Crikey readers can be a divided lot at the best of times, and discussions prompted by Bernard Keane’s call for the end of subsidies for the Australian meat and dairy industries were no exception — though many conceded the problems created by the system. Elsewhere, readers tackled the question of repatriating the families of Australian ISIS fighters, and waded through Australia’s economic mire.

On meat and dairy in Australia

Keith Altman writes: Bernard, until there is a severe reality check why would the LNP stop treating most of the agricultural sector differently. They have been able to buy the votes from the rural sector more cheaply than other areas with a range of often very short-term and heavily-subsidised proposals. On their benefit-cost calculations, they see throwing around inattentive taxpayers’ money as low risk while conning much of the rural sector that they are better managers of all things important!

Colby Hanks writes: The ever-expanding range and quality of “faux meat” products in supermarkets and restaurants would indicate this is part of a long term trend. For many years mock meats were unsophisticated and bland, but this is no longer the case and their slow encroach on traditional animal-based products will undoubtedly continue. The driving force is apparent: consumers are becoming more and more aware of the terrible realities of factory farmed livestock. These realities are very often nauseating to animal lovers and pet owners, of which there are obviously a great many.

Eve Stinton writes: Industrial-scale dairy and beef are unattractive, environmentally destructive industries. However, truly sustainable agriculture can result in valuable carbon sequestration in mixed farming systems that may include cattle.

On ISIS families

Mark E Smith writes: The simple point is that, like it or not, they’re our responsibility. The more involved point is that many weren’t there by choice to varying degrees. Repatriation could be a simple, uncontroversial matter. Just frame it as a responsible government and law ‘n’ order matter. Bring them back and subject them to security interrogation and due legal process.

Simon Mansfield writes: Given that the US expects various nations to take responsibility for their nationals in Syria, I’m at a loss as to why Albi can’t crucify Morrison over the government’s failure to do its job and get our nationals out and deal with them.

On the economy

Wayne Cusick writes: RBA’s rate cuts may be counter-productive since they raise the cost of housing. And have businesses been investing in building their operations, improving productivity, improving the skills of their workforce and giving pay rises, or have they been just sending profits to the shareholders?

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