Individual housing for pigs is humane

Re: "Walmart latest target of animal-rights protests," Sept. 18

The vegan proselytizers at Mercy for Animals, PETA and the Humane Society of the United States have propaganda campaigns claiming that housing pregnant pigs in individual maternity pens is inhumane, but their shrill screeds aren't backed up by veterinarians.

The American Association of Swine Veterinarians finds that individual housing is a humane method, and the American Veterinary Medical Association finds that maternity pens provide for animal welfare. Housing pregnant pigs individually allows for individual care and prevents fighting among the animals for dominance for food that occurs when they are housed in groups.

Animal rights activists hope to prey on urban residents' lack of hands-on experience raising pigs by describing farm operations as inhumane. But when it comes to animal welfare, we should trust veterinarians' advice over vegan campaigners.

Rick Berman

Executive Director, Center for Consumer Freedom


Allen promises Va. budget cuts

Re: "Kaine, Allen seek breakout moment in Va. Senate race," Sept. 17

Steve Contorno's article quotes a campaign spokesman defending attack ads on the basis that past records show voters how candidates will serve in Washington. Another strong barometer is a candidate's own platform. That is why the National Taxpayers Union Foundation just released a line-by-line analysis of Allen's and Kaine's agendas, based on statements made on their campaign websites and in speeches.

Among other items, Allen advocates repeal of the health care overhaul and a return to 2008 spending levels. All told, he supports a $98 billion annual net reduction in the budget. Kaine's net agenda would total a $1.3 billion increase, pushing for more expenditures in education and infrastructure; in total, a near $100 billion difference. However, both candidates could stand to provide more details of their proposals: NTUF identified 16 policies from Allen and 18 from Kaine that had a fiscal impact but were too vague.

Dan Barrett

Policy Analyst, National Taxpayers Union Foundation


Obama's foreign policy should prevent re-election

Al Qaeda's call for expelling Americans from the lands of Islam was not over the anti-Islamic film. Considering the history of al Qaeda's focus on "death to Israel and America" and the deadly events of the last few days, militant Islamists have made it painfully clear that the 9/11 anniversary, plus retribution for drone deaths of their leaders, were behind the premeditated terrorist attacks on our embassies in Libya, Egypt, throughout the Middle East and other countries. All of which is exacerbated by President Obama's ambivalence to threats from Iran against Israel and America.

Surely, it's too late for President Obama to back Israel's "red line" against a nuclear weapons Iran, to increase our military resolve, or to back off his costly liberal policies and executive actions damaging our economy. It's time to crank-up our domestic oil and fuel production immediately -- plus our vast coal energy resources -- to ensure our oil and energy independence, which is absolutely necessary for our national security, our defense and our economic recovery.

President Obama's history of actions and inactions are clear and convincing evidence that he is unfit for a second term. Hopefully, if Mr. Obama is not re-elected, his reaction to a deeply bitter campaign -- as a lame-duck president from Nov. 7 to Jan. 20th -- won't be a spiteful slash and burn departure.

Daniel B. Jeffs

Apple Valley, Calif.