Litter clean-up was welcome

A reader congratulates those who helped clean up a beach, and denounces those who litter. Other letter topics: Iran, Yemen, Israel, gluten, that hefty bar bill, and our big-cat attack photo.

A reader praises volunteers who cleaned up on Lulu Island, and condemns those who litter. Mike Young / The National
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Seeing the mauling of a man's scalp by a stray leopard on the front page (Big cat on the rampage, January 8) was a blood-curdling experience.

I am glad the man's adrenalin kicked in and helped him to defend himself and walk away alive.

It is easy for us to sit in our homes and wish the big blood-thirsty cat was dead. But wild animals are under threat in terms of their natural habitat due to encroachment by humans.

Wild animals aren't encroaching on us. We're encroaching on them.

Anoop Ravindran, Abu Dhabi

That photo spoiled my breakfast. Why did you need to show something so horrible?

No more like that, please.

Joan Robinson, Dubai

Hormuz stance threatens peace

The Iranian threat to close the Strait of Hormuz (Closing Strait of Hormuz is 'easier than drinking a glass of water', December 29) is extremely provocative and has the potential to trigger a war.

Tehran's style of dealing with the West and its neighbouring countries does not contribute to peace and stability.

On the other hand, the sanctions imposed by the West will not make Iran soften its policy on nuclear weapons. Sanctions will hurt only the civilians, and the leadership will take undue advantage of public anger towards the West.

Arrogance of economic and military power should give way to diplomacy and persuasion. Peaceful methods need a lot of patience and statesmanship.

Muneer Ahmad, Abu Dhabi

Spending is not a matter of ethics

The person who wrote a letter objecting to that enormous bar bill (Reckless spending hurts the rest of us, January 8) has missed an important consideration.

The fact that somebody chooses to spend Dh125,000 on one bottle of bubbly may be a comment about IQ, or about income distribution in society, but it is not an ethical matter. For all the letter-writer knows, the person who paid that bill may give far more to philanthropy every month.

Or perhaps not. Either way, it's wrong to blame individuals for the way society is set up.

Roy Fisher, Abu Dhabi

Littering anywhere is just anti-social

Congratulations to everyone involved in the anti-litter project described in your story Clean beaches are a never-ending struggle (January 8). That phrase "a turtle skeleton surrounded by plastic" is just so sad.

Littering on the beach or anywhere really makes me angry but I'm always too timid to object. What an anti-social habit.

Jennifer Fraser, Abu Dhabi

Will US rescue alter perceptions?

US rescues Iranian sailors (January 7) made me laugh out loud.

I wonder if those particular 13 Iranians still share their government's antipathy to the US fleet. And I wonder how much the rest of Iran will hear of this story.

Sayyed Hafiz, Dubai

We need a capital shopping festival

I refer to Deals of the Week: Dubai Shopping Festival offers Dh100m in prizes (January 7).

Those discounts sound good to me. Why isn't there an Abu Dhabi Shopping Festival?

June Briggs, Abu Dhabi

Will Saleh ever actually leave?

Sad to read Fears rising that Saleh will cling to power (January 7).

Haven't we seen variations on that story for almost a year now?

Ahmad Rahman, Dubai

Extreme views dominate society

Your article Some warn that Israel's secular lifestyle is in danger (January 8) shows that Israel has allowed beliefs to replace facts on the ground.

The ultra-orthodox have a right to their beliefs, but Israel has allowed their beliefs to dictate the rules of society.

Peter Wedlund, US

Processed food behind diet ills

Sadly, gluten intolerance is an epidemic (Gap in market for specialised diets, January 7). Why? Our highly processed diets.

I applaud parents who try to provide better health through good food. Unfortunately going gluten free only avoids the allergen, while often providing highly processed, instead of nutrient-dense, foods.

Rebecca Lavallee, Abu Dhabi