-Letter to the Editor-
For decades the mental and physical torture of animals in Iowa’s Industrial Confined Animal buildings has been reported and ignored in our supposedly humane state. This involves chickens, turkeys, cattle, and in the largest part, pigs, who are known to have mental and emotional capacities at or above that of our beloved family dogs.
Recently Matt Johnson, raised in Iowa and now from California, planted an electronic recording device in several Iowa Select Hog Farms (Tyson meat, etc.) in Grundy County (just north of me) and Wright County (where I was born). He then remotely recorded actions of Iowa Select when large numbers of either sick or over-abundant hogs needed to be disposed, this by simply shutting down ventilation to the buildings (Auschwitz style). The pictures rolled as hogs shrieked and screamed for several hours while suffocating, then showed workers walking over hog carcasses killing any still showing life with a bolt gun.
Johnson, a member of Direct Action Everywhere, was to be on trial in Grundy County Feb. 1 on charges of electronic eavesdropping and 3rd degree burglary (felonies). However, just recently Iowa Select representatives decided to drop the charges in order to avoid having to give testimony under oathe about their policies/procedures, and to not incur further bad publicity by the showing of more photos and evidence of this industrial cesspool of abuse, environmental degradation, and greed.
Gov. Kim Reynolds is heavily backed by Factory Farms in Iowa, as is House Member Dean Fisher (in my district, sorry to say). Not long ago Fisher squashed a bill from 200 petitioners that called for debate in the House seeking stronger protections against abuses of Factory Farms. Recently he has bragged about owning guns…. I’m so not scared. Matt Johnson, the young man involved, has a stronger backbone and apparently deeper soul than all the Factory Farmers in Iowa combined, as well as many of our politicians.