Letters from the week of April 29

Feature: “Down on the Farm,” April 15

It’s What’s for Dinner

As an artist newly ensconced in Kansas City, after being born and bred in the New York City metropolitan area, and having last lived in Miami, Florida, I have only recently learned about agriculture’s business practices. The Pitch‘s April 8 cover story detailed the “shadow jury” and high-priced lawyering of a mega-hog CAFO affiliated with Smithfield Farms, which was intent on such big spending in order to not comply and clean up its act.

I wonder how this jibes with what The Pitch reported the following week, in its story about the Humane Society and Big Ag, which noted Smithfield Farms’ “long-term plan to phase out gestation crates on all its corporate-owned and subcontractor-operated farms.” Who is zooming whom? Is this the type of “messaging” that Troy and Stacy Hadrick and the ag industry espouse? Say anything and then spend the bucks on defending and deflecting, trying to cover up the messy business as usual, which the ag industry also wishes to codify and commit to unassailable legislation through pre-emptive state counter-amendments?

May Wes Jamison be correct and the ethical posture of Bernard Rollin win out. As a consumer, I’d pay more to be able to eat meat with a clean conscience. Or maybe I’ll have the tofu salad or soup. Hmm, arrive in the Midwest and lose your appetite for meat and dairy products. Ironic, huh? Though Dave Hillebrand can personally sell me a leg of lamb.

Joanne Schiller
Kansas City, Kansas

Feature: “The Smell of Defeat,” April 8

The Nose Knows

Thanks for Nadia Pflaum’s fine reporting on the lawsuits against Premium Standard Farms. I had been to PSF on several occasions in the late ’90s and early 2000. I was appalled by the stench, pollution and general disregard for the community by PSF. I cannot imagine living anywhere near such filth and odor. Hats off to the jurors in their finding for the plaintiffs!

Gary Tate

Smell of Victory

Yesterday we received a copy of Nadia Pflaum’s article in The Pitch. We wish to thank you for a very good article from our side. It is always good to have others see our position. We love living in the country and are saddened by what PSF has done to our area and the enjoyment of our home.

Stan and Jean Berry
Maysville, Missouri

Art: “Art Crush,” April 22

Thumb’s Up

We appreciate your coverage of Beneath the Surface, the 10th-anniversary exhibit at the Belger Arts Center. Chris Packham gave readers a nice glimpse behind the scenes of how exhibits are put together and of some of the perils that can be found there. I have heard many stories of injuries suffered by art handlers around Kansas City. My own injury, spectacular as it was, pales in comparison with some. My hat is off to all the men and women of Kansas City who put together the incredible exhibits that must be installed and de-installed on a regular basis. Art can be heavy in more ways than one.

I would be remiss if I did not mention that I was not the curator for Beneath the Surface: Excavating the Belger Collection. That task fell to our executive director, Evelyn Craft, and she handled it beautifully. And finally, I would like to thank The Pitch for setting aside space on a regular basis to cover the vibrant art scene in Kansas City.

Mo Dickens, gallery assistant
Belger Arts Center
Kansas City, Missouri

Café: “Sakura, Huh?,” April 15

Body Typecasting

I enjoy reading The Pitch‘s restaurant reviews and find them helpful in checking out new-to-me venues. I’m disappointed in Charles Ferruzza’s commentary in the April 15 issue. In his review of Sakura Asian Bistro & Sushi Bar, he wrote that “the restaurant was packed with families, young couples, quite a few sushi-eating teenage girls, and two chubby young women who seemed mortified at having to spend another Friday night with each other instead of being on real dates.”

Ferruzza’s mean-spirited assessment of the two women dining has no relevance to the restaurant’s food quality, presentation or service, the descriptions of which are appropriate for a restaurant review. Ferruzza has no business presuming to know and write anything about these diners not part of his party, and their size and weekend plans have no bearing on whether the restaurant is worthy of Kansas Citians’ patronage. Suggestions about menu items to indulge in or avoid are the meat and potatoes (pun intended) of restaurant reviews; serve those up instead.

Kelly G. Loeb

Judgment Day

It is presumptuous for Charles Ferruzza to assume that the two chubby young women were (1) not on a real date, (2) mortified with having to spend another Friday night with each other, and (3) on one in a succession of Friday nights spent together.

Ferruzza should take his own opening-line advice: “It’s important never to judge a restaurant — particularly a new restaurant — on a first impression” but substitute “people” for “restaurant.” Being that exceptionally perceptive about strangers, one would think his restaurant reviews would be much more elaborately detailed. Stick with reviewing restaurants, Mr. Ferruzza, and stay clear of reviewing other people’s lives.

Laurie Todd, founder and executive director
StaytheCourse Plus Size Community