Feedback on Petapalooza, Prices

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Support Animal Welfare, Not Just Animal Agriculture

In last month’s Shuttle’s coverage of Petapalooza, I noticed that the Manatawna-Saul 4-H Club was mentioned in the same context as animal rescue and advocacy groups. This was confusing to me, and I imagine to many readers as well, since 4-H is nothing of the sort. Rather, 4-H clubs are animal agricultural advocacy organizations that teach children how to raise animals for slaughter. To put it bluntly, after Co-op members and their families are done marveling at and cuddling 4-H animals, those animals are sent to livestock auctions and once again put on display — only before a different audience, one trying to buy them and turn them into meat for America’s dinner tables.

Since Petapalooza is intended to raise awareness and funds for animal rescues and advocacy groups, and to promote our Co-op’s pet store, we should more carefully consider whom we invite to the event. Instead of 4-H, why not bring in farm animal sanctuaries from our area? Off the top of my head, I can think of several who are well-deserving of our admiration and support:  Indraloka Animal Sanctuary, the Pig Placement Network, the Goats of Anarchy and Rancho Relaxo. 

While we should not forget that petting zoos are far from enjoyable for animals (they suffer the stress of transport, crowds, handling by strangers, interrupted feeding schedules, inclement weather and the general stress of an unfamiliar environment), if we must have animals within reach to remind us they need to be loved and cared for, let them at least come from and return to happy, safe places which properly reflect the spirit of Petapalooza.

Nell McBride

Nell McBride is an assistant grocery manager at Weavers Way.

I’ll Pay More for Fair Wages 

Indeed, Weavers Way prices are not rock bottom. I remember a time when they were. Eventually, it came to light that the bookkeeper was shuffling numbers for various reasons, including prices — so it was too good to be true. Other reasons for rock-bottom prices usually involve lower store overhead, often related to employees’ wages and benefits. That Weavers Way tries to pay a fair wage and include benefits is the No. 1 reason that Weavers Way will always be my primary grocery store. I also love Weavers Way’s commitment to the community and to responsible food production. I take advantage of every available discount. I get quality food at a reasonable cost.

There are members of the community who feel they’re barely getting by, and who can blame them for shopping where they get the very best prices? That’s not Weavers Way’s fault. Huge chains can charge less partly because they pay less per item, since they buy huge quantities. Smaller stores cannot compete. 

Joan Leiby