Editor, Times-Union:
If it walks like a duck, looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it must be a duck. While the neighbor's calf operation may not fall within the legal parameters of a CAFO in Indiana, these baby calves are indeed “confined.” I never said my neighbor's place is a trash hole, mowed yards are hardly the issue. My issue is the fact that these “not veal” huts are so close to my house, have lowered my property values, and destroyed the rather idyllic lifestyle I had prior to this mess.
I do not hate farms or farmers. My dad was a farmer, as was both my grandfathers. I guarantee you they would have not considered this farming.
We had cows, calves, pigs and chickens. Never was an animal confined for months on end. Sows and cows were kept separate when giving birth. After the babies were weaned from their mother they were put in separate pastures, where they got to eat grass, enjoy the out of doors, run and have a decent life. If the calves in question are not veal. why aren't they allowed to be in a pasture, in the out of doors, and walk around? No need to answer, it is what it is.
I have an emotional attachment to my house which is none of anyone’s damn business, but in view of what I have to live beside everyday of my life, I will sign papers tomorrow to the Kopkey person for the current assessed value. You can tear down that “nice” barbed-wire fence and the two of you can brutalize calves to your heart’s content.
But first I want you and your family, as well as my neighbor and his family, to live in these huts the same amount of time as these calves are forced to endure in them, 24/7. I’ll come around a couple times a day and feed you some kind of concoction I’ve stirred up with a healthy dose of antibiotics. Then you can explain to me how kind, humane and wonderful it is. And no reaching through to the next hut for comfort.
As far as living in Indiana, I am here by accident of birth. The only living family I have is here as well as the interment of my loved ones. If not for that, I’d be out of here in a New York minute.
People often quote scripture in this forum, I’d like to use one of my own. Ecclesiastes 3:18,21. “And then I realized that God is letting the world go on its sinful way so that he can test mankind, and so that men themselves will see that they are no better than beasts. For men and animals both breathe the same air, and both die. So mankind has no real advantage over beasts; what an absurdity! All go to one place-the dust from which they came and to which they must return. For who can prove that the spirit of man goes upward and the sprit of animals goes downward into dust?”
Janet Collins
Etna Green, via email