The basic premise of factory farming can be expressed in three directives: confine, medicate and mass-produce -- no matter what the cost to animals, or the price we pay in terms of our own humanity. A new animated video released by the ASPCA tells the chilling story of how industrial agriculture is defying common decency and cutting dangerous corners-- and then pushing for laws to hide the cruelty.
"Ag-gag" legislation -- designed to keep what happens in the farm at the farm -- is sweeping this country. Already, half of all states have proposed bills that would in some way criminalize the investigation or reporting of illegal or unethical activities taking place on factory farms. These activities can include animal abuse, food safety violations or unsafe working conditions.
Investigations and whistleblowers are essential tools to bring factory farming practices to light -- and to spur corporate and government action. But a long list of national interest groups opposes this legislation to close one of the only windows we have into this notoriously secretive industry. Despite our hard work and vocal opposition, seven of these state bills have become law, including one in Idaho just this year.
Along with this new video, the ASPCA has launched a Change.org petition directed at the National Conference of State Legislatures, a body composed of all state lawmakers, asking that each legislator stand up against any ag-gag bill introduced in his or her state.
The ASPCA is committed to improving the lives of farm animals -- but we can't do it if it's a crime to simply expose the truth. It's time for lawmakers to stop protecting Big Ag's bottom line, and start supporting basic American values like transparency, a safe food supply and animal welfare.