Now more than ever, you are needed to donate your old blankets, towels, and sheets to your local animal shelter. With financial cut-backs, repairs on shelters are often put off, so if it's drafty, the animals suffer. I know my shelter uses rags to stuff under doors. No kidding! Empty out those closets... this is your chance to get rid of stuff and do something useful!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Legislation Aimed At Stopping Videos of Farm Animals Fails

The Washington Post has the goods.

I'm glad. I have seen enough videos to stop eating pork and start eating more vegetarian meals, but I am in no way a militant vegetarian. I'm not even a vegetarian! Suffering must be stopped, however.
“A well-managed farm has nothing to hide,” said Emily Vaughn, a program manager at New York-based Slow Food USA. “It’s something that people have the right to know.”
I'm not advocating for Slow Food USA, because I don't know enough about them, but I agree with the sentiment Ms. Vaughn shared.

Here's another quote, from a pig farmer, who rightly feels under seige and calls into question those who lie to get a job in slaughterhouses, just so they can get video tape.
In some instances, operators admitted the videos showed problems, but they said activists should have reported any mistreatment directly to farm managers rather than publicize the images.

“I don’t believe in people being hired under false pretenses to get access to these facilities to portray their side of the story,” said Cody McKinley, a public policy director for the Iowa Pork Producers Association.
The thing is, I don't believe that bringing the images to the attention of the owner of the farm would really improve anything.

There are many times when I feel government oversteps. I feel we are too regulated a country. But where the suffering of animals is concerned, even if those animals are destined to be dinner, I do want regulation and oversight. And accountability.

Another quote:
Bruce Berven, a lobbyist for the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association, claimed activists had broader goals than ensuring farm animals were treated humanely.

“Their agenda is clear and basically anti-livestock,” Berven said. “They are basically just using this issue to promote their vegan-slash-vegetarian agenda. There’s a bigger war going on than this issue.”
I don't see that it matters that Slow Food's agenda is to be anti-livestock, as Mr. Berven suggests. He's probably right. Slow food is probably made up of people who eat no animal products, nor wear leather and certainly not fur. The whole country and the legislative process if made up of "bigger wars," as he says. The public gets to decide to take a little of this, leave a little of that, and bar some practices entirely. If you are neither farmer nor vegetarian, would it make sense to have to belong on one side of the fence or another?  I think people look at this proposed legislation to ban any video taping of farm animals and their treatment in slaughterhouses and say, "yeah, it stinks they lied to get jobs just to get in and video tape you, but your practices are inflicting pain and I don't like it."

A well-managed farm has nothing to worry about.