To the Editor:
Re: “The Beef Over Downed Cows” by Lorrie Klosterman in the April issue of Chronogram: The egregious treatment of downed animals is just one of the many compelling reasons why consumers should boycott factory farms. Animal suffering, however, is not unique to this sector of the “food animal” industry.
I’ve cared for abused and neglected farm animals at Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen, NY, for nearly a decade, and of the hundreds I’ve personally rehabilitated, many have come from small farms—debunking myths that local meat is a viable alternative to cruelty.
Case in point: Last month, we rescued 26 sheep from Red Barn Farm in Canaan, NY—one of those listed in the article [as an addendum at www.chronogram.com] as off ering “benefi cially raised” meat. Th ese emaciated animals—many also injured, pregnant, and parasite ridden—were as far from “healthy” or “humanely-raised” as any of their factory-farmed counterparts.
So why exploit and kill at all when you can make a truly humane choice by going vegan?
Susie Coston, Farm Sanctuary National Shelter Director
Lorrie Klosterman responds:
Thank you very much for alerting us to the animal abuse at Red Barn Farms; we have removed it from the website list of small farms as alternatives to factory farming. I agree that becoming vegan most directly and completely removes consumer demand for animal products and inhumane practices. I’m a longtime vegetarian, sometimes vegan, for both animal welfare and human health reasons. In the article, however, I made a decision not to promote veganism overtly because many meat-eaters I’ve spoken to can’t imagine going without meat, and dismiss my views as irrelevant to them. I’m hoping that the carnivores among Chronogram’s readership will be disturbed and activated enough by what they read that they will get busy and demand an end to factory farming, at the least, because it is directly relevant to them, and seek farms that treat animals well throughout their lives, and slaughter them as humanely as possible.