Letter: HSUS progress? Far from itI recently read the article in your paper by Joe Maxwell, who is a vice president for the HSUS. As a local pork producer who has raised hogs for the past 19 years, I was somewhat perplexed by what Mr. Maxwell considers progress in the pork industry.
By: Jim Putnam, Worthington, Worthington Daily Globe
I recently read the article in your paper by Joe Maxwell, who is a vice president for the HSUS. As a local pork producer who has raised hogs for the past 19 years, I was somewhat perplexed by what Mr. Maxwell considers progress in the pork industry, and felt that I was obligated as a pork producer to weigh in on the subject.
We as farmers are constantly attending seminars, and we spend a lot of time reading up on the latest trends in our industry. Some of the articles that I have read and some of the speakers that I have heard have all said that research shows that piglet mortality can increase up to an additional 30 percent in these open-ended farrowing crates that the HSUS says we should all switch to. The reason these piglets die is because when the show stands up to turn around, she lays back down on her babies or she rolls over on top of them, causing an increase in mortality. I have a hard time seeing how this is humane or how the HSUS considers this "progress."
The people that run the HSUS are intelligent people (as seen by Mr. Maxwell’s credentials). They know as well as anybody that most family hog operations as well as corporate operations will have a hard time staying in business if we have to reinvest millions of dollars in a new production system where we will get considerably less production. Not only that, they know the drop in supply will greatly increase the price of pork, which will drive consumers from the market.
As far as animal agriculture goes, the HSUS clearly has an agenda that is aimed at eliminating meat consumption in our country. Thus, as was stated in Ms. Buntjer’s Jan. 30 article, they clearly have a vegan agenda. The HSUS has no intention of trying to co-exist with the pork industry or any other animal agriculture industry.
Mr. Maxwell states that he has industry-wide support for this “progress.” I would like to say to Mr. Maxwell that I know a lot of people in the pork industry, and have not yet talked to one who thinks this is a good idea.