Letter to the Editor: Cows

I have always loved cows. Having grown up in the suburbs it wasn’t until my early college years studying agriculture that I actually got to spend time with cows. I went to school at Arizona State University and was able to spend lots of time on the ASU farm for agricultural studies, enjoying time outdoors, fresh air, sunshine, and animals roaming freely.

Earlier this summer I decided to attend the Farm Breakfast at Kinnard Farms in Casco. Even at first sight I felt a pit in my stomach, but still parked my car and approached the area. Having not been on a CAFO (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation) before it was surprising the huge number of people there, the long line of people waiting to have breakfast, and how hard it was to breathe the air – there was an acrid smell and taste to the air and my appetite was gone. 

I could not venture any further. Just knowing that 7,000+ cows are confined there, sentenced to live out their lives in single stalls, no pasture under their feet, no fresh air, no sunshine. My sense of guilt is profound that my generation has failed to protect these animals, and many others through our state and country.

I highly recommend seeing the film Right to Harm. The science about climate change is very clear that industrial agriculture is having a major impact on this problem, and we cannot continue with unsustainable practices if we want to be a part of slowing global warming. We need a moratorium to stop any further expansion of this inhumane practice of CAFOs and find a way to return these animals to the pastures. We also need to stop using Round Up and other agricultural products that have been proven harmful and dangerous. Take a ride on our beautiful county roads, and when you stumble upon one of these industrial farms, I hope you understand what I mean and care enough to support changes for our environment. Our future depends on it.

Roberta Thelen

Baileys Harbor, Wisconsin