Letter: Take action for agriculture

Graphic by Lori Deaton

[The July 22 Xpress] article “Wide Open Spaces: Farms Innovate Fresh Models for COVID-19 Agritourism,” made me proud to be part of WNC’s farm economy. It’s a pleasure to support local farms at tailgate markets and as they pivot their business models.

There’s another big way that we can support agriculture. We can call or write Sen. Thom Tillis and Sen. Richard Burr and ask them to co-sponsor the Farm System Reform Act (S-3221/H.R. 6718).

The Farm System Reform Act would phase out factory farms, or “concentrated animal feeding operations,” by 2040. And it would help farmers transition to more sustainable forms of agriculture.

Concentrated animal feeding operations treat workers and animals poorly. Their workers face hazardous conditions, especially during COVID-19.  Animals are kept in crowded spaces. They cannot carry out natural behaviors or move freely — a far stretch from the “happy cows and chickens” that call humane WNC farms their homes!

I’m able to purchase dairy, eggs and meat from farms with sustainable and ethical practices. But not all of our neighbors have that access. It’s going to take something bigger than purchasing power to address all the problems that factory farms cause.

Please consider asking Sen. Thom Tillis (919-856-4630) and Sen. Richard Burr (336-631-5125) to co-sponsor the Farm System Reform Act. Let’s make it easier for people all over the country to access food from sources that treat their workers, consumers and animals with dignity.

— Renee Dunaway


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2 thoughts on “Letter: Take action for agriculture

  1. think critically

    I do support this bill, it would definitely reduce animal suffering. However, using terms like “humane” and “ethical” when it comes to raising animals for food, is just plain nonsense. Less cruel would be a better term. Webster’s New World Dictionary defines humane as “having what are considered the best qualities of human beings: kind, tender, merciful, sympathetic, etc.” Can robbing animals of their lives to satisfy a culinary preference to eat their corpses ever be called humane, or does using the phrase “humane meat” distort the very meaning of the word? The best way to respect animals is to eat plants.

    • Zia Terhune

      Ms Dunaway seems ready to call for the end of factory farms . Great, we all want that. Unfortunately she falls short of a true solution because sustainably raised meat won’t even come close to meeting the demand for animal products. The other half of the solution is to lower or stop the consumption of animal products. Furthermore let’s give up the magical thinking that we can humanely butcher animals to eat their flesh. Can’t be done. Go vegan.

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