Bittman Bites Down on Agribusiness

I recently read a post by Mark Bittman about the new bills that were recently introduced by Florida and Iowa that aim to crack down on people who shoot photographs and videos of agricultural operations. In other words, big-farma is fed up with the undercover work exposing the vast inhumane treatment and suffering of farm animals.

Bittman writes:

The Florida bill would require anyone wishing to photograph a farm to first secure written permission from the owner. And what if they don’t? First-degree felony. The implicit goal here is to deter and criminalize damning undercover exposés like this one. The bill would also make it illegal for an agenda-less passerby to snap a picture of a farm from the side of the road, but my best guess is that those “crimes” might not be prosecuted quite so diligently.

As for the Iowa bill, we get this gem from the Animal Agriculture Alliance (AAA): “It is imperative that activists be held accountable for their actions to undermine farmers, ranchers and meat processors through use of videos depicting alleged mistreatment of animals for the purposes of gaining media attention and fundraising—all in an effort to drive their vegan agenda.”

If activists, radical vegans, or whatever you want to call them, break the law by sneaking onto private property to document animal or farm worker abuses, then yes, they should be held accountable for their actions – though unless I’m misinformed, that’s what trespass law is for. But these people shouldn’t have to sneak the cameras into the farms that are torturing animals or mistreating workers: the cameras should already be there. It should be the state’s responsibility to find and monitor the few farmers that are giving the rest of them a bad name. You want to quiet the crazy vegans with the video cameras? Do their job for them.

It’s so true. Quiet the crazies by making it a state law to monitor the farmers that practice inhumane farming.

While most vegans advocate for plant-based diets, most vegetarians, myself included, understand that man can’t live on plants alone. I think it is a waste of time to even lobby for that. But as meat eaters, I think it is incumbent on man to come up with more humane ways to end these creatures’ lives.

As an animal welfare advocate who does not eat meat, I would be honored to live to see that day. According to animal rights philosopher Peter Singer, I will.

If what Singer says is true, that by 2020 all farm animals will be able to stand up, lie down, walk around, and stretch their limbs, then who knows, I may even start eating meat again.

Ok, so I’m probably exaggerating but it’s my way of trying to remain level-headed about something that deep-down inside, I am raging about.

3 comments on “Bittman Bites Down on Agribusiness

  1. Heather March 21, 2011 1:32 pm


    Did you know that Ben Franklin was vegetarian? I’m reading his autobiography.

    Also, it is terrible that we don’t have access to viewing our food production. Very concerning indeed!

    • Reedu March 21, 2011 2:45 pm

      Hey Heather! I believe I did know that, yes. One of my all-time favorite vegetarians though is Mike Tyson. Yes, a man who once chewed on human ear, is apparently a vegan.

      And yes! Who knew ALL food production and not just meat, is so shady. I learned that after seeing Food Inc. Eye opener biggie time. ~Ree

  2. Agrobisnis May 17, 2012 2:50 am

    For many people, being vegan is more than simply saying farewell to flesh products. For many vegans, this lifestyle includes adopting a particular mindset that is alert to animal rights issues, health needs, personal respect for life and concern for the environment’s capacity to feed all living beings. Most omnivores think becoming a vegan is impossible and can’t even begin to imagine how they might be able to survive, let alone enjoy life without typical flavors they have been used to. But with a positive attitude, a desire to make a change in a healthy direction, and some creativity, it is possible to discover a whole new world and reap a multitude of physical, mental and emotional benefits, not to mention financial savings.

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