What Others Are Saying

January 15, 2009 06:00 PM

As a Pennsylvania dairy producer, I pride myself on being able to educate the public about how our dairy farm works. My colleagues in the dairy industry need to open up to the public and our elected officials so that they can see for themselves why we produce enough food for the world. I want them to be disappointed in California, not strive to be more like them. I want to invite them to visit our farm and get the facts from a producer who loves her baby calves, instead of listening to a group of people who have never been to a farm.

Sarrah Biddle, Dairy Nutritionist
Mill Hill Farm Supply
Williamsburg, Pa.

Sorry, but I have no sympathy for agriculture in this matter, because how they treat their animals in this "industrial” model of harvesting living beings is utterly morally bankrupt. That they continue to defend it just proves how oblivious they are.

It is one thing to kill animals to eat them, and to turn their whole lives into an existence of giving us bounty from them.

But because we are using living, sentient beings in these ways, it should be our obligation to raise them, and treat them while alive, so that we prove that we value them and the sacrifices they will make for us.

CAFOs and all that are brutal and devaluing of the animals themselves, and they coarsen and degrade the sensitivity and moral values of the people who participate in doing those things. It's morally equivalent to enslaving children in sweatshops.

Please try reading "The Omnivore's Dilemma,” by Michael Pollan. He expresses all this very well. And/or study Buddhism, which derives an entire morality from understanding and reducing the suffering of people and animals.

William H. Clarke,
Missoula, Mont.

I am a small farmer in Maryland with a pastured free-range operation and am encouraged by the California passage of the proposition. It is about time that we farmers are held accountable for the way we raise, feed and treat our livestock. Do not misunderstand me, I am not a tree-hugging, animal rights kook. I just know there are better ways to raise our livestock than in the fecal factories mushrooming up around the country. Europe is so ashamed of them they are beginning to outlaw them.

It is high time Americans began raising food in an environmentally animal-accommodating way. My small operation cannot feed the masses, but Americans eat too much and pay too little for their food. I have lived and traveled on every continent other than South America. We are spoiled with the shamelessly little we pay for our food -- no wonder we are overweight. Let's let the law of supply and demand take over. Produce less and let the farmer earn a decent living.

Mark my words, this situation in California is only the beginning. Agribusiness better get on the bandwagon and begin making changes sooner rather than later or they will pay a very big price. People are becoming informed about how their food is produced and more and more they are going away from the grocery store [that is] stocking fecal factory food.

David R. Smith
President, American Pastured Poultry Producers Association

It is very sad that a law like this will drive many farmers and jobs out of state. We here in northern South Dakota would welcome any one of these operations if they are interested in locating. We have wide open space and would encourage job growth in the community!

Mayor Mark W. Opp
Eureka, S.D.

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