To the Editor:
As one who blew the whistle on Osborne Farm Inc., I can attest that PETA’s footage shows what I saw week after week: cows wading knee-deep through their own waste, which splashed onto their udders right before they were milked, and forced to eat in that manure and to lie down in that feces-filled yard every night. The wire purportedly now keeping cows from the deepest manure was strung up as the farm’s management prepared for a state inspection. Ironically, when I put a wire up weeks earlier to try to keep cows away from the manure, management took it down.
I blew the whistle because I worried for cows like “2,” whose protruding skeleton and overgrown right hoof I repeatedly reported to farm management, to no avail. I risked a job I needed because I was worried for cow “188” — whom I named Maggie — who grew so thin she was little more than skin and bones and who could not keep up with the herd, limping along instead. I called PETA because even when I told the farm owner about a cow whose pus-filled sore smelled so strongly that it made another worker nauseous, I never saw any veterinarian show up to care for her or any of the cows.
It’s a shame that the suffering of Maggie and the rest of the cows at Osborne Farm — some of who bled from the nose and had hoof ailments, mastitis, and other ailments — has become lost in a ridiculous guessing game about a video that accurately depicts reality at the farm.