Thanks for covering the story about Prestage Farms' $10 million donation to NCSU and their sordid history of animal abuse ["Hog hell," Dec. 5]. Prestage Farms confines breeding pigs in crates so small that they can't even turn around for years on end. If we were to do this to our dogs or cats, it'd likely warrant felony charges of cruelty to animals, yet for Prestage it's just business as usual.
More than 40 major food companies, including McDonalds, Burger King and Wendy's, have committed to eliminate the crates from their supply chain. Even Temple Grandin, the nation's leading advisor to the livestock industry and a renowned animal welfare expert, says the crates have to go. Unfortunately, Prestage refuses to take any action on this most basic animal welfare issue. Until they do, they're undeserving of having their name on an NCSU building.
It's simply unconscionable that NCSU would accept any money from Prestage Farms, whose reputation is riddled with cruelty to animals.
If Prestage were a daycare facility or a nursing home and were caught on camera abusing our elders or children, NCSU wouldn't take a dime. But because they're abusing pigs—who feel pain, pleasure and various emotions just like our dogs and cats—it's completely fine.
We shouldn't stand for this, and neither should NCSU. Prestage should be using its $10 million elsewhere—perhaps transitioning to more humane practices, for starters.
Finley Peter Dunne (1867-1936), a humorist, coined the phrase "comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable." He was talking about newspapers, and my uncle, who was a journalism professor, often repeated that quotation.
Dunne put it in the mouth of his character Mr. Dooley. Here's the full quote: "The newspaper does everything for us. It runs the police force and the banks, commands the militia, controls the legislature, baptizes the young, marries the foolish, comforts the afflicted and afflicts the comfortable, buries the dead, and roasts them afterward."
What brought this to mind is the celebration being conducted by both the News & Observer of Raleigh and Bob Geary of INDY Week ["Dix is saved," Dec. 5] after the vote on the lease of Dix Hill for a park. Add to that, none of the N.C. media reported on the Disability Treaty that was voted down yesterday until after the Republican senators succeeded in voting it down.
Unless there is a partisan aspect to a disability issue, I find little interest shown by the reporters around N.C. Apparently, comforting the afflicted does not work in today's journalism. And if the media don't rein in the excesses of "powers that be," who will?
I long anticipated that the persons with psychiatric disabilities would get nothing out of a sale or lease of the Dix property. And that is just what happened. So, no, I am not doing a touchdown dance in the end zone like the N&O leadership and Bob Geary.