In 1906, Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle was published, igniting a national firestorm. The horrors that Sinclair’s book depicted inside our country’s beef industry led to such an uproar that Congress was forced to take action, passing the Meat Inspection Act and the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 (the latter led to the creation of the FDA).
Since then, animal rights activists have conducted countless undercover investigations, carrying on the tradition that Sinclair started, exposing American consumers to the cruel truth behind how the animals they eat become their food.
Now, the animal agriculture industry is fighting back with a nuclear salvo.
In the past couple months, three states: Iowa, Florida, and Minnesota, have introduced legislation that would make it illegal for undercover investigators to obtain employment and shoot video inside farming facilities.
The language in these bills is so far-reaching that even possessing or showing a video from inside these farms would be against the law. The Minnesota effort, in particular, doesn’t just bar investigators from farms; it would also extend criminal repercussions for footage taken inside pet shops, laboratories, shelters, and even veterinary offices.
Should America be concerned? You’re damned right it should.
Take, for example, this undercover investigation released just last week by the animal advocacy group Mercy For Animals. Conducted inside the E6 Cattle Co. in Hart, Texas, the undercover investigator’s gruesome footage revealed the following:
- Workers bludgeoning calves in their skulls with pickaxes and hammers – often involving 5 to 6 blows, sometimes more – before rendering the animals unconscious
- Beaten calves, still alive and conscious, thrown onto dead piles
- Workers kicking downed calves in the head, and standing on their necks and ribs
- Calves confined to squalid hutches, thick with manure and urine buildup, and barely large enough for the calves to turn around or fully extend their legs
- Horrifying injuries and afflictions, including open sores, swollen joints and severed hooves
- Ill, injured and dying calves denied medical care
- The budding horns of calves burned out their skulls without painkillers
Here’s the video, in case you’d like to see this for yourself:
Orwellian laws making these kinds of exposés illegal reek of guilt and deny Americans access to crucial information. If big Ag has nothing to hide, transparency should not only be legal, it should be welcome.