Your Opinion: Learn more about livestock industry

Dear Editor:

For over a year I campaigned against Prop. B via letters to the editor in this newspaper and many others across Missouri. It was not because I was not concerned about the care and welfare of dogs, but rather the profusion of misinformation and lack of common sense that it presented. It attacked a whole industry without discretion and solely for the purpose of forcing dog breeders to meet standards that, as written, were totally unattainable.

In my many talks with common people all over our state I came to realize that not only did they not understand the true implications of Prop. B but they were totally illiterate about all things agricultural.

With groups like the Humane Society of the United States, PETA, ASPCA and others constantly creating humane issues about the way that livestock producers raise their animals, we (livestock producers) are constantly on the defensive, addressing accusations that are archaic and perverse.

Ms. Peitzmeyer’s letter about animal castration is a good example. The word humanely is tossed around when common sense is kicked out the door.

So very few people have ever castrated their own dogs or cats that the mention of it is comic. Maybe 50-60 years ago it was applied to an over abundant supply of barn cats, long before it was acceptable to take barn cats to the vet, but nowadays it is unheard of. Even I don’t do it.

Her accounts of pigs squealing and calves bawling for hours during castration only exemplifies the lack of knowledge that prevails. Ms. Peitzmeyer doesn’t know the whole story.

Farm animals are not anesthetized during castration for reasons other than cost, animals die even under a vet’s care, but Ms. Peitzmeyer’s main concern seems to be that livestock producers might actually make money at raising livestock.

I’m sure Ms. Peitzmeyer is only echoing the latest humane attack on animal ag.

I feel that you, the general public, deserve to know the whole story of agriculture, hopefully to avert future Prop. B’s in the livestock industry.

Through this venue over the next few months I would like to take the opportunity at 400 words or less per letter to educate you on agriculture, its history, our practices and the economic, environmental and social impacts.

I hope that you will allow me to take you on a journey through livestock, grain and vegetable production. I hope that I answer your questions and dispel any misconceptions or misinformation that abounds.

Issue-oriented letters to the editor in response to this or about other local topics are welcome. All letters should be limited to 400 words. The author's name must appear with the letter, and the name, address and phone number provided for verification. Letters that cannot be verified by telephone will not be published. Send letters for publication to editor@newstribune.com

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