The undercover animal cruelty videos that spurred Big Ag's censorship crusade

Categories: Agriculture

Photo courtesy of Mercy for Animals
One of the nearly 3,000 pigs at Country View Family Farms in Fannettsburg, Pennsylvania. The far mis a supplier for Hatfield Quality Meats, which is sold in twelve Northeastern states.
This week's story, "The Ag Gag War," goes behind the scenes of the guerilla fight between animal rights groups and Big Agriculture.

For years organizations like the Humane Society and Mercy for Animals have being going undercover at America's largest farms, using hidden cameras to show exactly how our food is produced. The footage hasn't been pretty.

Time after time they've caught workers beating and torturing livestock. So Big Ag returned fire, introducing bills in more than a dozen states that would criminalize undercover filming on farms.

What follows are the videos that spurred Big Ag's censorship campaign:

Willet Dairy, New York

Mercy for Animals caught employees kicking and shocking animals that wouldn't bend to their will. Supervisor Phil Niles is heard recounting an abuser's greatest hits: How he beat cows with wrenches, smashed their heads with two-by-fours, kicked them when they were too feeble to rise.

"Fucking kicking her, hitting her," he chortles while recalling one incident. "Fucking jumping off the top of the goddamned gate and stomping on her head and shit."

Rose Acre Farms, Iowa

Humane Society investigator Cody Carlson went undercover at the nation's second-largest egg producer with nearly five million chickens.

His video showed hens packed into cages the size of a filing drawer, where each creature spent life in a space with the dimensions of a single sheet of paper.

Carlson's job was to cull the dead, the 100 or so hens whose wings and feet became caught in the caging, leaving them to die of thirst or be trampled to death by their cellmates each day.

On the next page, see the video that made it illegal to expose in animal abuse Iowa.

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A rapidly growing number of people, from all walks of life, agree that keeping farm animals confined to small pens where they are denied fresh air, sun, the ability to move or express their natural behaviors is inhumane. To top this off with violent cruelty is the ultimate in disrespect of living beings. Being able to document these conditions on factory farms is essential to creating change and bringing about better treatment for farm animals. Allowing agribusiness to shield itself from investigation and prosecution through an Ag Gag bill allows the industry to continue its inhumane practices unrestrained and unabated.

MN Voters for Animal Protection is a grassroots organization working to promote humane legislation that protects animals and prevents cruelty. Here is a link to their petition to prevent an Ag Gag bill from becoming law in MN:


This is why I shop at Clancey's in Linden Hills. Never have to worry about this shit. 


This makes me glad I'm a hunter.  80% of my annual meat consumption comes from cleanly killed wild animals that I process myself.  The rest comes from local fams that I can visit (and help out on if I want) whenever I wish.


Would you PLEASE state some kind of warning about the videos that they are violent and disturbing before people click to view them. 

swmnguy topcommenter

@keny1 Sometimes you crack me up, keny1.


@keny1 so the GIANT headline at the top that says, "The undercover animal cruelty videos that spurred Big Ag's censorship crusade" didn't give you a clue about the content of the video?  Or perhaps the part of the story where they describe scenes from the videos?\

If it takes that much to communicate an idea to you, I'm starting to realize why you have your particular outlook on things.


@swmnguy Well, considering that you two enjoy having live fetuses ripped out of vaginas, I guess animal cruelty is just for "fun"

swmnguy topcommenter

@keny1  Your first comment on this thread was a lot better.  It was a great play on at least one of the links you've posted on this site, so I had to compliment you.  This one is a complete stretch with no regard for context.  I can see the technique; an attempt at baiting by drawing non-existent parallels, waiting for an outraged response, and then bogging down the discussion with more inflammatory non-sequiturs; but it's obvious and not well-executed.  An example I see a lot is like this:

Poster #1: "With both Park and Portland Avenue bridges over I-94/35W removed, it's really hard to drive downtown from South Minneapolis."

Poster #2: "Oh, yeah?  You know what was really hard?  The Holocaust.  Or don't you care about the Holocaust?"

Poster #1: "What the hell are you talking about?"

Poster #2: "See, you Libtards love stuffing people into ovens."

That one's been used too many times.  It's not funny or surprising anymore.  Your first comment made me laugh out loud.  Just accept a compliment and move along.

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