Editor, Times-Union:
I remember empathizing with Marjorie Vance when she was writing in attempting to educate people of the detrimental effects of confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs). Although she gave it a valiant effort, I was fairly certain her efforts were an exercise in futility. If I've learned one thing having spent a lifetime in Indiana, it's commerce is king no matter how unsavory or damaging to a community it may be. I also knew those of us living in rural areas were living on borrowed time.
About 300 feet from my patio door, my neighbors decided to engage in veal production, perhaps one of the most brutal and cruelest of all CAFOs. They may as well have run a bulldozer through the middle of my home. My neat little home with the manicured lawn that I love, have lived for 35 years, and raised my two children is now worth about a bucket of spit. I have no north facing window that I can look out of and not see this brutality. Although a privacy fence would keep me from having to view this, it does nothing to silence the incessant bawling of the miseries suffered by these baby calves nor stifle the staggering smell of 40 animals on 4 acres of land.
Governor Pence's first day in office brought an Executive Order titled Regulatory Moratorium, meaning no new regulations and close scrutiny of those already on the books. The intention of this is to “promote Hoosiers freedom to engage in individual, family, and business pursuits.” In Indiana individuals and family don't mean anything, business holds all the cards.
Hoosiers pay 9.5 percent of their income on state and local taxes, with a new one about to be shoved down our throats. Indiana has gone from being the 22nd most taxed state to 43rd highest taxed state in ten years. Instead of no new regulations, how about no new taxes. Indiana is at or near the top in meth making and infant mortality. Indiana OSHA is a toothless tiger, our medical malpractice laws, which happened to be the brain child of former Gov. Bowen, who happened to be a doctor, offers little protection from patients becoming corpses and makes doctors accountability practically nil. Undocumented worker's have a welcome home in Indiana because they increase business profitability, although no one will admit it. Public education is being destroyed, assuring future generations of dumbed down Hoosiers that have been brain washed and indoctrinated by privatized schools. I have often referred to Indiana as being the cesspool of North America. I see nothing on the horizon to change that opinion.
In closing, I say give the green light to meth production. I would be far happier if my neighbors were making meth in the privacy of their own home instead of destroying my life. Their Bible must not include the Love Thy Neighbor commandment.
Janet Collins
Etna Green, via e-mail