Your Dec. 28 front-page article on the controversy surrounding the use of gestation crates in pork production was misleading at points. You framed this as a fight between “farm” and “animal rights” interests, citing N.C. Farm Bureau chief Larry Wooten as preserving a “nostalgic view of rural North Carolina” and “its agricultural past.” Despite its bucolic-sounding name, the Farm Bureau is a registered political lobbying organization that raises money (not crops) to influence legislation on behalf of its corporate agribusiness clients. Factory operations that treat sensitive living creatures as soulless commodities – keeping sows in cages that immobilize them for most of their lives, for example – have nothing to do with traditional farming and everything to do with fattening the corporate bottom line.
The Humane Society of the U.S. is simply shining a spotlight on practices that more and more states have banned and that companies ranging from MacDonald’s to Kroger’s are abandoning as antiquated and cruel.
Rev. Gary Kowalski, Chapel Hill