Re: “I’m a dairy farmer with a lot of cows — is that bad?”:

I’m relatively new to Washington state, having grown up in a banking family in Western Pennsylvania. My classmates were the children of coal miners and dairy farmers. I visited their homes often and understood their lives, as far as one ever can. My father lent money to buy more cows and replace old machinery.

A “big” farm was one that milked 100 cows and planted 200 acres. When I return to visit, I listen to my aging peers lament their kids leaving, not wanting to go down into the mines or rise at 4 a.m. to milk a few cows for no money. I bite my tongue.

The harsh lesson of life is always: adapt or perish.

I would argue that it’s a good thing that black-lung disease will not exist in the next generation, and people can still enjoy ice cream and cheese at reasonable prices.

I totally agree with Allred. He has more than made his case. And yet, I miss the small-town life of Appalachia. My daughter only knows the urban pleasures of Seattle. Her favorite food is poké — she has adapted.

One sentiment is emotional, one is rational.

Peter Cook, Seattle