clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Meat and dairy producers shouldn’t get more taxpayer subsidies

We need to tax these industries to recoup the costs they impose on our society, in medical expenses, water pollutant treatment, loss of resources and extreme weather events.

President Joe Biden speaks during a Jan. 3 virtual meeting with farmers and ranchers to discuss assistance for the meat-processing industry.
President Joe Biden speaks during a Jan. 3 virtual meeting with farmers and ranchers to discuss assistance for the meat-processing industry.
Andrew Harnik/AP Photos

It’s not that surprising that the Biden administration will be adding to our already spiraling inflation by promising another billion dollars to subsidize the poultry and meat industries. American taxpayers are already burdened with more than $35 billion per year to subsidize the meat and dairy industries, according to the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service. So what’s another billion?

SEND LETTERS TO: letters@suntimes.com. We want to hear from our readers. To be considered for publication, letters must include your full name, your neighborhood or hometown and a phone number for verification purposes. Letters should be a maximum of approximately 350 words.

Instead of subsidizing, why not tax the meat and dairy producers to help recoup the skyrocketing costs they impose on our society, in medical expenses, water pollutant treatment, loss of resources and extreme weather events? There is already a precedent for this, as our government asks us to pay excise taxes on alcohol, tobacco, soda, and other consumables that adversely affect our health and lifestyle.

If subsidies are to be paid, these funds should be used to assist in transitioning to fruit, vegetable and grain farming. The same farms, fields, and employees can grow foods that are better for human health, the environment, and the animals.

Eric C. Lindstrom, executive director, Farm Animal Rights Movement

Frank Zuccarelli’s legacy

I am writing in response to the untimely passing of my friend, Frank Zuccarelli. Frank served with distinction as Thornton Township supervisor for nearly 30 years and was a positive force for the people of Illinois, particularly those living in the south suburbs. Both in his official capacity and private life, Frank was devoted to helping those less fortunate and made a difference in many lives.

I wanted to highlight an important, but perhaps less well-known aspect of Frank’s life: He was an organ donor recipient and committed supporter of the Illinois Secretary of State’s Organ and Tissue Donor program.

In 2013, through the generosity of a stranger, Frank received a life-saving kidney transplant, which greatly improved the quality of his life and allowed him to live another eight years. Frank no longer had to undergo dialysis treatment to prevent kidney failure. He never forgot the gift of life that a stranger gave to him.

Frank became a strong and vocal champion of organ and tissue donation, encouraging others to register for the program. He joined me at events throughout the south suburbs to promote organ and tissue donation and to increase registrants to the current number of more than 7.2 million potential donors.

In honor of my good friend Frank Zuccarelli, please consider the following: When you are alive and well, give blood. When you are no longer here, give organs and tissue. When you do these things, you make a positive difference. In fact, a single donor can save or improve the quality of up to 25 lives.

And remember Frank when you join the registry at www.LifeGoesOn.com.

Jesse White, Illinois Secretary of State

Leaving Chicago Public Schools

When I think of CPS and the teacher’s union, I think of the saying, “fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.”

Although the teachers are going back to school, my three kids are not. We just moved them to private school mid-year. My husband and I decided we can’t subject our kids to CPS’ yo-yo education system anymore. It pains me because I have volunteered at their schools for years and my husband even served on the local school council.

CPS has lost more than 100,000 kids in the past 20 years. Add three more.

Melissa Stevens, Lake View