Letter to the Editor

An open letter to President Clinton

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

To the Editor:

Global food, water and energy crisis, environment and animal welfare are difficult to discuss in this community where farming is livelihood, a whole way of life.

Farmers worry about feeding the starving. Agribusiness feeds automobiles and fattens animals ... and our children. The dire consequences of food production based on profit, efficiency and convenience are evident.

May this letter I have written to our former President Bill Clinton initiate dialogue and healing.

Dear Mr. Clinton,

I am pleased you will speak at DePauw in Greencastle (11/18/2011). I hope to meet you that day.

I write you now, first, to thank you for adopting a plant-based diet.

It is said you made this decision for longevity, but I am sure that you know the healing reverberations of your willingness to change. I thank you for Hoosier farmed animals, the earth, our children and generations to come.

I also write to ask if you might be willing to, gently, talk about this decision, our global food and energy crisis, when you speak with DePauw and the Putnam County community.

Indiana is the fifth largest pork producer, and the fifth highest polluter of air and water.

Off campus, beyond the city limits, our land is devastated by agribusiness, genetically modified soybeans and corn. Fifty percent of corn is used for ethanol, not for the starving. Our "food" is stuffed with processed corn, and "corn sugar." The state Board of Animal Health is governed by industry. Profit and production rule.

Most farmed animals are never outside. Confined Animal Feeding Operations house 8 million hogs a year.

CAFOs permeate Indiana. Concern for the environment and animal welfare is "radical."

Farmers are indentured to food chain monopolies. What are they to do? Farm Bureau is our Wall Street.

These things are painful for this community, almost unspeakable. Perhaps, talking about your plant-based diet will help make the impalatable a little more palatable for those of us in transition.

Thank you for the work that you do.

Rev. Marian Patience Harvey