Sarah, who grew up in a West Coast household busy with pets of all kinds – birds, hamsters, a dog, a ferret, even a python – got a BS in zoology, interned at a big-cat rescue and worked for a while at a zoo. But conflicted about caring for captive animals, she moved on to a sanctuary for rescued primates: spider monkeys, marmosets and such, recovered from private owners and research labs. Their treatment in these places – “trapped in cages their whole lives, never seeing another animal” – inflamed her to come out from behind the fence and put herself at risk for their sake.
“I didn’t know this even existed as a job, but was willing to leave everything – my house, my friends, family, whatever – and live out of a suitcase as someone else,” she says. “It’s some hairy shit, going into these barns, a girl around all these guys who’re cruel to pigs.” She was also wired up, asking lots of questions and trying to build a case against their bosses. Luckily, she wasn’t outed till after she quit, but lived in fear that her concern for sows would tip staffers off to her.
“If you do your job right, you could close the plant down and put 20, 30 families out of work,” she says. “That’s why I wouldn’t go drink with them, which it seemed they did, like, every minute they were off.” Back inside the barn, we walk the pens freely; the auction is so short-staffed that Sarah’s colleague Juan is hired to herd sold calves onto trucks. With no one around to stop her, Sarah slips through a gate and kneels beside a calf that can’t get up.
Its velveteen eyes are wet but blank; it barely stirs when jostled by other calves. “He got sick and gave up,” says Sarah, smoothing his hide with the calloused flat of a hand. “This is the second one I’ve seen, and I’ll bet there are more.” And so it goes with farmers who gave up farming to become cruel jailers of their stock. “I saw it firsthand when I worked upstate – it’s like they hate their own animals for having feelings,” says Cody Carlson, an animal-rights activist who left investigations to go to law school.
“I had a job at a barn with this sick-fuck boss who was proud of the stuff he did to cows. One day, we’re doing repairs on a gate in the barn and a couple of cows stroll over to watch us work. Well, one grazes him with her snout, just to be playful, and he smashes her in the face with his wrench. I also got him bragging about past assaults, like tying a cow to a fence and taking turns beating her, getting the other guys to work her over.
” Carlson’s secretly recorded footage, compiled over more than a month, triggered a cruelty indictment and cost the dairy a major buyer. The takedown, in 2008, was Carlson’s first assignment. Hired out of college by Kroll Advisory Solutions to gather business data, he left to find work at a nonprofit firm devoted to social justice. Neither the Polaris Project nor the Environmental Investigation Agency called back, but Mercy for Animals did.
After several weeks of training, he hired on at Willet, a giant dairy in Locke, New York, that churned out 40,000 gallons of milk a day. So damning was his footage of standard factory-farming practice – chopping the tails off calves without anesthesia; gouging the horns off their heads with hot branding irons, also without anesthesia; punching cows, kicking calves, beating desperately sick downers – that Nightline ran it on national TV, confronting Willet’s CEO on camera.
“Our animals are critically important to our well-being, so we work hard to treat them well,” droned Lyndon Odell of the 5,000 cows standing in lagoons of their own shit. Shown tape of the tortured calves, and pressed on whether a cow feels pain, he rolled his shoulders and mumbled, “I guess I can’t speak for the cow.” It bears saying here that nothing would have come from the tape if left to the whims of Jon Budelmann, the Cayuga County DA.
“We approached him with our evidence and he told us to fuck off – he wasn’t going to take on Big Dairy,” says Carlson. “It was only after we went to the media with the tape that he got off his ass and brought charges.” (Budelmann later cleared Willet of any wrongdoing, telling the Syracuse Post-Standard that while Willet’s practices might seem harsh to consumers, they’re “not currently illegal in New York state.
”) This is all too common in livestock cases. There are laws in every state barring cruelty to house pets, but almost none that safeguard farm animals. To the extent that prosecutors can bring charges, they’re typically misdemeanors that call for small fines and a ban on taking farm jobs in the future. “Despite everything we know about animals now – that they think, they feel, they form connections – we still treat them worse than dirt,” says HSUS’s Sweetland.
“The law is way behind the science, but we’re starting to make gains. Look at what happened in New York.” After Carlson’s tape aired, New York State Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal proposed a law against docking, or cutting the tails off, calves, a practice as pointless as it is despicable. Three years later, the bill is still pending in the Agriculture committee. But Carlson, a lean, handsome blond of 30 who recently passed the bar, was just getting warmed up.
He moved on, in the fall of ’09, to the Humane Society and took a series of jobs at hen factories in Iowa, working for Rose Acre Farms and Rembrandt Foods, the second- and third-largest producers of eggs in the United States. What he saw there beggared the dairy-barn horrors: dozens of poorly vented hangar-size plants, each one housing hundreds of thousands of birds in stacked cages the size of microwave ovens.
The hens, stuffed seven to 10 in a cage, trampled each other, vying for space. Carlson, the sole attendant for 300,000 creatures, spent four or five hours a day pulling corpses from cages while trying not to become one himself. “If you haven’t been in a hen plant, you don’t know what hell is,” he says. “This gust of ammonia and urine stench hits you when you open the door, there’s chicken shit piled up six feet high before they tractor it out with Bobcats, and your nose and lungs burn like you took a torch to ’em.
” Mice, flies and feces carpeted the tiny cages, mummified birds shared space with live ones, and their eggs rolled onto conveyor belts that ran 24 hours a day. “This wasn’t some mom-and-pop – this was 10 million hens,” Carlson says. “Their eggs are in every market you go into.” Amazingly, no indictments sprang from Carlson’s tapes: This was customary industry practice that broke no laws.
But four months later, the FDA swooped in. It busted several Iowa hen farms whose vile conditions spawned a salmonella outbreak in 23 states, triggering the largest egg recall in recent U.S. history. Neither Rose Acre Farms nor Rembrandt Foods were among the factories cited.See Also: Which Arctic Animals Love Math
The zoo is going to be a fantastic choice location if you want for getting animals shots without the need of possessing a visit to safari in summer months. You can choose their pictures during the safe and sound bench that is certainly out there in close proximity to the cages. To make you accomplishment in using the images of animals that you want, you are able to adhere to the next tips.
Outside of a jungle of rain-washed pines and junipers spearing the recent blueness from the Florida sky, ran a small, tawny-haired boy. His bare toes, extending from his overalled legs, crackled versus the fallen palmettos. He leaped into the air, flinging his arms toward a flock of white doves circling higher than him.
Farm Animals Need Our Help In polling, 94% of Americans agree that animals raised for food deserve to live free from abuse and cruelty. Yet the majority of the nearly 10 billion farm animals raised each year in the U.S. suffer in conditions that consumers would not accept if they could see them. Most of our meat, milk and eggs come from industrial farms where efficiency trumps welfare—and animals are paying the price.
Factory Farms A factory farm is a large, industrial operation that raises large numbers of animals for food. Over 99% of farm animals in the U.S. are raised in factory farms, which focus on profit and efficiency at the expense of animal welfare. Cages and overcrowding. Physical alterations, like teeth-clipping or tail-docking, performed without anesthetic. Indoor confinement with poor air quality and unnatural light patterns.
Inability to engage in natural behaviors. Breeding for fast growth or high yields of meat, milk and eggs that compromises animal welfare. Neglect of sick and suffering animals, often due to high ratio of animals to workers. Misuse of antibiotics to compensate for unsanitary conditions. Rough or abusive handling by workers. Learn More about Animals on Factory Farms:Chickens | Pigs | Cattle | Turkeys Food Labels Packages of meat, eggs and dairy often bear terms that appear to indicate meaningful animal welfare standards, but only a fraction of them do.
This confusion prevents conscientious consumers from voting with their wallets for better treatment of farm animals. Natural: Does not impact animal welfare in any way. Free-Range: No legal definition for use on eggs, pork, beef or dairy. Humanely Raised/Humanely Handled: Undefined and subjective terms without codified standards. Hormone-Free/No Hormones Added: Hormones are not approved by law for use on pigs or poultry, so the term is meaningless on those products.
Cage-Free: On eggs, this label indicates that hens were not raised in battery cages. However, it is an empty claim on poultry meat as meat birds are very rarely raised in cages, and are instead crowded into large, open sheds. It’s important to understand the true meanings of food labels so you can make informed decisions and help animals by buying products that match your values. Learn more in our Meat, Eggs and Dairy Label Guide.
Laws While most Americans expect our laws to protect farm animals, the reality falls far short. Animals raised for food are among the least-protected class of animals in our nation. Although there are no federal laws protecting animals on farms, two federal laws cover farm animals during transport and slaughter. Tragically, these two laws exempt all poultry species, which make up 95% of land animals killed for food.
Transport: The 28-Hour Law requires animals transported across state lines for slaughter— by means other than water or air—to be unloaded every 28 hours for rest, food and water. This law is weakened by loopholes, lack of enforcement and low fines. Slaughter: The Humane Methods of Livestock Slaughter Act requires that livestock be quickly rendered insensible to pain before being slaughtered. In addition to excluding poultry, the law exempts certain forms of religious slaughter, such as Kosher and Halal.
Because federal law fails to protect most farm animals, state laws are these animals’ last defense. The majority of U.S. states expressly exempt farm animals, or certain standard farming practices, from their anti-cruelty provisions, making it nearly impossible to provide even meager protections. While in common industry use, these exempt farming practices are often shockingly cruel. Although a few states include farm animals in at least some of their anti-cruelty laws, such laws are rarely enforced in favor of farm animals.
Ag-Gag: Over the past few years, "ag-gag," or anti-whistleblower bills, have been appearing in state legislatures across the country. While crafted to appear reasonable, these measures are designed to prevent the exposure of troubling practices at agricultural facilities. Instead of making it illegal to abuse animals, these laws make it illegal to document and report abuse.Learn where your state stands on ag-gag.
Confinement Bans: On the bright side, an increasing number of states are banning certain extreme methods of confinement, such as battery cages for hens and gestation crates for pigs.Learn where your state stands on confinement. Right to Farm: Rather than reform destructive practices, corporate agribusiness is responding by pushing "Right to Farm" (RTF) laws that greatly limit the ability of states to regulate conditions on farms, including the cruel confinement of farm animals.
Learn more about Right to Farm laws. Bad for Animals, Bad for Us Animals are not the only ones suffering because of these unnatural, inhumane conditions. Human health, the environment and farmers are being hurt by the intensive farming systems employed on factory farms. Farms that are not properly maintained can be breeding grounds for Salmonella, E. coli and other pathogens that can be passed to humans through meat, dairy and eggs, as well as through person-to-person contact.
To combat unsanitary conditions, animals are fed large doses of antibiotics—but bacteria is constantly adapting and evolving. Misuse, overuse and dependence on antibiotics in our food system creates the potential for dangerous, drug-resistant strains of bacteria to develop and spread among people and animals. Waste from large-scale confinement farms pollutes the water, land and air in neighboring communities, compromising both human health and quality of life.
At the same time, these facilities consume massive quantities of precious, finite resources including water and fossil fuels. Corporatized, industrialized agriculture has largely wiped out America’s independent family farms—with catastrophic consequences. In 1950, there were 5.6 million farms and 100 million farm animals. In 2012, 2.1 million farms were raising 9.2 billion farm animals. With that many animals, the animal-to-caretaker ratio makes individualized animal care impossible.
Further, contract-growing systems such as those found in integrated poultry production strip farmers of the autonomy to decide how farm animals should be raised and often keep farmers trapped in oppressive debt.