March 26, 2011
Activists be proud…
It is more than obvious that our actions have got them running scared and this is proof. Legislators in four states are proposing bills (Idaho HB166, Minnesota Senate File 1118 & House File 1369, Iowa H.F. 589, and Florida S.B. 1246) that will ban undercover farm slaughter footage. Why? The simple answer is that our continued efforts are costing the farming industry money. We pray that each of you remembers this every time you feel as though you aren’t making a difference, after we unite to defeat it! The hard work of countless activists worldwide is indeed, paying off.
With almost ten billion farm animals raised/killed as food items annually and the multiple billions of dollars placed in jeopardy, animal activists have obviously become a major threat to the industry. The Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act(AETA) was only the beginning in their plans and now they wish to silence us. One wonders where the ACLU stands on this issue. They fought us “tooth and nail” when we were all working to ban animal crush videos; when the Bush Administration proposed the AETA the only voice of concern they raised for the AETA was to offer recommendations that would strengthen the AETA to help businesses. Just whose freedom does the ACLU protect? We have contacted the ACLU, as of publication of this article, we have yet to hear back.
Countless animals need us to stand together now. There is no time for petty differences between activists or quarrel amongst those who normally do not speak. If you are against the silencing of our rights to expose farm slaughter and factory farming procedure, then together, we must act now. Our time, the animals’ time, is running out.
These bills are obviously being backed by big money funded by the corporate agriculture conglomerates. Legislation such as this, is designed to keep the average United States citizen completely “in the dark” as far as farm slaughter procedure is concerned. This will make our life, as activists, a lot more difficult. Many more of us will find ourselves sitting behind bars, simply for exposing the truth! Iowa’s and Florida’s Houses of Representatives have already passed the bills that will make the filming of farm slaughter without the owner’s permission, a first degree felony! A first degree felony carries a sentence of up to thirty years in a state penitentiary!
In Minnesota: Senate File 1118 and House File 1369 would criminalize blowing the whistle on animal cruelty, food safety problems, or labor abuses inside puppy and kitten mills or factory farms by making it a crime to take video inside such facilities or even for the news media to possess/distribute the images. In fact, language states “any animal facility”. The chief authors of these bills, Representative Rod Hamilton (R, 22B), and Senator Doug Magnus (R, 22), Chairs of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees. In the House, the following Representatives have signed on their support: Cornish ; Davids ; Urdahl ; Dettmer ; Anderson, P. ; Drazkowski. In the Senate, the following Senators have signed on to support the bill: Rosen ; Skoe ; Ingebrigtsen ; Sparks.Support the Minnesota Voters for Animal Protection by taking action here.
The Iowa representative introducing the legislation claims that the bill is for our, “Bio-security, livestock and our livelihood.” Are you joking? What happens in factory farms only continues because the sheer horror of it all remains hidden from the general public. Give citizens the truth, at the very least and do not allow these corporate clowns to hide what they don’t want you to know. Even meat eaters should be terrified by this. Many of you already know what kind of food safety issues exist because of the incompetence practiced in slaughterhouses. Do you really want to give them the power to hide all eyes from that?
On the surface, these bills are specifically designed towards silencing activists exposing the truth. What lies beneath these bills is an organized effort targeted at undermining the citizens of this nation’s right of free speech and their ability to seek the truth. This legislation will ban your right to know what is happening inside factory farms, including what health hazards are generated for you and your children.
Consider the thousands of farm workers’ lives at risk daily. This will also prevent those working in such factory farms from exposing the truth of the conditions for other employees. Factory farms happens to be wrought with some of the worst instances of human worker abuses.
Not a single federal law protects farmed animals from cruelty during their short horrific lives in factory farms. Iowa specifically excludes these animals from anti-cruelty protection, whereas Florida had been making small concessions to alleviating the horrific cruelty, they have now decided to take a giant step away from that effort.
“Without undercover investigations, there are no meaningful watchdogs protecting animals from egregious cruelty in these facilities,” says Mercy For Animal’s executive director Nathan Runkle. “This bill is a blatant violation of free speech and freedom of the press. It keeps consumers in the dark, threatens public health, and hurts animals by shielding animal abusers from public scrutiny.”
For those that still think that these bills are only targeting animal advocates, we remind you of these powerful words by Pastor Martin Neimoller:
“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me…and there was no one left to speak for me.”
It is time for United States citizens to stand up and put a blinding halt to this travesty. The treatment, abuse and torture of these animals is a “spit in the face” as it stands. Criminalizing the exposure of said abuse is completely unconstitutional. When are the citizens of this once great nation going to stand up and take their country back?
The AELLA Team