You’ve probably heard or seen articles discussing the Ag-Gag bills being brought up, passed, or overturned in many states throughout the US. But what exactly is it and what does it mean? Today, I’m hoping to answer some of those questions as well as let you know why I get super annoyed by it.
So ag-gag is essentially a bill that has been passed in many states throughout the US in hopes to eliminate all whistle-blowing acts in animal agriculture. This bill allows no type of recording, monitoring, or exposure (without the facility manager’s consent) of the inside of an any animal agriculture facility. Basically, anyone that attempts to expose the truth, can be criminally punished.
This type of law creates a very scary situation, for the animals and more importantly for the public’s health. Regulations like this are practically telling us that we don’t deserve to know how our “food” (meat, dairy, eggs) is made. We have no chance to find out the truth behind these closed doors that process the food that gets sold to us. These slaughterhouses have no accountability for what is happening inside their facilities.
If you simply don’t care about animal abuse or the conditions/quality of the animals you consume you should still care about this bill. Many people turn a blind eye to slaughterhouses, chicken factories, and dairy “farms,” because the truth is hard to deal with, but it’s still no excuse to not care about this issue.
The best way for me to describe why you should be upset by these bills getting passed and put into law throughout our country is with a comparison of it to a restaurant. So restaurants have to get inspected, they also have to let us know their sanitation score. This is kind of the same with meat, dairy, and eggs. All the facilities that process these products get inspected, and are periodically monitored for quality. But in a restaurant we see first-hand the daily actions of how the restaurant gets our food to our plate. If we wanted to go into the kitchen to see how our lunch is being made, and the manager was being shady and didn’t want us to go into the back some red flags would be raised. If the conditions are so bad in the kitchen that the manager didn’t allow anyone to see or know what was going on back there then we would probably get pretty concerned and not want to eat at that restaurant anymore, right? Well this is about the same with the ag-gag bills, the facilities our food is coming out of refuses and is scared for us to see its conditions. This gives us (or at least me) even more desire to see what exactly they’re trying to hide.
In the book I recently reviewed, Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows the author talks about how hard the animal agriculture industry works to hide the truth from us. The less we know, the more we buy and continue to consume which is exactly what they want. The more that gets exposed, the more questions and concern will arise causing the meat/dairy industry to slowly lose business, and money. Because money is their main concern, the truth is their biggest fear. Two quotes from her book help to explain this concept.
“Virtually every atrocity in the history of humankind was enabled by a populace that turned away from a reality that seemed too painful to face, while virtually every revolution for peace and justice has been made possibly by a group of people who chose to bear witness and demanded that others bear witness as well.”
“As with any violent ideology, the populace must be shielded from direct exposure to the victims of the system, lest they begin questioning the system or their participation in it. This truth speaks for itself: why else would the meat industry go to such lengths to keep its practices invisible?”
Lots of animal rights groups view the ag-gag bill as a way for industries to hide animal abuse, but the truth is the animals are going to die regardless. There is no “humane” way to kill and/or abuse an animal. So really, the ag-gag bill doesn’t matter for the animals that already have their fate decided for them. Their lives will never be free of abuse or death regardless of whether or not an ag-gag bill gets passed or denied.
I look at the ag-gag bill as a way for large companies to hide the truth. Any company that denies people of looking into their facilities, or is scared of their methods being revealed should not be kept in the dark with the help of the ag-gag laws. We need to know why these companies are so secretive and why we aren’t allowed to see how they process the food we are buying and eating.
So I’ll leave you with a quote that sums up what the ag-gag bill means for us.
“When exposing a crime is treated as committing a crime, you are ruled by criminals.”
If you’re interested in more information, check this link out.
If you want to stop this bill from being passed in states across America, then go sign this petition!
If you live in North Carolina like myself, and want to know our state’s status of this bill (which is not a very good one) then check out this article or this article.