In response to an article in the North West Indiana Times entitled Fair Oaks Farms’ latest innovation goes hog wild, I wrote the following letter to the editor:
Dear Mr. Nagle:
I found NWI Times’ coverage of Fair Oaks Farm’s so-called “Pig Adventure” both disturbing and disgusting — not just for its blatant glorification of factory farming, but in how uncritically NWI appears to have “rubber stamped” the Fair Oaks Farm press release without looking critically at this tragically absurd “public exhibit” of animal exploitation and suffering. Why does NWI withhold any opinion on such a nightmare scenario for animals in the very opinion section?
Don’t your editorial writers have an opinion on something as transparently cruel and disgusting as the factory farming of pigs?
Can they not see from the pictures NWI photographers took that there is blood on the floor of the pig crates where the mother sows are forced to live? Do they not have an opinion on highly-conscious and sentient animals being forced to live in gestation crates the size of their bodies?
How about an opinion on artificially inseminating female sows repeatedly through their short, miserable lives thereby forcing them into a cycle of pregnancies to pump out babies that will be stolen from them after a short period of nursing?
How about an opinion on the castration and teeth cutting and other bodily mutilations of piglets with no pain killers which is routine practice in pig farming?
How about the dumping of baby piglets in the bins outside of the rows of crates, as if they were trash?
How about the fattening up of these same piglets to slaughter them in their adolescence (a fraction of their natural lifespan)?
How about the actual slaughter which remains hidden from public view? Does anyone have an opinion on electrocuting young pigs to cause them to have a grand mal seizure to render them unconscious, then shackling them by their legs, hanging them upside down and slashing their throats as is standard practice?
Don’t your opinion writers have an opinion on turning nonhuman animal individuals who have unique thoughts and feelings into objects by putting them on display as if they were widgets in a factory assembly line for children to then conclude they are indeed objects and not really animals?
Does anyone on your staff really believe that living beings can be turned into things? Does none of this incredibly abysmal treatment of animals stir any empathic response from your opinion writers? Surely there must be just one staff writer there that has some tinge of doubt about this story that could have written a thought-provoking piece?
Why is it that other major media sources can report on this situation critically and NWI has “opted out”?