Is there an anti-livestock sentiment in Iowa?
At the Iowa Farmer's Union meeting, I heard some people mention an "anti-livestock sentiment" - a phrase I had never heard before.
When I think "anti-livestock" I think of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and their obnoxious "Holocaust on Your Plate" campaign that really offended me. I have never supported PETA. Like most kids in Iowa, I learned the difference between livestock and a pet. While, like all good people, I am opposed to cruelty to animals, I accept that livestock gets slaughtered. That's why they were bred in the first place.
The Animal Liberation Front, whoever they are, freed laboratory animals in Iowa City at the University of Iowa's Psychology Labs. That's not anti-livestock. I haven't heard of them breaking into an egg factory and freeing thousands of beakless scrawny laying hens.
I know a few vegetarians. I respect their convictions. They talk about how we could feed 7 times as many people with the grain used to raise the meat. There may come a time, as the human population on the earth reaches 9 billion, when meat will be a luxury that we simply cannot afford if we are to feed everyone. But we are not there yet.
I don't believe there is much anti-livestock sentiment in Iowa, but I know there is an anti-CAFO movement, started by people who lost the value of their farms and their health, due to the outrageous air pollution from a neighboring CAFO. I know there is an anti-CAFO movement, joined by fishermen whose favorite trout stream or fishing hole was killed off by manure spills. I know there is an anti-CAFO movement, and the momentum is building with each community that faces the prospect of the stench, dirty water and manure from a CAFO that bullied its way into the neighborhood over the objections of the neighbors. I invite consumers to make the effort to find locally grown meat, grown the old fashioned way, and compare the quality. If you taste the pork from the pork guy at your local farmer's market, I think you'll join the anti-CAFO movement too.
Just how much manure do you suppose Iowans are willing to put up with?