Animal cruelty continues to be a dilemma in the United States. Undercover detectives, journalists, and whistleblowers have reported these happenings in factory farms, meat production sites, and slaughterhouses, yet these abuses are still widespread.
It appears that instead of finding a solution to these horrific crimes, the law is working diligently to cover up these abuses and silence whistleblower employees. When this happens, illicit activities continue to occur behind closed doors.
Factory farms that are mistreating animals need to be put to an end. This includes industrialized agriculture with pigs, cows, or chickens. However, despite several attempts by individuals, non-profits, or journalists, there are still anti-whistleblower laws being passed.
Why does the law want to protect corporations treating animals inhumanely? Mainly to protect the agriculture industry from negative repercussions as well as their privacy. This continues to be an area of huge debate because if industries are not following protocol and treating animals inhumanely, they should be stopped, right?
An Overview on Ag-Gag Laws
Ag-gag laws are currently present in a total of 6 states (Wyoming, Iowa, Idaho, Utah, Missouri, and North Carolina). These bills were put in place to silence and punish whistle blowers who share information about animal cruelty within industrial farms. This includes taking photos, video recordings, or distributing materials that bring this serious issue to light.
The law seems to be silencing anyone who speaks about what happens behind closed doors because they pose a threat to massive organizations. Ag-gag laws also go against American values and principals. Polls continuously show that the majority of Americans are in favor of humane treatment of farm animals. This includes the moment they are born to the day they’re slaughtered.
Here’s are some of the things that ag-gag bills do:
- Ban individuals from taking a photo or video inside of a factory farm without prior permission from the owner.
- Considers it a crime for undercover investigators to be employed at a factory farm.
- Requires all violations to be reported immediately.
Fortunately, there are organizations like ASPCA that have defeated these bills in more than 20 states. Not only do these laws violate animals but they also present social issues negatively impacting food safety, workers rights, free speech, and environmental protection.
Who’s Against These Anti-Whistleblower Bills?
Americans are not happy about ag-gag bills. There are so many different organizations starting with the Humane Society of the United States that oppose these bills. More than 70 non-profit organizations and newspapers such as The New York Times and The Boston Globe are also against ag-gag bills.
Several other polls also show that the majority of Americans are in favor of whistleblowers, investigators, or journalists going undercover to expose these unhealthy practices. Americans are concerned about the suffering of animals and the food safety violations that are being brought forward by corporations.
As Americans, we deserve to know what’s happening behind closed doors especially if it affects the foods we’re eating. Without whistleblowers or undercover investigators, we would have never been exposed to the unsafe working conditions in industrialized animal agriculture. The activities that happen behind closed doors are horrific – it’s time we put an end to this devastating practice.
Join the Fight
If you’re ready to join the fight and help protect these animals, begin by learning more about this massive dilemma. Afterward, become a part of organizations like the Humane Society of the United States to learn about how you can help. This can include spreading awareness on this issue, reducing your consumption of animal products, and donating to the cause.
Photo courtesy of the author
Guest Author Bio
Trenton J. Smith
Trenton is an aspiring writer who loves to research and write about a wide variety of topics. When he is not writing, he enjoys gardening and long walks with his dog Boomer.