A rebuttal by Dale Lucht
As I was proofing Mr. Everson’s article, I became extremely troubled with his generalities. If he had said Factory Farming treats animals inhumanely, I would have probably agreed with that opinion. But I took umbrage at his statement that all farmers are cruel to their livestock.
What would Mr. Everson have us do? Does he want us to free all cows and pigs? If any of you have hit a 150 lb. deer, can you imagine running into a 1,000 lb. cow? Farmers fence cattle in as ownership but also to protect them. They feed them, doctor them, and protect them from predators. You could say cattle have a pretty good life until their date at the abattoir.
There at the slaughterhouse is where we have to do a better job of killing. By crowding and goading we scare the animals which then release fright hormones into their meat. We do need to make that process less stressful.
I would like to revisit the factory farms. By crowding thousands of cattle onto a few acres their impact exponentially increases. They pollute the ground water, the air is polluted, and our collective soul is injured. Growth hormones are used, antibiotics are used and genetically modified grains may be fed to the cattle. I agree we don’t want that stuff in our food supply.
Then why is Mr. Everson so keen on soy products? By the year 2000, over 50% of all soybeans planted in the U.S. were genetically engineered. As of 2007, that number increased to 91%. So far, there is no research evidence that shows consumption of genetically engineered soybeans to be harmful to your health.
In the Senate version of the recent farm bill, there was an amendment introduced that would have guaranteed states the right to enact mandatory GMO (genetically modified organism) labeling laws. Monsanto and other conglomerates are fighting against this. Both of Wisconsin’s Senators voted against this amendment. They are not alone; every one of our bordering states’ senators voted against it. Our senators vote for the big money and against the consumers. Contact your senators and let them know who casts votes in a democracy.
Mr. Everson wants to eliminate all animal husbandry on farms. I would suggest that he visit farmer’s markets and talk to meat producers, maybe even visit a farm to see how their animals are treated. I think he would be surprised.
Besides – if we got rid of all cattle, where would we get our ice cream fix? The world would be a far sadder place without butter pecan, mint chocolate chip, or even vanilla.