(Photo: Register illustration)
I really appreciated Richard Doak’s column on the fallacy of rural vs. urban thinking ["Country
first, cities second: Is it hurting Iowa?" Aug. 30]. My answer to his question "why do rural interests retain so much power?" is this: There is nothing rural about Monsanto, ADM, Farm Bureau and massive animal confinement facilities. They are simply get-rich-quick schemes, with no responsibility to Iowa whatsoever, urban or rural. If any war is declared on rural Iowa, it is by these entities, camouflaged as "Iowa farmers" and "feeding the world." It is these entities, not Iowa farmers, that are shaping federal farm policies that have not worked for Iowa or anywhere. Add to that elected officials whose economic development slogan is "come and cash-in on our low self-esteem," and we get what we get.
We in Iowa live with the strong evidence of this war: your daily average fishkill, pesticide drift into your kitchen, respiratory illnesses among rural residents living near large confinement facilities, salmonella poisonings from contaminated chicken operations, severe soil erosion, contaminated drinking water and the obvious decline of rural communities. If a foreign force had done this to us, we would send in the Marines.
A much better Iowa is totally possible if we begin to see our state as a very special place, and begin electing public officials who believe in protecting Iowa’s soil, water and biodiversity, which are the basis of the human culture and economy. Iowa would prosper, urban and rural.
— Kamyar Enshayan, Cedar Falls