Friday, January 02, 2004
Ann M. Veneman
Washington, DC 20250-1301
Dear Ms. Veneman,
Don’t be alarmed!
I read that you’re serving your family beef through the holidays. That’s funny--my family usually has turkey during Thanksgiving and Christmas. We tried ham once, but so many people made a fuss about tradition, it’s been turkey ever since. And the leftovers! We have turkey soup and turkey sandwiches and turkey casseroles--for us it’s nothing but turkey for weeks! But I suppose if you want to serve your family burgers on Christmas, to each his own.
I also heard you say, “For more than a decade, the United States has had in place an aggressive surveillance, detection and response program for BSE” (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy). BSE =Mad Cow Disease (MCD). I can’t tell you how relieved I was to hear you say that. I heard that last year, you tested 20,526 cows out of 35 million slaughtered. That comes to about one cow out of every 1700. I guess that’s pretty aggressive. I don’t know what everybody’s complaining about. That’s almost half a per cent!
Remember the movie, “The Witches of Eastwick?” Remember the part where Jack Nicholson staggers into the church looking deranged and his hair is sticking out in all directions and his eyes are bugging out of his head and he’s ranting and raving things like, “Women! You can’t live with ‘em and you can’t live without ‘em!” and Cher and Susan Sarandon and Michelle Pfieffer are all sticking pins in a Jack Nicholson voodoo doll and every time they do he vomits feathers and cherry pits and he’s hurling cherry pits all over everybody in the congregation and people have throw-up all over them and he’s hurling and ranting and reeling like a lunatic--remember that? Do you remember what he said? Here’s what he said:
“Don’t be alarmed!”