Re: "Scandal brewing over feds' prison farm plan," (The Hill Times, March 8). I wish to express my concerns as a retiree, a mother and a grandmother about the Correctional Services Canada Penitentiary Farm Programs’ dairy operations and potential goat operation. I’m thankful to learn that the goat operation has been paused. It is both viable and imperative that such operations be transformed into plant based farming which has far greater benefits for inmates’ participation. I cannot agree that the CSC news release on March 5, 2021, provides the “opportunity to learn technical, transferable and soft skills through involvement in on-the-job and vocational training associated with the farming operations.” Statements such as this require reconsideration in order to achieve best outcomes for inmates’ involvement with farming animals. It is obvious that many inmates have experienced victimization in their lives, many have committed violent acts which brought them to prison. Further exposure of inmates to violence inflicted on animals will do little to rehabilitate them, rather, will likely increase their own issues. As dairy farming involves forcibly impregnating cows, forcibly removing their newborn calves, this exposes inmates to their immeasurable pain and suffering, leads to desensitizing them to these violent acts. I ask how can this be appropriate for inmates? These same inmates may have the capacity to feel they are connecting with the animals, only to see mothers suffer the loss of their new borns, new borns suffer the loss of their mothers, each ultimately taken to slaughter when their usefulness is up. This can only add new trauma, worsen previous traumas within the vulnerable inmate population. Such outcomes are foreseeable within goat farming or any other animal farming operation such as dairy. The CSC can take the best alternative going forward, that is, invest in plant-based crops and farming which would supply healthful food with enormously reduced viral and bacterial risks, to the inmate community as well as the surrounding community. Ending the Penitentiary Farm Programs’ animal farming will have far reaching positive impact on the environment and welfare of animals. The demand for plant protein is so huge today, that aware industries are trying to keep up. If this win-win sustainable route were to be taken by the CSC, the inmates, the environment and the animals would all highly benefit. As a mother and a grandmother, I add my heartfelt voice that you turn toward more caring, more sustainable operations that benefit us all. Sheridan Petty Edmonton, Alta.