There is concern

A recent article by Mark Gates discussed the activities of the NIU Student Committee for Animal Welfare. While the article brings forth several valid points concerning the welfare of laboratory animals, it continues to relate that farmers treat livestock in a cruel manner and have little concern for their welfare. It also relates that the eating of meat should be discontinued as that constitutes a lack of empathy for animals.

Since farm families make up only three percent of the U.S. population as opposed to being half of the population 100 years ago, I find it easy to understand that most of our population today has not had the opportunity to visit a farm and judge for themselves whether or not modern methods, as opposed to older methods of raising farm animals, constitutes cruelty.

A list of companies to avoid because they do cruel things to animals was printed. The list should also include the companies that produce the following products: Insulin, it takes from 12 to 26 beef cattle to supply insulin for 1 diabetic. Thyroid based drugs. Cortisone, it takes the gall from 100 cattle to treat the average arthritis patient. Do not eat any cheese as it may contain rennin removed from calves to help make the milk coagulate.

Do not use any gelatin containing products, they are by-products of the slaughter industry. Gelatin is used in glue, the manufacturing of wool, silk and wall sizing. The heads of matches, sand paper, paper boxes, the binding of books (you students will want to avoid books for sure) and caskets that are glued together. There will be no more room for jello, marshmellows or medicine that comes in capsules. Your beer and wine will be a little cloudy as gelatin is used to clarify it. If you are a vegetarian avoid the use of mayonnaise dressings.

The livestock industry in Illinois alone provides over $2 billion of income to farm families. Many more people are involved in the marketing, packaging, transportation and processing of the animals and animal products. By the time these products reach the retail level, they have increased to several billion dollars of value that have gone to pay salaries, and we all pay taxes on those salaries.

I would just conclude that when you complain about the American farmer, please do not talk with either your mouth or stomach full.

David H. Whitson


DeKalb County

Cooperative Extension Service,

University of Illinois