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"Agriculture is our wisest pursuit, because it will, in the end, contribute most to real wealth, good morals, and happiness."
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MOF&G Cover Fall 2012

  You are here:  PublicationsMaine Organic Farmer & GardenerFall 2012Letters – Fall 2012   
 Letters – Fall 2012 Minimize


Humane Animal Treatment
GE Crops and Health

Humane Animal Treatment

I appreciate Kenneth Copp’s article in the March-May MOF&G, especially his statement about “wean[ing] ourselves from our constant go-go lifestyle.” Those of us who do use automobiles are well advised to think about our usage and whether it is really necessary.

But I dread the notion of more people depending upon horsepower. Just as I prefer not lighting my parlor with whale oil, I prefer that people neglect and mistreat petroleum-fueled machinery rather than sensitive living creatures blessed with emotions and memories.

In my unfortunate experience, most people do not treat animals well. By well, I mean a profound recognition that this dog, this horse, is another of God’s creatures and deserves to be treated as we wish to be treated.

Until the day comes that Homo sapiens sapiens treats the planet and all its inhabitants, including humankind, with compassion and decency, conservation, public transportation, and the development of clean fuels seems a better choice than subjecting horses to our casual and unconscious cruelty.

– Susan Elizabeth Siens, Unity

Response from Kenneth Copp: The abuse of something never justifies the disuse. A well trained, humanely treated horse wants to work and responds positively to praise and rewards, much like a well trained service dog; and thus have earned them the endearing phrase, “Man’s best friend.” Similar can be said of workhorses and teamsters or riders and their mounts, animals and humans working together to the success of both.

Ed. note: To report cases of animal cruelty or neglect, the Maine Department of Agriculture says to call its Animal Welfare Program from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, at 1-877-269-9200 (toll free) or (207) 287-3846, or email animal.welfare@maine.gov. In an emergency situation that occurs outside of business hours, call the Orono Barracks of the Maine State Police at (207) 866-2121 and they will contact an Animal Welfare Program representative.

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GE Crops and Health

In your response to my critique of your uncritical use of the Aris, et al. paper, you state:

"The deficit of independent studies on the safety of GE crops in general for human and animal health is one of the main reasons we are so concerned about them." You have to know that this is a patently false statement. If not, then start here:
www.biofortified.org/genera/studies-for-genera/independent-funding/

– Mike Bendzela, Standish, Maine

Ed. response: The site referred to lists purportedly independent studies, with the caveat that the site developers are in the process of reviewing the studies. For another viewpoint, see “GMO Myths and Truths” by molecular geneticist Michael Antoniou, Ph.D., John Fagan, Ph.D., and Claire Robinson, M.Phil., at http://earthopensource.org/files/pdfs/GMO_Myths_and_Truths/GMO_Myths_and_Truths_1.3.pdf.

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