Do you know there’s a move afoot to make it illegal for good people to make video recordings of the deeds of bad people breaking the law by hurting farm animals?
On one covert video, farm workers illegally burn the ankles of Tennessee walking horses with chemicals. Another captures workers in Wyoming punching and kicking pigs and flinging piglets into the air. And at one of the country’s largest egg suppliers, a video shows hens caged alongside rotting bird corpses, while workers burn and snap off the beaks of young chicks.
Each video — all shot in the last two years by undercover animal rights activists — drew a swift response: Federal prosecutors in Tennessee charged the horse trainer and other workers, who have pleaded guilty, with violating the Horse Protection Act. Local authorities in Wyoming charged nine farm employees with cruelty to animals. And the egg supplier, which operates in Iowa and other states, lost one of its biggest customers, McDonald’s, which said the video played a part in its decision.
To protect the bad people from the good eyes, Sates are now passing Ag-Gag bills that forbid any sort of public release of video evidence of abuse against farm animals. Money is more important than happy and healthy animals and the finite Circle of Death that begins for those creatures in the stall and ends on a dinner table is a horror that few people really care about knowing because the truth is too painful.
There’s an old saying in the Vegan community that if people had to slaughter their own chickens and pigs and cows, there would be a lot more vegetarians in the world. Removing the slaughterhouse from the table has made us cruel and brazen in our feelings and attitudes towards animals and that cheapens all life.
With recording devices getting smaller and harder to detect, I wonder how these Ag-Gag punishments will work in the real world? By imprisoning behavior, or by removing technology? Once you have a recording in a certain time and place, you can always attach the evidence to those who were present — but to what public end? You can’t put the pig kicking back in the barn once it reaches a national mindset and the truth, when crushed to the ground, shall rise again.
The animal abusers certainly cannot hide from Google Glasses, or the newly revealed “Sony Glass” project:
On March 21, 2013 The US Patent and Trademark Office published a patent application from Sony revealing a general computing Head Mounted Display (HMD) or Glass project. While most of Sony’s Head Mounted Display or Glass patent filings to date have been primarily aimed at future gaming, we now discover that Sony has been working on a different kind of Glass project since early 2008 for general computing.
I read an article online that said the police are already wearing recorders in their glasses, and the argument was made that the police would never be able to punish Google Glasses users because if that sort of “open recording” is good for the cops, it’s good for the rest of us, too. We’ll see. I’m quite certain the police have guns and ammo and other weapons in their arsenal that the rest of us are not allowed to have — and I have a strong feeling recording glasses will be reserved for their use and not ours.
Ag-Gag bills are doomed to the impoverished mind because information wants to be set free forever by many eyes and while the means may be in place to temporarily punish and imprison to good doers, that doesn’t mean the abuse of farm animals will stop and that means that people will still be morally obligated to reveal that cruelty no matter what an Ag-Gag tries to press against an immoral act.