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March 24th, 2011 |

End cruel practices instead of hiding them


Rather than working to strengthen Iowa’s shamefully weak animal cruelty laws, some Iowa lawmakers have worked to shield factory farmers who abuse animals from public scrutiny — pushing to outlaw the production and distribution of video recordings of conditions on farms. These outrageous bills (SF 341 and HF 431) are blatant violations of our First Amendment rights and unacceptably threaten the media’s freedom to report on the important issue of animal welfare. These bills will not only keep consumers in the dark and hurt animals, but also threaten public health by concealing unsafe factory farming practices. If farmers are trying to convince consumers they treat their animals humanely, they should welcome the public with open arms and not lock doors. I am horrified that our legislators are not working to prevent and prosecute cruelty to animals, but are instead making it more difficult to expose. Without undercover cruelty investigations, there are no effective watchdogs protecting animals from egregious cruelty in these facilities.

John Braumann


Iowa energy crisis

Japan’s nuclear reactors incident is a real time dystopian dilemma with the dead, the dying and the terrified displayed in HD. The social and financial blow back from this calamity demands we put the worry stick to each other before the next catastrophe erupts over our own horizon. The salient question is: Where are we now, and where do we want to be in the future? And, how do we make the tough decisions without passing each other the buck? Let’s dump the old saying: “Follow the money,” and replace it with “follow the energy.” In the future some 10-year-old tech geek might jailbreak the cosmic code and serve up free and safe energy from the third dimension. Until those halcyon days, we’re stuck with propeller-driven windjammers, solar cells and hot uranium sizzling in radioactive Dutch ovens.>

Gary Wilson
Des Moines


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