To the Editor:
The sentence in your Sept. 9 editorial “Justice on the Farm” describing a “visit to a duck farm in Sullivan County where workers toil through exhausting shifts to force feed poultry for foie gras” encapsulates one of the fundamental problems facing agriculture today: the perpetual chain of exploitation that occurs on many farms.
The exploitation of farm workers reverberates in the treatment of farm animals and degradation of the environment. New York’s protection of laborers should be a first step toward recognition of the other systemic abuses that occur on farms that, like the long-ignored rights of farm workers, have been constantly disregarded by legislators.
Deborah Dubow Press
Washington, Sept. 9, 2009
The writer is on the staff of the Farm Animal Program, Animal Welfare Institute.