Fellow Green Monsters, I’m truly shocked at the subject matter we’re going to cover today. We’re faced with mounting evidence of cruelty and abuse on factory farms that is almost unfathomable. Sadly, this is how we treat animals in industrial agriculture. 

In 2012, Mercy for Animals (MFA) filmed undercover footage that is just being released to the public. The footage was taken at Bettencourt Dairies in Idaho, the most recent state to introduce an ag-gag bill that would make such investigations illegal.

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In the video, in addition to horrific physical abuse, workers are seen sexually abusing a female cow. We caution you that watching this footage is extremely disturbing and upsetting. It is nearly incomprehensible that such abuse like this is occurring on U.S. “farms.” This is not a farm, and this is not a reflection of a civilized society. This is wrong on a very deep level.

To make matters worse, lawmakers (and the owner of the aforementioned dairy) are working to pass ag-gag bill, SB 1337.

According to MFA, “If passed, SB 1337 would make it a crime to take photos or video at a factory farm without the owner’s permission.” The LA Times says that, “The dairy industry says the law is needed to protect dairies from animal rights advocates who lie about their backgrounds on job applications so they can gain access to sites for filming.”

Wait, let’s get this straight. Your employees are abusing animals on a daily basis and yet you need to protect yourself from a photograph? How about protecting your animals from abuse? How could taking a photograph of this abuse possibly be more criminal than performing the abusive act? In addition, the animal rights advocate would probably be a better worker since they would spend less time beating the crap out of your “livestock.”

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We must come to understand that abuses like this are commonplace in industrial factory farming.

Just this morning, The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) released an undercover investigation filmed at the beginning of this year. The investigation took place at Iron Maiden Hog Farm in Owensboro, Kentucky where “sows confined in cramped cages known as gestation crates were fed ground up intestines from piglets who had recently succumbed to a highly contagious diarrheal disease.”

They fed dead baby piglets back to their mothers, and yet again, they think that the real problem here is undercover investigations? In addition, the fact that this practice is immoral, disgusting, and oh yeah, illegal, doesn’t seem to matter to those on factory farms.

These two examples are not isolated incidents, they serve to illustrate how the entire industrial agriculture industry treats animals. Organizations like Mercy for Animals, Compassion Over Killing, and the HSUS have large amounts of undercover footage from every farming industry, be it one that produces dairy, pork, chicken, eggs, or more. The mere suggestion of an ag-gag bill demonstrates that these factory farms have something to hide. We can not let that happen.

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MFA’s executive director, Nathan Runkle says, “Idaho has some of the weakest animal cruelty laws in the nation. Lawmakers should be focusing on strengthening these pathetic laws, not silencing whistleblowers in an attempt to protect corrupt corporations.”

Please, click here to sign the petition calling on Idaho governor Butch Otter to veto this dangerous bill. There are also ag-gag bills that have been introduced in Arizona and recently amended in Indiana. Animal Visuals provides and updated map of all undercover investigations, as well as ag-gag bill information to keep you informed. This is not how a society should be raising animals, period. In the face of all this cruelty, you should feel empowered that you have the choice to boycott this industry when you sit down to eat.

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Image Source: Wikimedia Commons