21 March 2007

From Today's New York Times

To the Editor:

I appreciate Nicolette Hahn Niman’s efforts in raising awareness about the conditions in which pigs are raised (“Pig Out,” Op-Ed, March 14), but I was struck by her comment that it is incumbent on us to ensure that animals have decent lives because we ask them to make the ultimate sacrifice for us. This doesn’t ring true, suggesting as it does that we actually ask the animals to make a sacrifice for our sake.

What we are doing is raising and then killing animals so that we can eat them. They don’t volunteer.

If we’re going to raise farm animals and then kill them to eat them, we should say so.

Catherine di Lorenzo
Woodbine, Ga., March 14, 2007

To the Editor:

Contrary to the assertions in Nicolette Hahn Niman’s attack on modern pork production, America’s 67,000 pork producers treat their animals humanely. They do so because it’s the moral and ethical thing to do, and it’s in their best economic interest.

For many producers, treating pigs humanely means raising them in climate-controlled facilities; safeguarding them from biosecurity hazards and the threat of diseases; placing sows in crates to stop them from fighting with one another and protect their piglets from being crushed; to ensure that they get the feed and water needed; and to better monitor their health.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, management and husbandry are more important for ensuring the health and well-being of pigs.

And while producers do use antibiotics to keep their pigs healthy, drugs are F.D.A.-approved and used judiciously, and administered responsibly under the direction of a veterinarian.

Jill Appell
Pres., Natl. Pork Producers Council
Altona, Ill., March 14, 2007

Note from KBJ: Replace "animals" and "pigs" with "slaves" in the second letter and see what happens. You get a justification of slavery!

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