Thursday, March 17, 2011

Losing Faith

I don't normally talk politics on the blog. I don't normally follow a lot of politics, except what I need to for my job. I read enough state code to bore anyone to tears for work. I don't want to pay attention outside of the office. But this week has me angry. More then angry actually. I'm disgusted and today I lost a little bit of faith in humanity.

Iowa is an agricultural state primarily. We grow much of the country's corn and soybeans. But our biggest industry is animal products. We harvest three times more eggs then our closest competition. We raise millions of pigs, cows, and chickens for meat and other products. And we most often do it in large factory farm situations. These places are not nice. I've heard them described as everything from horrific to Hell on Earth. Every couple of months, an organization like the Humane Society, Mercy for Animals, or PETA sends some of their volunteers into these facilities to take covert video. It's the only way that we, the public, know what is going on.

Today, my home state's House passed a bill that made it illegal to take video of these type of places. There is now a possible 5 year prison term for showing what occurs in a factory farm. Agribusiness is claiming that this is just for the protection of their animals and their livelihood. I say that they're full of crap. Just because we can't see the horrific conditions and the abuse doesn't mean it won't occur. Instead they simply cover it up. They can sweep regular abuse under the carpet and we will never see about it. Never learn what is truly happening.

I have learned that to get people to take animal welfare seriously, you have to hit them where it hurts. In their food supply. The largest salmonella outbreak came out of an egg farm here in Iowa. I wonder if that could have been avoided if we had eyes in the factory. If we had seen the rat droppings and piles of excrement. I guess we won't know. I know that from now on we really won't know. There are severe penalties for whistleblowing. We can no longer see where our food is produced. And that makes me awfully happy that I'm a vegetarian, moving more towards vegan each day.

I won't apologize for this political rant. I'm so angry right now that I can't even think straight. When I had first heard of this bill I had hoped that it wouldn't get out of the house. I had hoped that people would see the light. But I know how powerful the animal industry lobby is. I know how well money talks. And animals can't. Today I lost just a little more faith in politics to speak for the people. To protect me. And I lost some faith in humanity.


JMims said...

Right on, and in my mind that's the stupidest law I've ever heard.

Cat B said...

Thanks JMims! I appreciate your support.

JMims said...

Anything I can do to offer support, especially to those fighting the good fight. And "The Man".