Score one for the use of drones – to expose factory farming

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Not a big fan in general of drones flying around the country, sometimes as a threat to aircraft safety or invading the privacy of the general public. But as is the case with many subjects, some good uses are arising.

The individual who shot the video below was able to educated us all on the health risks from hog farm lagoons. There are some real horrors going on within too many factory farms across the nation.

Some will always try to wave off the cruelty-to-animals debate, as strong as the evidence is against factory farming. But even the cruelty apologists will not be able to counter this video, where it shows huge ponds of feces, urine and more – and the sprinklers used to spay this noxious mess into the air over the property of nearby properties.

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Can’t we pull back the curtain on the real anti-animal welfare agenda?

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Here we go again – to a ramped-up degree. Those who want to protect puppy mill operations and factory farming are out to pass a Constitutional amendment in Missouri to shut down new measures to protect animals from abuse and neglect.

But the folks backing the amendment are couching it as a movement to defending farming.

No – No – No. We are not within any universe where farming is going to be shut down. Sure – “Dawn of the Planets of the Apes” is going to a popular movie. But is anyone going to walk out of the theater and rush to their elected officials to ask for laws against apes taking over cities?

We can go outer space or we have a reasonable debate about animal welfare. What animal-welfare advocates are asking for is reasonable protections for animals. Those who abuse animals as they are being raised for sale or farming should be shut down.

What is so hard to understand about this? And why can’t some on the other side just be honest? It seems the real goal – from protecting puppy mill operations to criminalizing the acts of recording cruel acts on factory farms with Ag-Gag laws – is to protect the abusers.

It hasn’t been about protecting the traditions of farming and dog breeding. It’s more about hiding the abuses that go on behind the scenes.

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Unfounded claim of the day: Farm cruelty is rare

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I just read an editorial on the StarPhoenix website, under the headline: “Animal welfare poses economic consequences.”

The focus is on recent news out of Canada concerning cruelty on factory farms and the animal-welfare movement to improve conditions for the animals.

While the piece is somewhat balanced at times, the writer tosses out this unfounded tidbit:

But make no mistake; farmers are true stewards of the land, and displays of such cruel behaviour toward any farm animal is rare.

Just a few paragraphs above this statement, the writer noted Cargill was moving away from gestation crates. Gestation crates are cruel and not at all rare. So on this single aspect of factory farming alone, how can it be that cruelty is rare?


PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

King Amendment to Farm Bill is another attempt by King to protect abusers

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Iowa Congressman Steve King is well known for his efforts to protect those who abuse animals. He could very well be the No. 1 anti-animal and pro-cruelty elected representative in the nation.

Of late, King has been ramping up his efforts to protect animal abusers. His latest move is the King Amendment. If this horrible piece of legislation becomes law, it could wipe off the books a number of state laws that protect animals. We don’t have enough in the way of protections for animals and King wants to gut what few protections they have.

In this case, King doesn’t want regulations on factory farms, where they’ll need to actually house their animals in any sort of humane way. If a state wants to ban battery cages for hens or gestation crates for pigs or to ban the act of force feeding ducks – King wants to overturn these bans, as part of what he laughably calls the Protect Interstate Commerce Act.

For King and his supporters, treating animals humanely is just too much trouble for factory farms. And recall that King doesn’t want dog-fighting operations to be troubled by more laws that mean more jail time.

How any Republican or Democrat could defend voting for this man is beyond all reason.


PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

We have a nominee for the Most Wildly Untrue Statement of the Year

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I run across so many of these, so I’m sure I would loose track over time, but let’s call statements like the following, the nominees for the Most Wildly Untrue Statements of the Year.

The National Post out of Canada reports Rick Bergman, the vice chair of the Canadian Pork Council, believes “using gestation crates are simply the most humane and efficient way to breed a sow.” It’s not a direct quote, but this is what the National Post says Bergman believes.

Why? – Factory farming insiders use excuses such as the weather is bad outside or the sows don’t get along or piglets are at risk without the gestation crates.

Do they realize pigs have been around for a long, long time – surviving without gestation crates? Do they realize wild pigs breed like crazy without any help from gestation crates? Do they realize farms existed before factory farming reared its ugly head?

But more to the point, gestation crates are extremely inhumane. Saying the Earth is at the center of the solar system, with the Sun revolving around us won’t make it true. Saying the Cleveland Browns have won six Super Bowls in a row won’t make it true.


PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Factory farming industry wants to hide acts of cruelty and block any protections for the animals

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Ag-gag laws: The trend is spreading – in an attempt to cover up the cruel practices within the factory-farming industry. I found one editorial on the Global Grind website from a writer who seems to incorrectly believe these laws will protect animals. Thankfully, a number of comments below the piece might educate her.

These “ag-gag” laws are clearly designed to hind acts of animal cruelty. This industry does not want its practices shown to the public – and to date, inspections by government agencies have apparently been conducted with blindfolds.

We must have stronger regulations and until then, the only way the public and the animals can be protected is through hidden-camera video. The industry knows this.

ABC News reported March 15 on six more states looking to close the curtain on animal suffering.

Indiana state Sen. Travis Holdman was quoted in the article. He wants to protect the industry, but his comment is telling.

“We don’t need a vigilante group out there with cameras and video cameras taking pictures of things that we just don’t like.”

So is he going to make sure these acts of cruelty that “we just don’t like” are exposed and offenders punished? Probably not. So his comment rings hollow. The six states where elected officials want to hide and protect acts of animal cruelty are – Nebraska, Indiana, Arkansas, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and California.

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PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Ag-gag laws called ‘sinister’

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I like wording. Editors of the Journal of Animal Ethics are using the phrase ‘sinister’ to describe Ag-gag laws. These new laws that have cropped up in at least a couple of states criminalize undercover video and audio recordings of abuse on factory farms. The actual goal of the laws are not to really to protect the privacy of the landowners. The goal is to hide abuse from the eyes of the public.

Sinister is right. These factory farms want to hide their practices. And without a means to uncover cruelty, the cruelty will go on.

A received the following press release concerning this topic:

“” “”


Leading academics have branded United States “Ag-gag” laws, now in force in Iowa and Utah and awaiting consideration in other U.S. states, that make it a criminal offence to photograph or make a sound or video recording of an animal facility without the owner’s permission, as “sinister”.

The editors of the Journal of Animal Ethics (JAE) recently published by the University of Illinois Press Professors Andrew Linzey and Priscilla N. Cohn note that the objections to these laws seem to have been “insufficiently regarded in the preceding debates in these states, so perhaps they need to be spelled out”.  They list five reasons for concern:

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