In "Welcome to Tijuana!" (Forum, April 3), Mike Hughes portrays the smell of neighborhood farm animals as negative and incongruent with American life. However, nothing affects public health in America more than food. In heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes, diet is a primary cause.
The root of this hazardous diet is our industrial agriculture system. It has been a major contributor to climate change, enabled the obesity epidemic, poisoned countless volumes of land and water, generated dozens of toxic, food-borne illnesses, and mistreated animals.
However, we are a nation built on agrarianism, and much of our population regularly consumes meat products. So when did producing food begin to be seen as incompatible with urban life?