In reference to the unregulated expansion of pollution-spewing factory farms, Mari Winn stated "The environment is easily sacrificed in the name of the almighty dollar" (Neosho CAFO to generate 320 tons of manure daily, April 4). Sadly, the same can be said about animal welfare.
Though the industry would like us to maintain the idyllic image of cows, pigs, and birds roaming freely on green pastures, the reality is that the overwhelming majority of our meat, eggs, and milk come from animals who are raised on massive factory farms and treated like unfeeling production units. Standard practices include cramming egg-laying hens inside wire cages so small, they can't even spread their wings and confining mother pigs in metal crates so narrow, they are unable to turn around. In addition, male pigs and cows are routinely castrated without any pain relief.
As a former animal control officer in our nation's capital, I am certain that similar treatment of dogs and cats would result in charges of cruelty to animals.
Luckily, for those of us opposed to such unnecessary animal suffering, a vegetarian diet offers an easy and effective way to extend our compassion to all animals. For a free vegetarian starter guide, visit TryVeg.com.
Erica Meier, Director