Americans have come to learn in recent years that factory farming, particularly of livestock and poultry, is a gruesome, animal-torturing enterprise. When the cubic footage of a chicken’s cage is scientifically calculated to maximize egg production, you can damn well be certain that the chicken’s level of agony is not going to factor into that particular equation.
The farming industry is not especially happy about the fact that their horrendous treatment of animals is being made public by groups like PETA and others.
In Florida, they have come up with solution: ban the photographing of farms.
Senator Jim Norman (R) of Florida proposed the legislation, SB 1246, on Feb. 21, 2011. The bill provides that:[a] person who photographs, video records, or otherwise produces images or pictorial records, digital or otherwise, at or of a farm or other property where legitimate agriculture operations are being conducted without the written consent of the owner, or an authorized representative of the owner, commits a felony of the first degree.
The bill goes on to define a farm as “any tract of land cultivated for the purpose of agricultural production, the raising and breeding of domestic animals, or the storage of a commodity.” No vote has been taken yet on the bill.
Although the bill aims to prevent people from posing as agricultural workers in order to capture farming operations with hidden cameras, some believe that the law, if passed as introduced, could also criminalize even the innocent, roadside photography of farms.
A similar bill is being considered for Iowa.
Talk about sweeping the dirt under the rug. Out of sight, out of mind. If you can’t see it, it doesn’t exist.
Poultry held in perilously tiny cages their entire lives, beaks lopped off to prevent them injuring each other. Turkeys and other animals fed so intensely that they can no longer walk due to their obscene bulk. Animals kept in such unsanitary and crowded conditions that their existence is only made possible by pumping them full of hormones and antibiotics from the time they take their first bite of food until the day they slaughtered to feed the insatiable maw of meat-eating Americans.
Why on earth would we ever do anything to lesson the suffering of these helpless animals? It’s oh-so-much easier to pull a curtain around it by passing a law. And, if we don’t have to actually see it, then a farm will continue to be just a bucolic little piece of Americana, right?
I’m just sayin’…