Readers’ letters - August 16

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Mobile phones are a real menace in modern society

As an octogenarian, I’m sure my views on the following will be put down to some sort of mental aberration but am I worried?

Mobile phones are one of the 20th century’s biggest disasters and the smart phones an even bigger one.

If it wasn’t so serious it would be funny to see.

People of all ages walking the streets completely absorbed in the wallet-sized machine in their hand.

I’ve witnessed them walk into lamp posts, collide with other pedestrians and, generally, act like morons.

On buses and trains everybody can hear their (surely) private conversations which can occasionally be embarrassing to other passengers, but the mobile phone holder doesn’t seem to care.

I’ve heard the same ‘signals’ in church and doctors waiting rooms.

But I am most concerned at the growing number of children in possession of these infernal contraptions. Because one child has one, all the other kids want them and parents seem to give in.

But are they not aware of the risks and dangers in Internet involvement? I seem to recall something of an outcry in the past that any unsavoury character could make contact with youngsters via their phones yet parents seem to be oblivious.

As a recent article in the Daily Mail warned: ‘Youngsters should not be allowed to gorge on social media. Many are using them like sweets or junk food, especially now in the school holidays with no adult around. Children age five to 15 are spending 15 hours a week on the Internet.’

At least the old-fashioned landline phone never posed such problems. It was merely a private means of communication.

Neil Kendall

Address supplied

The case for going vegan

Why is the thought of eating dogs and horses abhorrent in the UK but not elsewhere?

If you love your pet, why are you eating other animals? If you don’t want blood on your hands, why are you asking other people to do your killing for you?

Have you visited a factory farm and witnessed the overcrowded misery that will end up on your plate?

Why are you allowing cows to be turned into baby-making machines to produce milk for you to enjoy your butter or your cheese?

These are the questions that caused me to investigate and then adopt a vegan diet. And I, and millions of others, are thriving on it.

Alternatives to meat and dairy are now common in health food shops and supermarkets. Have you tried rice milk, soya milk, coconut milk, almond milk, hazelnut milk, flax milk, hemp milk, quinoa milk?

They won’t contain the added hormones and antibiotics of cow’s milk.

Mega dairies and all factory farming is inhumane – it deprives animals of their freedom and natural habitat.

It’s our choices that lead market demand and can alter our food production to be kinder and healthier.

Sue Lister

Address supplied

Toxic swell of white supremacy

I am appalled by those scenes in Charlottesville of primarily white, male Americans carrying

flags with the swastika on them.

Have they forgotten the price paid by many of their own servicemen and women?

Even worse when you think of black servicemen like the Wereth 11, tortured brutally and then shot by Nazi soldiers.

I grew up in the late 50s and remember reading all those war comics at the time which, in retrospect, carried hugely stereotypical images of German and Japanese people.

I am horrified that some of the values and ideas that underpinned fascism and Nazism are becoming more and more prevalent, against all the principles of what Orwell called “common human decency” and what those people fought against.

We should be fearful yet fight as our parents did to stop this toxic swell of white supremacy.

Terry Maunder

Address supplied