Letters graphic

Let’s give farm animals a break

As a bit of an animal lover, I have been scouring the internet for some special occasion celebrating animals. I came across an international observance called a “day for animals,” but it wasn’t quite what I expected.

I was shocked to learn that nearly 99 percent of all domesticated animals are bred and raised for food. That, unlike our cats and dogs, they get no compassion or respect from the meat and dairy industries.

Male baby chicks are suffocated in plastic garbage bags or ground up alive because they lay no eggs. Groups of laying hens are packed into small wire cages that tear out their feathers. Breeding sows spend their entire lives pregnant in metal cages. Dairy cows are artificially impregnated each year, and their babies are snatched from them at birth, so people can drink their milk.

Like many others, I always thought of cows, pigs, and chickens as simply “food on the hoof.” Now, I realize that each dollar I spend on meat and dairy products at the checkout counter subsidizes animal atrocities. I will be replacing animal products in my diet with the new healthful, cruelty-free plant-based meats and dairy items offered by my supermarket.

Weaver Johnson, Council Bluffs

Vote Watson, White, and Bass for Council

I am concerned that the nasty tone from some of our national leaders is now being reflected in our City Council election. Using a social media smear campaign to accuse Nate Watson and Sharon White — explicitly or implicitly — of being controlled by the Iowa West Foundation is both wrong and repugnant. Both of these council members are not only independent but have accomplished a lot for the city I love.

Nate has been instrumental in helping to create many neighborhood groups and has used his legal skills to help minimize red tape by updating our laws. Sharon and Nate took the lead developing our much-needed rental inspections program, which Omaha now looks to as a model. Sharon serves in a leadership role on the Advance Southwest Iowa economic development board, which has resulted in $125 million investments so far. While serving on many other boards, committees and task forces, she has only missed one council meeting in her nine years.

Both she and Nate come to meetings prepared, having read their board packets and done their homework.

In contrast, Roger Sandau has admitted during council meetings that he is not prepared and/or not ready to vote. Joe Disalvo is a member of the city Planning Commission Board but rarely attends meetings. I suspect their records of being absent and unprepared would not improve if they are elected to the City Council, unless the $5,000 salary increase for council members, which Roger helped pass, is an incentive.

Both Nate and Sharon, along with Deb Bass, have pledged to donate $5,000 of their council salaries each year to neighborhood grants. I’m not aware that any other candidates have made this pledge.

Finally, Iowa West has funded many improvements for Council Bluffs, so in my opinion it isn’t a negative when there is mutual respect between Iowa West and the City Council. When I think back to what CB looked like when we returned 30 years ago and compare that to what it looks like now, I’m thrilled with the changes I’ve seen.

This election could be a critical turning point for our city’s progress. Please join me in supporting Nate Watson and Sharon White, along with Deb Bass, to help our wonderful city continue to grow and improve. They need your votes on Nov. 5.

Cindi Keithley, Council Bluffs

Reader supports council candidate White

I’ve known Sharon White all her life. She has always been honest and responsible, and is the hardest worker I know. I can’t think of anyone I’d rather have represent me on the City Council.

Her proud aunt,

Kathryn Schlott, Council Bluffs

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