Humane on the Range
Many thanks to National Review and Matthew Scully for his excellent article, “Pro-Life, Pro-Animal” (November 25). Our working cattle ranch produces grass-fed beef and operates humanely in affiliation with Animal Welfare Approved. We work under the assumption that what is good for the animals, from chickens to cows, is good for us as stewards of them. We are rewarded with a pleasant life among animals that experience a minimum of pain and violence and thus exhibit a minimum of fear and conflict. The beef and eggs are excellent; they would not be improved by abusing the creatures that produce them.
A good person has a natural inclination to minimize the suffering of fellow human beings and the animals we call pets. As Mr. Scully points out, it is most natural that this mercy should extend to the creatures that feed us as well as those that serve us.
William H. Heard
Lazy A Ranch
Like Matthew Scully, I am pro-life and pro-animal, but his discussion of the cruelty of meat production avoids a key point. As the U.S. and the world see continuing increases in population, traditional methods of animal husbandry are not sufficient to provide animal protein that is affordable even to low-income families. Modern farming methods are not necessarily driven by greed and indifference to animal suffering, but by high demand. Society accepts these methods, perhaps with reluctance, rather than having meat availability limited to the well-to-do. Until bioengineering can produce animal protein without living animals (perhaps a few decades from now), the choice society faces is between industrial-farming methods and restricting the availability of meat due to high price. This would be a difficult choice, but one where the morality of animal treatment is balanced against the morality of making meat affordable to low-income families.
J. A. Penkrot
An item in The Week (November 11) asserted that “in February 1962, Scott Carpenter became the fourth American in space, the second to orbit the earth.” In fact, John Glenn was the pilot and sole crew member of the Friendship 7 craft that February. Carpenter was the back-up pilot, but he piloted the Aurora 7 craft in May 1962.