Your Opinion: In defense of agriculture

Dear Editor:

So Carleen Pietzmeyer resents my inference that she is perceptually challenged and then she compares a tragedy on a northwest Texas ranch to an early 20th century slaughter practice. That’s like comparing apples to oranges — so go figure.

Slaughter techniques for the past several hundred years were unsavory, to say the least, by today’s standards, but it was what they had. Those cattle headed for slaughter were very healthy, very mobile animals. I can see how an animal would have the ability to make it very difficult for the butcher to do his job.

However, the cattle on the ranch were far from healthy and far from mobile. They were suffering and I still stand by my assessment that even though the method was unconventional, the act was humane.

Carleen says that I do not know if the pick ax causes immediate death or if the animals suffered additional pain. Well neither does she.

She also gave no solution what she would have done in the situation, what she thought could have been done differently. All that she offers is criticism of agriculture once again.

I too want animals to be treated humanely, but there seems to be some confusion as to what the term humane actually means.

To people who have no connection to the livestock industry, humane seems to mean that we should treat all animals as human, a definition dictated by animals rights groups as PETA and HSUS.

For those of us who live and work with livestock everyday we know the fallacy in that kind of thinking. While our animals welfare is of utmost importance to us, we do not treat our animals as human.

Carleen says I will defend “agribusiness” right or wrong. I don’t think she really knows what agribusiness is. Agriculture is the science of raising crops or livestock. Agribusiness is the business of marketing farm products and related food processes that are operated as an industry. One cannot exist without the other.

Yes, I will continue to defend agriculture because of people like Carleen Pietzmeyer, Joel Timonn, Jeff Flemming and Robert Allen who attack it without an appreciation for what it takes to put food not only on their plates, but the rest of the world’s.

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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