Laura McPhee’s article is weak, flat and ridiculous (COVER, “Factory farms: Gov. Daniels brings home the corporate bacon,” Aug. 23-30). The lengthy state fair intro and sappy reference to Charlotte’s Web would have us believe it’s an animal rights piece, but it isn’t. She spends VERY little time on the situation’s inhumanity. She’s only concerned about using it as a political attack on Indiana’s governor. What little she says about the lives of these animals is cold, distant and purely statistical.
Did she get all her information from reports and press releases? It has a distinctly detached feel. Has Ms McPhee ever seen a factory farm? A good reporter would have gone to one to have some understanding of the topic. Instead, she produced a confusing mess of cold, unrelated statistics.
She draws statistics from Iowa, Ohio and even Canada that include poultry and bovine farms. Yet her article is about only hogs in Indiana. Either she is confusing her message on hog farming with unnecessary ancillary statistics on other animals, or she simply forgot to include other types of factory farms in her article. Either way, it’s bad reporting.
Factory farming is just as horrendous for ALL animals. De-beaked chickens, cows too weak to walk, animals kept in cages so small they cannot stand upright or turn around, diseased animals scalded alive... It would break your heart. But Ms McPhee has no heart. She expends barely two sentences on the misery these animals are subjected to. It appears she is new to the topic and has no background and worse, no feel, for it.
Ms McPhee produced a boring, disjointed read: amateur-level coverage of an important issue. NUVO had insightful animal coverage in the past. Bring back Mary Lee Pappas and Lori Lovely, knowledgeable reporters with great sensitivity about animal issues. Let people with compassion for animals cover the topic.