Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor,

How dismaying it was to see two of our local corporations bend to the will of some phony activists from the other side of the country.

Strak and VanTil, of Hammond, and Family Express, of Valparaiso, have pulled dairy products produced in Jasper and Newton counties by Fair Oaks Farms because of a video produced regarding animal treatment on their farm.

If you know anything about livestock, you understand that the treatment of animals is, in the end, in the hands of the handlers. The owner or manager can be the most compassionate and caring person about his stock in the state, but your eyes and ears can’t be everywhere.

You can’t do something about mistreatment if you don’t know it’s going on.

So, why was management not informed months ago when these videos were started? Could it be that the practices would have been stopped, the perpetrators terminated?

But then think of all the well-funded visual footage that would not have been available to continue the damning scenes that would make some real headlines.

But this discussion is about the corporations who are probably high-fiving each other in the boardroom because they’re putting it to corporate agriculture (whatever that is) and, in particular, to the McCloskey family.

Here is what you’ve really done. You’ve slapped down your customers and your neighbors — you know, the hundreds of people from private family farms that produce the feed and hay that are purchased by FOF to feed to their cows?

And how about the hundreds of employees and their families who now have to worry about their livelihoods going into the future?

You should know them. They enter your places of business, cash in hand, every day of the week. You’ve jeopardized hundreds of local family livelihoods to please a group from Florida whose stated aim is to end the consumption of dairy products. High-quality, nutritious food that is affordable for virtually every American family.

End dairy consumption? How stupid is that? Apparently, they’ve never had a scoop of butter pecan in a waffle cone.

Brian Papak, Union Township (Jasper County)