Animal Ag Engage

Don’t believe everything you see: the truth about undercover videos

40 Comments

Years ago, whenever I saw one of the undercover videos that animals rights groups release, I was sure I was watching torture to farm animals. My heart would beat like I had just finished a marathon and my eyes would sting with fury as I watched the poor animals endure so much pain. How was this kind of cruelty taking place on American farms!? I wanted an answer and I told myself I would eat a salad instead of a burger every chance I got.  At least that’s what my naive self thought before I became interested in agriculture and learned the truth.

Undercover videos are one of the most powerful tactics that animal rights groups use in an attempt to portray animal abuse on farms. The thing is, the tactic is a lot more unethical than you probably think.

Farmers make sure everyone stays warm in the winter! Photo credit: Carrie Mess

As part of my job I am responsible for researching animal rights groups and their campaigns. I was recently researching exactly how many undercover videos the Alliance has on file that resulted in convictions. As I was going through all 82 cases* and reading the background information on what allegedly happened in each facility, I couldn’t help but question how much abuse actually happens in agriculture. What the videos claimed to be describing would make any human squirm in their seat.

What’s really going on?

Then I reminded myself that these activist groups have a specific agenda and don’t care that they are spreading lies to get what they want. Out of all 82 videos only six cases resulted in convictions*. This one fact makes the point that what undercover videos capture is not always animal abuse. It may not always be pretty to the eye of someone outside of agriculture, but it is not abuse.

Slaughterhouses are a perfect example. When the animal reaches the slaughterhouse they are not meant to live through the process, as I’m sure we all can agree on.

Piglets stay safe while they eat breakfast! Photo credit: Chris Chinn

Piglets stay safe while they eat breakfast! Photo credit: Chris Chinn

Although they are meant to end up in grocery stores, farmers, scientists and industry experts are continuously working to ensure the animal is treated as humanely as possible.

Just last month Mercy for Animals, an animal rights group, posted an undercover video from a chicken processing facility in which they claimed showed “horrific animal abuse.” An expert panel comprised of a veterinarian, an animal scientist and an ethicist reviewed the video and said that there was no animal abuse.

“If people want to eat meat, we must kill animals,” Dr. Chuck Hofacre, the veterinarian on the panel, said. “Some of the process isn’t camera friendly – it’s not pretty. There are systems and processes in place to make sure it’s carried out in a humane manner.”

Why go undercover when you can jump on Twitter?! Photo credit: Will Gilmer

Why go undercover when you can jump on Twitter?! Photo credit: Will Gilmer

The different protein groups (poultry, beef, dairy, pork, goat, sheep) have programs in place addressing animal care. The National Dairy FARM Program and the Beef Quality Assurance program are two examples.

As this thought came to mind, I realized that if I work in the agriculture industry and am a true advocate for it, what would the average person who doesn’t have the background knowledge to remind themselves of all this think?

Unfortunately, media and consumers often take the videos at face value. They don’t ask questions and the activist groups have won their donation and support.

So what all contributes to the making of an undercover video?

Piglets staying warm and cozy under their heat lamp! Photo credit: Chris Chinn

Piglets staying warm and cozy under their heat lamp! Photo credit: Chris Chinn

Animal rights groups get people to apply for a job at a farm or processing facility and act as if they are genuinely interested in the job, but in reality are plotting how they can hurt the company by filming what they see as animal abuse.

These workers who are hired to do a specific task on the farm choose to be negligent and film what they think is abuse instead. Sometimes the consequences of them not doing the job they were hired to do leads to things not getting done properly and animals get hurt, all in the name of animal rights.

Why do we never hear from the undercover investigators who “worked” at the farm? It’s because they find an excuse to disappear months before the video surfaces. Wonder why?

One thing I bet you didn’t realize is that in the case that actual animal abuse does occur, the undercover investigators don’t report the incident immediately. Nope. They continue to film the abuse for weeks and sometimes even months at a time just to provide the animal rights groups with a PR campaign to further their vegan agenda.

If someone really believes they are witnessing animal abuse, they need to report it to authorities right away rather than sitting on the footage for a few weeks to produce a catchy video.

Farmers love welcoming new farm babies into the world! Photo credit: Carrie Mess

Farmers love welcoming new farm babies into the world! Photo credit: Carrie Mess

How do undercover videos affect the farmer?

Animal activists commonly single out corporations that the farm supplies to in order to get as much attention as possible, which causes a misrepresentation of the agriculture industry to spread. The videos are just a tactic that pressures farmers and corporations to cave into activist demands in order to make the negative attention disappear, even if what is being demanded isn’t what science says is best for the animals’ health.

You may see free-range as hens roaming in big, green pastures, but agriculturalists see it as a threat to the birds’ safety. An open pasture means open for everyone including predators and diseases, making the birds look like free prey.

Now don’t get me wrong, in the case that animal abuse actually does happen, it is horrible and the animal agriculture industry does not condone it by any means.

The emotional toll farmers take from the impact the videos have is crucial. It takes a strong connection to animals for farmers to devote their life to them 24/7/356 year after year. Despite how passionate farmers are about their work, there is a reluctance to even respond to the videos that do show abuse. The industry as a whole doesn’t want to give credibility where credibility isn’t due. If we give them credibility, then videos that capture humane, industry standard practices will seem more credible to someone who thinks a cow or chicken is just like their cat or dog.

Farmers don't just talk to their cows! They want to talk with you too! Photo credit: Will Gilmer

Farmers don’t just talk to their cows! They want to talk with you too! Photo credit: Will Gilmer

What should you do?

These videos are not a representative sample of what actually does happen on farms across the United States. So what should people do when another undercover video surfaces? Don’t judge a book by its cover, or rather a farm by its undercover video. Be realistic and ask yourself if what you’re viewing is actual abuse or a humane process that just doesn’t look like a bouquet of roses.

If you have questions or concerns with what’s happening on farms, ask a farmer. I’ll have a future blog post providing guidance on ways you can easily get in contact with someone who would be glad to answer your questions!

*Statistics included is this post are as of April 10, 2015.

40 thoughts on “Don’t believe everything you see: the truth about undercover videos

  1. If farmers love animals why kill them? That seems like a contradiction to me. I would be interested in talking to farmers on this issue.

    • You can love your animals and still be a farmer. Animals are given the best life possible before slaughter, a point of pride for farmers. A farmer recognises where they fit into the food chain. animals like sheep and cows have evolved this co-existence with humans, in spite of the fact that we sometimes kill them. In the end, it is in the animal’s own survival interest to stick with humans and in humans best interest to keep them for meat. In spite of the claims by vegan and vegetarian activists, meat is still the healthiest protein option when included in a balanced diet.

      • “Best life possible” look at an animal sanctuary. Heck look at how people treat their dog. No one kills their dog when it is healthy and says well I gave it the best life possible.

      • Slaughter is slaughter no matter how kind you are to the animal it still doesn’t want to die. Cows n pigs cry when they think their going die.
        No matter how good you are to the babies all they want is to be with their mother drink her milk n bond with her.
        Taking babies from their mothers is cruel.
        What they do to animals farmers wouldn’t do that to their own children.
        It’s extremely cruel to gain an animal’s trust n love then betray them by killing them.

    • Only a vapid mind could ask such a ridicolous question. Most humans are omnivores,hence meat will be eaten whether some people like it or not. Animals should always treated with care that does not mean you have a right to abuse any beind and certainly not defenceless animals. Having said that farms give life to animals and no being is eternal. Enjoy your life while you can ,we are not eternal, and neither are animals !

    • Sarah, that is a good question and i am willing to bet that you have no agriculture background or you simply do not eat meat. No all animals are killed. Just like not all cows go slaughter and same with chickens. You have beef and you have dairy cattle. A dairy cow is not going to be killed that make the farmers money by being a milking cow unlike beef cattle.
      Agriculture is a business and if the right steps are made the farmers can be extremely profitable. I knew many people that come home feeling horrible because they just sold some cattle at market and they know what is going to happen. Cattlemen love their herds like family and do everything in their power to take care of them including let calves sleep inside their house in the winter if they are a new born. But at the end of the day it is a business and the goal is to turn a profit. So cattle and chickens get sold at market.

      • Tyler, do you have any agricultural experience? All animals are killed.

        Dairy cows are killed when they are no longer considered productive enough (on average at about 5 years old). Male calves are killed as veal. Female calves are eventually killed in the same manner of their mothers.

        Laying hens are killed when no longer productive (on average at 2 years old). All male chicks in hatcheries are killed because they are useless as they neither lay eggs nor can be used for meat as broiler chickens are. The female chicks are eventually killed in the same manner as their mothers.

        Where are the fields with all of the 20 year old spent dairy cows and all of the bulls who were born to them, receiving years of food, water, and medical care despite being useless in terms of profit? Where are all of the facilities with the 10 year old spent laying hens being cared for? Where are all of the roosters, for which we should have approximately the same number of as we have laying hens in this country? These animals only exist when rescued and brought to sanctuaries. The rest are killed.

      • “love their herds like family”? Do you kill your family members or dogs and cats at the end of the day?

    • Can you not see that’s how we make our business viable we breed animals and when there fit enough take them to slaughter! Can’t spend all your money on food, litter and everything else livestock demands, then just let them die I’m the field of old age! Like beef, a steer will live a excellent 2 years having loads of grub, comfy and warm all year then will get killed for consumers to eat. Isn’t it better if we use them rather than just leaving them to croke and having loads of waste!

  2. Hi Sarah! Thank you for the comment. Your question is one I’m sure a lot of people are wondering about and it’s great that you would like to talk with a farmer about it! While I respect anyone’s freedom to make a personal decision whether or not to eat meat, 97 percent of Americans do incorporate meat and poultry into their diets so farmers want to make sure that the animals raised to meet this demand are raised with care.

    I have asked some farmers to respond to your question as well, so stay tuned to this post for more answers!

    • As a farmer I do love animals. It’s my belief God put animals on this earth to help man. As a farmer it is my responsibility to care for these animals and keep them healthy to help provide healthy food for others. I am aware my beliefs are not the same as others and I respect everyone’s right to their own opinion.

    • I’d like to chime in too, if you don’t mind!

      I get asked this question a lot. As a student employee on my school’s farm and the coordinator for all poultry slaughters, I’m not very popular on campus with some of my fellow students.

      I manage the rabbit herd here on campus as well, and these rabbits are cared for with the absolute best quality of care available for production rabbits. Their lives are comfortable, the management practices are always in the best interests of the animals, and yes, sometimes those interests seem different than what people may priorities as important, but the fact of the matter is that when I make management decisions, I’m not making those decisions for the people that like to look at the bunnies. The decisions are made for the rabbit’s health and well being.

      The same goes for the moment when we process those rabbits. All the meat from our school farm goes directly into the dining hall – a fact that makes our particular school one of the top in the nation as far as “good food” goes. Even to the last second of the animal’s life, it is treated carefully, gently, and with respect. How I explain it is this – death is not the absolute, 100%, terrible bad thing. I don’t relish taking their lives, I really don’t, but I recognize my place in a very delicate, carefully choreographed food chain, and that involves my eating of animals and animal products. I’m sure you, and anyone else, could think of a multitude of ways where an animal would be tortured and cruelly killed, and that’s not what we do. We love and care for our animals.

      So, I guess to completely answer your question, farmers don’t kill animals. Farmers respectfully harvest their livestock.

  3. So great to see this explained clearly and simply and that others are asking genuine questions and getting genuine answers from farmers. Keeping the lines of communication open and honest (even when it’s not pretty) is what we all need to do. Keep up the good work.

  4. I have supported the Ag-Gag bills when introduced — if ‘it’ (appropriate animal husbandry practices) is not done right, it is wrong. Simple as that. The ARA’s sit on footage and simply prolong the instigation of an investigation – thereby promoting any deficient issues with the production processes. Most times, there is absolutely nothing ‘wrong’ – it’s simply their way to further their agenda – to end the use of any animal for anything, and make money while they are at it.

    • Wow. I’m not sure you fully understand the true nature of these bills if you are supporting them. These laws have the ability precedent for ALL documented consumer health issues related not only to Big-Ag (why you would EVER support the “big 4” I don’t know…) but also to ALL CORPORATIONS. Ag-gag laws not only apply to documented animal abuse, but also worker abuse, environmental abuse, and most importantly, any evidence pointing to corporate pressure being placed on their contracted farmers. There is also already talk of them setting legal precedent to fracking and drilling cases. This means that if corporate fracking affects your water supply and YOUR health, it’s possible one day it can be illegal for you to gather evidence against the company responsible for it. Or, a future court case involving video/audio documentation against a corporation can cite a previous Ag-Gag case to lean in the corporation’s favor. There’s a reason why Big-Ag names these bills so cleverly, and make the public believe it’s only based around one subject. ALWAYS read the fine print on the entire bill. In addition, more often than not, the politicians that sign these bills into law have received large campaign donations from the corporations that these laws effect. Not to mention most politicians have stock in Big-Ag. That’s politics for you: it’s about money, plain and simple.

      • I guess what I meant was that I support IMMIEDIATE release of information – not ‘sitting’ on it until ‘They’ have had time to clip/paste/photo shop vidclips from wherever/whenever it was filmed. There is one now in NC that supposedly shows clips of alleged mistreatment of chickens ongoing for several months — it it’s wrong – it’s wrong the day it occurs – not 3-4-6+ months later down the line – that only serves to potentially perpetuate any mistreatment.

      • I’m unsure where you get this information from, especially regarding in-depth abuse cases. If you’re only source of information is the Ag-Gag bills that you support, i urge you to do your own research. ANY large-scale governmental or non-governmental investigation (including DOG and CAT abuse on breeding farms or in pet stores) takes time. Police estimates average that animal-abuse investigations should take 5-7 months. A prime example is the recent MIAMI-DADE POLICE INVESTIGATION (controlled by the Police, of course): http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/local/Animals-Rescued-From-Illegal-Slaughterhouse-Miami-Dade-Police-296127871.html

        Big-Ag isn’t stupid; they’re aware of this, and they’re also aware that the LESS footage that’s shown, the BETTER they look and the MORE LIKELY they can spin it off as a “one-time” thing. A lot of companies have lost major food retailers’ business because of footage showing long-term investigations, regardless of legal action or not. This only PROVES that it has nothing to do with reporting the information, it’s about how much information Big-Ag wants you to see. In my opinion, if it’s caught on tape more than once (even if it takes a month)- then something needs to change on that farm. Do you realize how difficult it is to charge a company or corporation with abuse if there isn’t sufficient evidence? Even an individual that’s simply “contracted” to a corporation gets a slap on the wrist if there’s only one instance caught on tape. It is NOT about justice, its about politics and money. Our legal system is built on this, yet the Ag-gag bills you support make you believe it’s not the case. The fact that you seem to be unaware of the legal repercussions that thees bills have on farmer/worker/environmental abuses only shows that you still need to find about more about why CORPORATIONS are pushing these. Big-Ag runs this country, from Monsanto to Tyson. Please, please do your research before supporting these bills.

  5. I love this article. The one thing I think it is missing, often the worst treatment of an animal is when sh*t hits the fan. Sometimes you need to do something unpleasant to save their lives too. But caught on camera without knowing the reason would look really bad. Similar to grabbing a child by the hood and pulling them back from running into traffic. better a screaming crying scared child then one hit by a car.

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  7. Excellent post, well written. This is what I keep telling people who don’t understand that people who work with animals LOVE animals and have a passion for their job. Animal welfare and animal rights are not the same thing and animal rights groups confuse well-meaning animal lovers. Great post, shared!

  8. Well said! I agree 100% with Cait. In my line of work, I have to make tough decisions on a daily basis. People just need to understand that we don’t just kill for the fun/sport of it, we do it for the care and survival of our own kind and others. Whether you harvest meat, fruits or vegetables, we all have to eat. Granted there are, unfortunately people out there who do not make the right decision when it comes to caring for living beings, and someone out there in the world is trying to fix that problem, but what we all need to do is, we all need to thank everyone who is involved with keeping our existence, such as the farmers who grow our food, the truckers who get it to our stores, our stores who sell it to us, and we the people who make this world go round and round everyday 24/7 365!!! And most importantly, thank GOD, because without him none of us would be here!!! So… Thank you everyone for what you do everyday!!! I know its not always easy, but someone has to do it!!! One thing I always say, I don’t need easy I just need possible and another thing is: With men most things are possible, With GOD all things are possible!!! Remember that!!!

  9. “Humanity has become vainglorious in thinking that it has “evolved” from its predatory nature, so much so that many have started thinking that it’s a good idea to deny our natural meat eating habit. On the surface it might look like we have wandered far from our origin by practicing our so-called civilized life-style, but the question is if humanity really has changed that much. Can we escape our own nature? Can nature be dismissed like that so easily? If we displace and suppress the predator in ourselves, won’t it just bite us in the back? Won’t we just risk disturbing a delicate balance in nature, which has always been there? Perhaps we rather need to acknowledge what we really are in order to be able to cope with it in a more controlled fashion, and thus save ourselves and the world.” Read more here: http://heinesen.info/wp/blog/2015/04/06/utopian-vegan-dreams-defy-laws-of-nature-causing-more-damage-than-good/

    • I can’t help but see the hypocrisy in comparing “farming” –especially if it’s factory farming– to our “predatory” nature. I will assume you mean the most-cited definition, and not the second most popular one, which is to “exploit or oppress”. Because putting a female pig in a gestation crate or farrowing crate her entire life for economical reasons is so “predatory”; yet so many small farms and sanctuaries have their sows laying in hay beds comfortably feeding piglets, proving they’re psychologically healthier when given a chance to be in a more natural environment. These animals deserve to root and roll in bogs, but they never will on most farms. So tell us, HOW is that “predatory”? No other predatory species does this to animals they eat, except humans. Because it’s not enough to just kill an animal and respect what it provides anymore, instead, let’s deprive it of experiencing life at all; of having no say in what animals it chooses to socialize with (despite us allowing this right to cats and dogs, and the fact that pigs are more intelligent and just as social as the latter), because hey, it’s going to die anyways, right?! Yeah. That’s not predatory, that’s immoral and unethical. It’s greed and excuse after excuse, all rolled into one. I can’t help but point out how sad it sounds that you justify this treatment with the word “predatory”. It’s a disgrace to animals that actually are pure predators.

      Also, you realize that we’ve already disturbed almost all major and minor ecosystems by overpopulation, urban expansion, pollution, overfishing/hunting, etc? The fact that you seem so overly pious in thinking that just eating meat would ruin the “delicate balance” is, frankly, ridiculous.

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  11. “Out of all 82 videos only six cases resulted in convictions. This one fact makes the point that what undercover videos capture is not always animal abuse.”

    Just because not all of them didn’t result in convictions doesn’t mean there wasn’t abuse apparent. If the identities of the attackers couldn’t be verified, that could get them off. Also we’re talking about legally being animal abuse. The government decides what they consider to be abuse and what they do not. It is quite apparent in our society that our animal protection laws are geared more in favour of cultural companion animals (read: cats & dogs) and not so much in favour of domestic livestock (e.g. cows, chickens, pigs).
    Do you think these kinds of laws are created just out of a whim? No. It takes repeated exposure, repeated instances of abuse for the government to consider “this is abuse, this is a bill to suggest these regulations should be updated to include this as abuse”. It does not become abuse until it becomes a problem. Just because it is not necessarily viewed as abuse now does not mean it isn’t abuse in other manners of the word (e.g. philosophically speaking, this is abuse, even if it is not legally always abuse).

    “If people want to eat meat, we must kill animals”

    Which is why vegans/animal rights organizations advocate for people not to eat meat/eat less meat. Death is a requirement but more-so the “humane practices” this article speaks of are a requirement for that death. The “humane practices” which are defined not by you or I nor any other consumer, but instead by those who already control the shackles of those animals. The lobbies set in forth to protect the power to do this to other animals. They are the ones who define the means of execution, they are the ones who decree it to be humane.

    “These workers who are hired to do a specific task on the farm choose to be negligent and film what they think is abuse instead. Sometimes the consequences of them not doing the job they were hired to do leads to things not getting done properly and animals get hurt, all in the name of animal rights.”

    What videos have you been watching? I’ve seen some where the undercover workers get in and do some of the work. But OF COURSE they’re going to sit back a little bit. They need to capture video evidence, from a hidden camera, ensuring they can showcase the abuse happening and potentially some of the offenders as well. However I would argue most undercover workers understand the other workers aren’t the issue. These kinds of abuse are in a way necessary to keep the optimization of the slaughterhouse up. The animals are scared. The animals do not want to die. To get an animal that is 10-20x your weight to get into a pen to get hit by a bolt gun is going to take a bit of abuse to get that animal to submit to their impending doom.

    “Why do we never hear from the undercover investigators who “worked” at the farm? It’s because they find an excuse to disappear months before the video surfaces. Wonder why?”

    It’s because if their identity gets out, they’ll be blackballed by the slaughter companies. You do know they don’t just give anyone the undercover job, right? they want people who are going to be effective and able to adapt to the growing concerns of the meat companies. Getting upset they don’t put out their identity is like getting upset that a CIA worker hasn’t told the world about his mission in Belarus.

    “One thing I bet you didn’t realize is that in the case that actual animal abuse does occur, the undercover investigators don’t report the incident immediately. Nope. They continue to film the abuse for weeks and sometimes even months at a time just to provide the animal rights groups with a PR campaign to further their vegan agenda.”

    Because the moment they report abuse, they will be blackballed by the slaughterhouse corporations, as they don’t want workers to suggest that they’re a malicious entity. There is a reason why whistleblowers of ANY FIELD OR WORKING FOR ANY COMPANY try to remain secretive and sometimes wait before reporting their findings. They want to ensure if they get burnt, they’re not going to get screwed over as well.

    “If someone really believes they are witnessing animal abuse, they need to report it to authorities right away rather than sitting on the footage for a few weeks to produce a catchy video.”

    Should Snowden have given his findings to The Guardian without first getting enough evidence beforehand? What Snowden did was a big accusation. The same can be said for any slaughterhouse. More evidence = obviously more of a problem. Is it great that they wait on their findings? No. But it can be more beneficial than reporting the very first instance. They can keep some of that job security for a moment to collect more evidence. Also you/the author of this article made the claim that “undercover videos capture is not always animal abuse”. What if that ONE piece of evidence they had wasn’t animal abuse, per your/their argument? This is why multiple pieces of evidence are good.

    “You may see free-range as hens roaming in big, green pastures, but agriculturalists see it as a threat to the birds’ safety.”

    Why do they see it as a threat? Because of disease. Because they’re worried the chickens will get sick. Especially if the chicken is going to be “organic-certified chicken”, no antibiotics can be administered. A sick chicken = no profit. Don’t make this bullshit argument that they’re concerned about the chickens. They’re concerned only in so far as the chickens make a profit.

    “Be realistic and ask yourself if what you’re viewing is actual abuse or a humane process that just doesn’t look like a bouquet of roses.”

    Ask yourself “who defines humane?” and tell me how that isn’t an issue when we’re trying to define abuse. If those who benefit most from the animals define humane, wouldn’t they only define humane in a way that saves them the most money?

    To close off, yes, these groups have agendas. They have clear and obvious biases. We need to approach things carefully and with consideration and realize that what we’re seeing is only a portion of what goes on. We’re not seeing when the animals are taken care of. We’re not seeing when they’re treated with compassion. We’re only shown when they suffer. When they’re abused. But at the same time we need to realize that if there’s so much evidence, it may very much be a problem. That we need to discuss it.

    • free roaming chickens can be taken by predators, there goes the farmers’s profit. If vegans/vegetarians were half as concerned about children being abused and sold into sex slavery and spend their efforts on that, it would be a much better world. btw, those do gooders who got horse slaughter outlawed in the US did no favor for the horses…they travel longer, cramped together to Mexico where they are cruelly killed. If they are rejected they are just turned out to die long slow starvation. here in the US there would be regulations. btw, i own horses, which i will not send to a sale but realize there are reasons why horses go to sales.

      • I agree, and anyone that knows chickens, know that they are not flock loving creatures. They are cannibals, they fight over food and territory, they do and will kill each other, when free roaming. That said we also have wild, migratory birds who will land and eat their feed. Along with eating the chicken feed, they bring disease to the chicken flock. It’s much easier to maintain the health and comfort of chickens when they are penned, rather than look through 200 white birds, free roaming to see if anyone has a wound, is getting to the food, or is getting sick.

  12. I totally agree. Have you seen Earthlings, or Meet your Meat? All of it was CGI. Made by George Lucas. Or human actors in animal suits. Yeah, that’s it.

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  16. Animal science graduate here-just a thought different countries have different welfare standards for example the use of certain bits of equipment may be banned in some countries but used in others.

  17. Loved this article. Very well written, easy to understand and balanced.
    Thank you!

  18. I raise animals for a living. I treat them as humanely as anyone would treat their family pet. I eat various forms of meat. In order for me to source this protein said animal has to die. I respect peoples right to source their protein from plants. I don’t condemn them for killing the plants. Who are you to suggest that a vegan lifestyle is right for me. I was vegetarian for several years. My health suffered greatly, so I returned to eating animal protein. I don’t force my diet on vegetarians. Quit forcing your lifestyle on meat eaters, If I treat my animals with care, and then end their life in a humane fashion to supply food for my self and others, what business is that of yours.If you develop an emotional attachment to a given animal, and it means a great deal to you then good. I feel a different way about my dog than I do about my chickens. I have a familial relationship with my dog. He is my pet. My chickens are my food, I don’t have the same relationship with them. One could, but I don’t. Just because you can’t differentiate between the two scenarios is your problem. Stop trying to convert people to your emotional way of looking at life. Eating meat is not wrong. It is just wrong to you.Grow up and mind your own p’s and q’s and let other’s enjoy their own peaceful way of getting along in this world.

    • I’m on your side — tired of being berated for my choices in life. We can only strive to educate people on proper animal husbandry methods and do what we know to be right in the management of our stock. The Vegans cannot/do not want to see the potential damage their lifestyle would impose on the ecosystem were it to replace the consumption of animal protein.

  19. I raise animals for a living. I also eat meat. I don’t have an emotional relationship with my chickens like I do with my dog. Eating meat is not wrong. It is just wrong to people who have a pet like relationship towards all animals. As a meat eater I don’t force my views on vegans. They should act likewise.

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  22. When a detective or police department is conducting an investigation, taking photos and video, collecting evidence, they don’t arrest a person when they see them committing a crime. They continue to do video surveillance and gather evidence so that when the time comes, they have sufficient evidence to prosecute.

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