It is easy to forget that the reason we raise hogs, cattle, and chicken is for human consumption, says Rep. Jean Schmidt, (R-Ohio) in a column posted on That fact is often glossed over by animal rights activists. These animals are not the pets we so love but part of our national and global food chain.

Livestock and poultry production is an important and vital part of our agriculture economy. U.S. livestock and poultry farmers produce the safest, healthiest meat and poultry products in the world. The welfare of these animals is of utmost importance to those who produce beef, pork and chicken products — it has to be.

Healthy hogs, cows and chickens are vital to producers’ bottom lines. America’s livestock and poultry producers know that their livelihoods depend upon the welfare of their animals, and are committed to raising them humanely. I know the farmers in my Ohio district have that dedication.

For decades, U.S. food animal producers have responsibly supplied our families and the world with the highest quality, safest, most nutritious and affordable meat and poultry products. Now, they are coming under increasing criticism from Washington lobbyists, activists, and some members of the U.S. Congress.

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