Hog farming in Maryland has indeed raised quite a stink [front page, May 23]. What I find sad is that the conditions the hogs must endure should also be a subject for our debate. Your article did mention the hogs were kept indoors 24 hours a day. In fact, they never get to feel the sun on their backs or run and play with their families. They are kept in small pens until the day they go to slaughter. They are not even given bedding and must lie on hard cement so that it can be hosed off daily. This is not farming by any stretch of the imagination. It's industry and should be subject to stiffer regulations.

Americans love their meat, but we also love animals. Pigs score intellectually higher than dogs, so is it fair to treat them so cruelly? Consumers need to support farmers who treat their animals humanely during the course of their lives. We don't have to give up meat, just be selective in whom we buy it from.

I'm glad hogs stink. That may be the only way to get the public's attention to the horror that goes on inside the shiny new barn.

-- Dawn Case