Readers' views for April 1, 2011
Don't rely on yesterday's experts
The editorial, "'Humane' order falls on growers," in the March 18 issue was more a complaint against the beliefs of two animal activist groups than a defense of the practices of meat, milk and egg producers.
As a consumer, I'd like to be able to buy from producers of humanely raised animals. I scarcely buy pork products anymore because of the callous methods of raising and slaughtering them. ... Pigs crowded in pens so small these intelligent animals can't even move? Sorry, I have a conscience and real farmers used to have one, too.
Multiple hens stuffed into small cages is done because it's more profitable, not because it's a decent way to get eggs. The guys who run these factories aren't experts at animal husbandry -- they're businessmen churning out widgets -- indifferent to the fact that a major portion of their inventory is alive.
Saying someone is an "expert" who can never be questioned is absurd, in any case. We scoff or look in horror at the practices of yesterday's experts in just about everything.
Good animal caretakers are willing to learn from others and make changes when called for. Luckily for "growers," most people aren't ready to give up meat, milk and eggs. But many of us are ready to buy from people who are decent to the animals they raise and kill for us, even if it means paying a little more.