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Americans made the film The Cove to feel superior to the Japanese over the treatment of animals killed for food, but when it someone mentions all to the animals that die for the food on their own plates, and how they were treated when they were alive, they'd rather not see what they already know to happen behind closed doors, so they don't get a conscience. Out of sight out of mind.
Factory Farming Videos Prompt 'Ad-Gag' Bils
by Jennifer Viegas
Undercover photographs and videos taken at factory farms belonging to some of the nation's largest meat producers often show horrific footage of animals in crowded, substandard living conditions suffering beyond almost anything that we can otherwise imagine. So called "ag-gag" bills, now being considered in multiple states, could shield the public from seeing such evidence.
Supporters, such as Florida Republican Senator Jim Norman, have argued that such bills protect the rights of farmers. Many farmers have indeed supported the bills. The Florida Tribune, for example, interviewed Wilton Simpson, a farmer who lives in Norman's district.
Simpson, later quoted in blogs like the Daily Loaf, mentioned that farmers like him need to have their property rights protected, not to mention the "intellectual property" involving farm operations.
Simpson, president of Simpson Farms near Dade City, pointed out that people should not be allowed to pose as farmworkers so that they can secretly film agricultural operations.
The bills do touch on multiple legal matters involving the rights of agricultural operations, the right of the public to know what happens on factory farms, and the rights of the animals themselves.
If the bills pass, employees and others who seek to expose not only animal abuse, but also other criminal conduct on farms, could risk misdemeanor charges of the first degree. They might even have to serve prison time and pay a fee.
This year alone, ag-gag bills have been introduced in Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota and Nebraska.
Last year, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and other animal rights activists fought hard to combat similar bills in New York, Iowa and Minnesota. Just recently, the ASPCA announced that Florida lawmakers, including Norman, removed the ag-gag language from House Bill 1021 and Senate Bill 1184.
Ironically, as an ASPCA press release points out, undercover video taken at a dairy farm in Florida more a decade ago showing young calves wounded by gunshot and then being shoved into a watery pit to drown served as the inspiration for the Florida legislature to pass its current humane slaughter and euthanasia laws (F.S.S. 828.22-828.26). In many states, such documentation has been instrumental to law enforcement, farming reform and new laws protecting animal and public welfare.
"Bills like this (the ag-gag ones) only serve to heighten suspicion that the agricultural industry has something to hide," Suzanne McMillan, director of the ASPCA farm animal welfare campaign, was quoted as saying in a press release. "Americans deserve to know how their food is produced, and responsible farmers should welcome that transparency. Where there are problems, industry should direct its energy toward resolving them, not covering them up."
"Legislators carefully examined the bills, listened to the concerns raised by thousands of their constituents and ultimately took the correct action," added Ann Church, vice president of state affairs for the ASPCA. "We are hopeful that Florida, a state with very significant agricultural interests, will serve as a bellwether for other states where similarly draconian legislation is being considered and lawmakers continue to balk at the myriad assaults these bills would deliver to American values."
In addition to affecting factory farms, the bills have the potential to shield slaughter plants and puppy mills from legitimate investigations.
Last edited by faintsmile1992; February 01, 2012 at 04:34 PM.
Why do we always see such videos and never the ones of the farmers who care and love their animals ?
I agree, not all farmers are bad but there obviously needs to be regulation. But my point was most Americans and other Westerners are aware this goes on but they'd rather not see it, and most f the people who bash Japan for its treatment of dolphins still knowingly eat meat which may be from farms such as these. Whereas the wild dolphins will have obviously had a better quality of life than battery chickens or intensively farmed pigs, for example.
I'm sure practices such as intensive farming, vivisection and fur farming (associated with cramped cages) are practiced in Japan too, now, but only after contamination from the modern West, whereas traditional dolphin hunts are from a time before that. And there's no question traditional Japanese (and Western) values are more humane to both humans and animals, than those of a society where animals are tortured and abused on such a scale it has become mechanised, for the selfishness of people who suddenly get sentimental over a few dolphins or whatever.
(I'm neither justifying nor bashing the dolphin hunts in themselves, I'm just pointing out the hypocrisy.)
@ Faintsmile...Just curious...how do you,as an individual, help solve these issues??
She is vegetarian, but I'm not sure it helps solve the issue.
Anyone read silver spoon ? I think it is a clever serie so far, a bit angelic maybe but I've not read that many agricultural manga so far.
This actually is a fairly big issue in the US, factory farming methods have come under fire in recent years. While far gentler than the video's posted Michael Pollan's book The Omnivore's Dilemma brought a lot of attention to the subject. Butcher's and supermarkets that purchase meat from farms that treat animals more humanely are very popular now, though more expensive. Factory farm practices are the reason so many animal diseases, such as Mad Cow Disease or Swine Flu, have spread in recent years. Despite the fact that they can not digest corn, corn is used as cow feed. This causes digestive problems leading to the use of antibiotics and hormones, all of which can harm humans when the meat is digested. A corn diet is also higher in fat, resulting in higher fat meat than grass fed animals. Locking animals in barns reduces their muscle to fat ratio, resulting in less healthy meat. The best meat is raised on food that is healthy for the animal, able to graze on grass and unprocessed grain outdoors.
Are you sure about the corn. My father give them corn since years without problem. And I'm 100% sure he doesn't give them antibiotics (hormones are theoretically forbidden in europe). What I know is that corn is definitively bad for the sheeps though.
Of course it's best if you feed them with only grass but we don't have this huge area with nothing that you have in the states ! That's why you are even more unforgivable making bad meat :-)
Either way, whilst organic food often seems more of a lifestyle and marketing fad than a solution, traditional farming is better for humans as well as for animals. Actually cutting down on meat consumption (and therefore saturated fats) is better for humans as well. Human physiology never evolved to cope with such amounts of red meat as people have in their staple diets today, especially with modern inactivity. Red meat should be costly for that reason.
I was under the impression that in prehistoric times people were primarily hunters though. Vegetables and farming only came once the knowledge about growing them was acquired.... To be completely honest I never particularly cared about this issue though. I am against unnecessary cruelty of animals (say, killing them for fun except in bullfighting) however other than that the priority should be to give consumers a proper balance between cost and quality (maximize both for the most part).
In factory farms the cows are essentially tethered into place, never leave warehouse size indoor pen, and are force fed a predetermined amount of food per day. The amount of food is designed to fatten them to a certain, very large size.
Cutting back red meat and substituting skinless chicken breast or fish is far healthier than a red meat heavy diet. Chicken and fish can provide all the protein needed with a fraction of the fat and cholesterol. Most people eat far more meat then they actually need to. It is possible to switch to a vegetarian diet without losing any of the nutrients meet provides. It does take some study to know what to substitute, but if done correctly it is very healthy. I would never become vegetarian myself but there certainly are many benefits.
---------- Post added at 10:54 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:48 PM ----------
I don't think you can feed a cow with only corn, it's like you would eat only sweets.
Of course it is a different type of corn than the one we eat. I'm not an expert so I don't know the species but the cow eat all the plant not just the seeds.
Normally it is used as a winter complement. If I remember correctly my father gave corn silage on the morning meal but it was only for the cows with babies since those are the one which needs more nutrients. And I assure you that they love it, they only start to eat the rest once there is none one gram of corn left :-)
Hey the skin in a roasted chicken is the best part ! That is something I also don't understand, why do we only eat one part of an animal, that is completely wasted. A complete poultry makes a wonderful family meal, is good and easy to make. As for fish, there are some ecological problem with them too. Eating good and responsible has become really difficult nowadays.