Letter: Be aware of what your meat purchase supports

Graphic by Lori Deaton

I was happy to see Renee Dunaway’s letter in support of the Farm System Reform Act [“Take Action for Agriculture,” Aug. 19, Xpress]. In addition to poor treatment of workers and animals, concentrated animal feeding operations have substantial links to the origin and spread of diseases. A July 14 Facebook post by Esquire calls the food-processing industry the Typhoid Mary of the pandemic. It referenced the July 20 issue of The New Yorker, which examines Mountaire Farms and its owner, Ronald Cameron.

Political scientist Chris Cooper of Western Carolina University mentioned Ronald Cameron and his donation to the District 119 race in his July 23 interview with Matt Bush of BPR. Per The New Yorker, “Mountaire has operations in five states. Because it is owned almost entirely by Cameron — and because it supplies poultry to other companies that put their own labels on the meat — the company’s public profile is virtually nonexistent.”

We do know that he donated $3 million to Trump’s 2016 campaign and that despite record-breaking exports, food-processing industry workers were judged to be essential, turning “the plants into biowarfare labs.”

Many who avoid clothing made in sweatshops and who buy Equal Exchange coffee and chocolate may be unaware what they are supporting when they purchase meat. Please read the Esquire Facebook post before you make your next purchase. And check your candidates’ donations before you vote.

— Lynda Cozart
Asheville

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