meat but do not kill the animal does not release them from the fact that someone else has to kill what they eat. Money might shelter one from reality, but it doesn't make reality go away.
At least we feed God first, and we do it with our own hands.
Via the Internet
Trendmeisters: If memory serves me well, this is the second publicized case of this nature in Coral Gables in the past month.
It seems the police department needs some sensitivity training.
Someone should slap a religious harassment lawsuit on the mayor and police chief. A single mistake, I can understand, but twice — that's a trend. And they're probably having fun doing this.
Via the Internet
Scurrilous Free Weekly
Lies, cheats, steals: I read Joanne Green's article "Scared Straight" in the July 12 issue. I'm very sad for you, Ms. Green, and the people you researched. It seems to me that you attended the Worthy Creations group at Miami Shores Baptist Church under false pretenses. People opened their hearts and guts in front of you because you pretended to be one of them; then you betrayed them by writing an article with an agenda to "expose" this aspect of the Christian community. You might disagree that these people should be attending these meetings, and you might not believe they should or even do struggle with homosexuality, but I don't see how your opinion gives you the right to write such a slanted news article.
I am a very close friend of a few people who have enjoyed successful heterosexual marriages after living as gay men or women. I also have friends who live as part of a gay couple. It is not my job to sit in self-righteous judgment of anyone, as you so clearly judge the Worthy Creations group in your article.
Every community — Christians, journalists, athletes, you name it — has some members who draw attention to their misdeeds and fall from grace. To single out the few people who have so clearly struggled in the Exodus program, and not include a single successful story, is shameful.
Please take my comments into consideration the next time you decide to sneak in and attack a community in Miami. We are a large, diverse community, and your intolerance and self-righteousness only divide us.
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Not the oinker: Concerning Francisco Alvarado's piece about the Doral pig who busted journalist Mike Kirsch and apparently lied about the events of the bust ("Exposé Fray," June 21): It pretty much confirmed what I already knew — that most cops are arrogant, power-obsessed pigs who would not hesitate to lie or otherwise break the very laws they are supposed to uphold. The spin people say there are always a few bad cops, but I think it is really a few good cops on a force with an "us against them" mentality when dealing with the public.
Thus I believe Kirsch in this case of he said/she said merely because she is a pig.