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Right to Farm or Right to Harm?

Story ID:11034
Written by:Suzana Margaret Megles (bio, contact, other stories)
Location:- Oklahoma usa
Person:Joe Maxwell
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I always appreciate receiving Michael Markarian’s Humane Activist. In this May/
June 2016 issue were current updates re animal issues addressed by the Congress
as well as other in depth articles on a particular animal issue.

He wrote briefly about the 15 animal issue bills currently before Congress. It seems
to be slow going for a bill like the SAFE Act which would stop the sending of our
wild horses to Canada and Mexico for cruel slaughtering. Why? Obviously, we
don’t have enough compassionate legislators or voters agitating for its passage.

One of the in depth articles in the Humane Activist involves an Oklahoma state
constitutional amendment. State Question 777- deceptively titled the “Right to
Farm” measure will be on the ballot in November. I couldn’t believe what I read
re this issue so well covered by Joe Maxwell for the Humane Activist. Here he
explains what he believes is the intent of this Right to Farm bill:

“The proposed amendment would allow industrial factory farms in Oklahoma to
continue operating with little concern for the environment, consumer safety, animal
welfare or neighbors downstream or down wind.”

If the above wasn’t bad enough showing no concern whatever for animals, people
safety and the environment –the bill would also disallow any further discussion
on the subject:

“At the same time, State Question 777 would prevent family farmers and other
concerned residents from proposing future ballot measures to enact even the most
basic protections regarding animal welfare and food safety, like prohibiting factory
farms from dumping massive amounts of animal waste into streams or on neighboring

Unbelievable that they had the audacity to forbid in their bill any future changes which
others might deem necessary. This is more like the doings of a dictatorship than a

Reading this- I found yet another reason to be glad that I am vegan. I am also glad that
I don’t live near a factory farm. Though my concern is mostly for the suffering incarcerated
farm animals, I also feel sorry for people who have to put up with factory farm run off in their
near by waters. I recalled the plight of the people of Toledo who last year were unable to
drink their water because of the algae-tainted water due to the nearby factory farm run off
into Lake Erie.

Re the State Question 777 bill, Maxwell- a fourth-generation farmer in Missouri says it
should not be passed because it shields industrial agriculture from the democratic process.
No other industry is given this right nor does it deserve blanket protection from common
sense oversight.

Thank goodness that both Nebraska and West Virginia legislatures recently blocked a Right
to Farm provision to their states’ constitution. However, proponents of this bad law say they
will be back. Hopefully, they will not win because -if it is ultimately passed, it will be the
innocent farm animals who will suffer. The Right to Farm is sadly only a cruel effort by the
industrial factory farm owners to secure the RIGHT TO HARM. May thinking and compassionate
hearts prevail and say NO to State Question 777.