Small farms provide educational, nutritional and ecological benefits to the community. Such farms have all but disappeared from Nassau County and are increasingly threatened in western Suffolk County.

There is public anxiety over carbon emissions and animal welfare. We as a community should embrace and encourage farms such as Benner’s, which raises animals humanely in an environmentally beneficial manner [“More protests to save cow’s life,” News, April 11].

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When obtaining meat on a small family farm is deemed morally inferior to buying supermarket beef, we have lost our moral compass with respect to food production.

More families should be encouraged to produce their own food, whether by growing crops or raising livestock. It’s surprising how small a parcel is needed to substitute for a significant amount of food otherwise obtained at the market. Learning how food is produced — including that eating meat requires killing poultry or livestock — is an important component of a general education that, as this story illustrates, seems to be lacking for some residents. It benefits neither livestock nor humans to hide from this reality.

Gary E. Kalbaugh, Lloyd Harbor

Editor’s note: The writer is president of Conserving Tradition, a nonprofit that encourages preservation of know-how in traditional agricultural and homesteading activities.