Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Undercover Investigations and Why I'm Torn
It has been awhile since I talked about animal rights on here, but after attending the recent New York City Veg Fest last weekend I am invigorated and impassioned to keep the dialogue going about the links between my most precious issues: women and animals. I alternate between listening to two weekly podcasts--one is Dan Savage's Love podcast that discusses current political news on sex and also does advice on sex/relationships and the other is Our Hen House which has a vegan and animal rights focus. So basically I alternate between these two every week and my head is starting to get dizzy from all the attacks on women and on animal rights activists/advocates. I can't go a week without hearing one of the podcasts ranting about new legislation that restricts the rights of those who are already oppressed.
I don't need to remind anyone of what is going on in this country to hurt family planning and sexual/reproductive rights, do I? Well, it seems an eerily parallel movement against animals is happening. Just last week Iowa passed the nation's first "Ag Gag" bill which you can read about HERE. The Iowa bill criminalizes those who obtain employment under false pretenses with the intent to harm the business, rather than the actual act of filming animal cruelty in a factory farm (that is redundant, right?). Well, that's the quick and dirty version.
So, here is my struggle...I want factory farms to be exposed for their cruelty (not only to animals, but also workers) more than anyone. I know deep down that undercover investigations in factory farms are NOT the same as anti-woman creeps like Lila Rose (and yes I feel bad giving any of her sites web traffic, but google her if you must). The footage and audio that people like Lila Rose obtain from abortion clinics is manipulated and taken out of context and at the end of the day just a downright lie. When it comes to undercover footage from factory farms there is little manipulation going on. I have seen enough of that footage to know that animal cruelty is commonplace in factory farms and no amount of photoshopping or editing can create the horrors I have seen. Watching sadistic factory farm workers anally rape cows or electrocute chickens is pretty clear cut, as opposed to the shades of grey that have come out of Lila Rose's undercover endeavors (re: abortion counseling with a minor who has an 18+ boyfriend).
My gut tells me they're not the same, but I still can't sit right with it. Let me be clear I do not support the ag gag laws by any means. The more factory farms are exposed then the more business they lose and the less animals suffer. There is just something about the deception that weirds me out and I can't place why or how. I don't have an answer about this....would love to hear thoughts from others.