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Ohio Voters - Please Care

Story ID:5187
Written by:Suzana Margaret Megles (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:various Ohio USA
Year:2009
Person:various
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I hate to admit this but this 78- year old woman is afraid of Big Agribusiness.
And why not? They continue to hamper attempts by humane people and
legislators to make things better for our incarcerated farm animals. But
please don't think this is only an old people's platform and concern. If
anything -I probably am among the very few of my generation to really care
about animals. Most love their cats and dogs and that's it as they happily
chow down on foods from these incarcerated animals with little or no concern
to their suffering or well-being.

This week both HSUS and Farm Sanctuary warned Ohioans of Big Agribusiness
lobbying to have legislation introduced which would amend the state constitution
to give industry oversight over the well-being of farm animals. The legislation:
Senate Joint Resolution NO.6/House Joint Resolution No.2.

Per Farm Sanctuary: "This is a transparent attempt to hijack the constitution to
the detriment of farm animals across the state, as well as the basic democratic
processes. It's crucial that we (Ohioans) thwart this effort by Big Agribusiness
to be the only voice in deciding how farm animals are treated and to evade
broadly-supported efforts to outlaw the cruelest factory farming practices,
including confining animals in crates so small they can't even turn around or
spread their limbs." (And in the case of caged chickens - their wings.)

Both Farm Sanctuary and HSUS had e-mail letters we could send through their
links -though, of course, they recommended also calling both our Senate and
House representatives. Snail letters probably have even a bigger impact as well.

I was surprised that Humane Farming thus far hasn't sent anything in this
regard because it was their documentary "Death on a Factory Farm" which was
viewed by I imagine millions on cable.

In my e-mail to the legislative assistant of one of my representatives -Senator
Dale Miller who acknowledged my concerns and was studying them, I reminded
him of the terrible killing of innocent pigs on the Wiles Pig Farm near Canton,
Ohio - the basis of "Death on a Factory Farm." This family saw nothing wrong
with hanging live unhealthy pigs as a form of euthanasia. And their killing
sick piglets by kicking them around like footballs presents to my mind cruelty-
plain and simple.

We were happy that this cruelty made local Cleveland news because the more
people who become aware of cruel animal husbandry we hope will lead to humane
changes which of course the passage of SJR 6 and HJR 2 will not. Big agribusiness
is not concerned with such "little" concerns like the humane treatment of farm
animals. Their number one concern is financial rewards.

Then the court trial was a mockery. An out of town vet said that this form
of euthanasia (hanging and kicking) was humane. Some of us later wrote the
Academy of Veterinarian Medicine to censure such an unfeeling and, in our
opinion, irresponsible vet.

Even so, the prosecutor won his case but the judgment of the court was appalling.
First the presiding judge from the get go let it be known that this case was frivolous
and a waste of his time. The sentence phase reflected his lack of concern for
justice for the pigs when he sentenced one of the Wiles' sons to - a $100 fine and
probation. Yes, our Ohio animal cruelty laws are weak but were they that bad
and lacking in anything approaching justice?

For Ohioans reading this and realizing how important it is to let your legislators
know that we care about our farm animals and want more transparency - not
less. If big agribusiness is able to make all decisions as a result of passage
of HJR 2 and SJR 6- then the condition and welfare of our our animals will
certainly suffer. Please let our legislators know - these animals belong to all
of us - not just the vested interests of big agribusiness.