Do we really have freedom of speech? If you ask Ricardo Salvador after his interview for a directorship position at Iowa State University he might question that premise. Mr. Salvador had suffered through the academic throngs of multiple interviews reaching the final stages where he was surely expected by most to be a shoo-in for the position. The challenge had gotten down to him and one other when the other opponent become unavailable. This last interview was seen more as a formality. That is until Mr. Salvador simply answered a seemingly very simple question with a very simple answer. The question put to him was about how meat should be produced. His response was,"produced in the natural way that meat should be produced, which is on land suitable for grasses and perennial crops.” At an agricultural college, in a state that produces mostly corn and soybeans, this was obviously not the answer the college was looking for.
From that point forward Ricardo Salvador was no longer a viable candidate for a position at Iowa State University. Of course Farm Bureau had plenty to say about "cattle eating grass", when they are the most powerful lobbyists in corn and bean country. President of the Farm Bureau, Bob Stallman, said the Farm Bureau, "must aggressively respond to extremists who want to drag agriculture back to the day of 40 acres and a mule."
Later the Dean of Agriculture there, Ms. Wintersteen, was asked if cows should eat grass. Her response was, "I don't have an opinion on that statement," It appears Ms. Wintersteen is a very observant person. She saw first hand what happens at Iowa State when you speak out of turn against The Farm Bureau and big Ag.
So I guess we only have freedom of speech when we are willing to cower to big business and Universities supported by such. I find it a huge contradiction that a research University such as Iowa State squashes all innovation in the industries and peoples it is deemed to serve. There is little question in my mind that this sort of suppression of ideas and advancements for society occurs regularly in our society. This is because big business and big government, has one primary objective and that is to collect big money even at the cost of humanity. It takes only a simple minded farmer like myself to extrapolate from this incident how this behavior, across many disciplines, puts constraints on progress against better ideas, better health, and a stronger country that might exist if its citizens were not lied to and sold out to the highest bidder.
I recommend you click on the link above and read through the short article in the Chronicle from Iowa. I found the comments from readers at the bottom of the page very interesting.