I am not scared of all the witches, zombies, and assorted goblins wandering about on Halloween. What really scares me is the meat industry.This is the industry that:

Mutilates, cages, and butchers billions of cows, pigs and other sentient animals;

Feeds carcasses of cats and dogs killed in pounds to chickens;

Exposes undocumented workers to chronic workplace injuries at slave wages;

Exploits farmers and ranchers by dictating wholesale market prices;

Punishes documentation of its abuses through unconstitutional "ag-gag" laws;

Promotes world hunger by feeding nutritious corn and soybeans to animals;

Generates more greenhouse gases than any other human activity;

Generates more water pollution than any other human activity;

Creates a permanent "dead zone" in the Gulf of Mexico that dwarfs the BP oil spill;

Creates deadly antibiotic-resistant pathogens by feeding antibiotics to animals;

Creates epidemics of Salmonella, Listeria, and other infectious diseases;

and promotes mortality from diabetes, heart failure, stroke, cancer, and other diseases.

Now, that’s really scary. And this is why I am dropping animal products from my menu.

KYLE ROBERTS

Brattleboro

New Dollar Store adds ugliness to downtown

The Dollar Store being constructed on West Main Street has destroyed the aesthetics of the area, and it has only added ugliness to downtown Bennington.

The insensitivity of the building’s visual impact on its surroundings is extraordinary, and the Design Review Board should have never allowed that building to be constructed where it is.

The BBC, the merchants and others have continually endeavored to make downtown Bennington an attractive place to be, and the Dollar Store development is certainly a step in the wrong direction.

CHARLES DEWEY

Bennington

Kudos to all who helped establish Robert Frost Trail

Congratulations are due to the Fund for North Bennington and the volunteers who donated to the effort to establish the Robert Frost Trail. This nearby trail we walked recently a couple of times is a fine example of conserved open land connecting the Rober Frost stone house on Route 7A with the wetlands, hilly woods, creek and Lake Paran into North Bennington. At 1.1 miles the "mini" covered bridge was built to cross the Paran Creek. Another 1.1 miles brings you around interesting features and vistas with chances to rest and observe the flow of livfe around the lake’s environs. Pick a summer day and take along your swimming gear to enjoy the coolness of Lake Paran.

The idea that such a non-wilderness chance to be within this type of setting is ideal. We will be enjoying the Robert Frost Trail from now on. And one can only be amazed that Mr. Frost wrote some of his most famous poems along these same trails jus a few decades ago.

RENE CASSANO

Bennington