Healthy suggestions for 2013

This year’s developments have certainly vindicated those of us who care about our health, our environment and our treatment of animals.
In January, First Lady Michelle Obama unveiled revamped federal guidelines requiring school cafeterias to serve more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and less sodium and animal fat.
In March, a study involving nearly 38,000 men and 84,000 women by the Harvard School of Public Health concluded that one daily serving of meat is associated with a 13-20 percent increase in the risk of death from heart disease or cancer.
The American Journal of Preventive Medicine estimates that prevalence of obesity among American adults will escalate to 42 percent by 2030, with a $550 billion increase in medical costs.
And the Humane Society exposed unconscionable atrocities among three pig producers in Oklahoma and a Pennsylvania egg farm.
It’s little wonder that 7 percent of Americans consider themselves vegetarian or vegan and 28 percent are actively reducing their meat consumption, leading to a 12 percent U.S. drop since 2007.
We should all consider following suit for this New Year’s resolution.
Entering “live vegan” in a search engine brings tons of recipes and other useful information.
Steve Prosky
Marina del Rey

Displays don’t belong here

For the first time in 59 years, the world-renowned Santa Monica Palisades Park is now open during the holiday season in December.
Without the cluttered, pathetic religious displays, the park is back to its natural stage, and now can be enjoyed by all. Thanks to the “Rosa Parks of Santa Monica,” Damon Vix and a few good atheist helpers who initiated the protest. That led to the City Council decision to discontinue the stationary religious displays in a public park.
The city of Santa Monica, which generously donated the spaces and over 265 hours of taxpayers’ funds last year, had to defend itself against the ungrateful former beneficiaries in court. The tax-exempt churches even used tax-deductible donations to have taxpayers contribute to their religious displays.
The conservative, connected attorney representing the Santa Monica Nativity Scenes Committee, having lost two decisions, now wants to go back to court, costing the taxpayers more expense.
Have you noticed the religious-right support and motivated groups have become so aggressive and unreasonable? Not even wanting to tolerate Santa Claus or the (fir) Christmas tree?
No wonder they continue to lose their members. Please keep your religion, if possible, private, and religious-fixed, unattended installations out of Santa Monica parks.
As family and friends gather and gifts are exchanged; happy joyous winter solstice, Merry Christmas, and the most happy New Year of peace for all.
Helmut Schulze
Santa Monica