Undercover Video reveals a not so pretty picture
A recent undercover video taken by Direct Action Everywhere and released on the Now This facebook page shows the worst of the worst about hens involved in egg laying.
The video made me sick and I’ve a message for industrial agriculture – “clean up your act”. The conditions of the hens and the environment they are living in are horrific. It’s actors such as this that make it hard for those of us who don’t even think about animal husbandry being such as what is revealed in the video. Animal agriculture is going to have to start standing up and condemning these types of practices and behaviors. Don’t make excuses, own it, and fix it!
The hard truth and what makes the point of rubber stamping for humane practices an armed weapon for those opposed to animal agriculture is that this particular farm is “Certified Humane”, a project of Humane Farm Animal Care. According to the organizations website, the program certifies products from farm animals that meet program standards related to practices required in the raising of the animals. Farms and ranches are monitored annually and may use the Certified Humane Raised and Handled® logo. Charges levied are to cover inspections and program costs which include promotional materials which help promote the products of the producers that are Certified Humane®. Trust me folks, the fees applied aren’t cheap and certification predominately include large numbers of animals produced.
The organization has a “Humane Farm Animal Care Scientific Committee”, presumably who develop the standards that farmers and ranchers must meet for certification. The Committee has some heavy hitters participating on it and I must wonder, what in the world they were thinking when they lent their names to something that doesn’t even come close to the definition of “humane practices”.
I can’t continue without describing the organization responsible for the undercover video, Direct Action Everywhere, is a network of animal rights activists claiming chapters in 160 cities in over 30 countries. The organization, developed in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2013. It operates on the theory of “speciesism”.
Getting Educated about Speciesism
I’m not big on giving out labels or definitive categories so I had to do some research on this one. The term delves deeply into the realm of philosophy. According to Wikipedia speciesism is a prejudice similar to racism or sexism, in that the treatment of individuals is predicated on group membership and morally irrelevant physical differences. Broadly speaking in the world of animal activism it means the exclusion of all nonhuman animals from the rights, freedoms, and protections afforded to humans. June 5 is considered to be World Day Against Speciesism. Who knew?
Without delving too deep into the topic of speciesism, it appears to me that it means every living thing is equal and has equal rights, no matter human or non-human. I’m assuming if you don’t believe in this equality or you behave against the principal theory you are akin to a racist or sexist. I dunno, sounds good!
Of course agenda motivation is the driving force behind the video, why else would it be undercover? Was it for the purpose of exposing Humane Farm Animal Care and name lending to a rubber stamping of the “Certified Humane” label? Was it to expose the bad behavior of industrial agriculture? Or was it a push toward the public to support veganism and animal rights? I think it’s all of the above.
On the other hand, what can be the excuses from industrial agriculture. Historically industry will repeat all of the things listed above and describe the people taking the video as terrorists. They’ll say that the particular farm and the conditions revealed wasn’t like that when it was audited for humane standards and certification. My question would be, what changed in the farming practices between the standards audit and everyday practices? Is it business as usual except when the humane farm animal standards audit is conducted?
No matter what your belief about what you eat, what is revealed in the undercover video is just plain wrong. It doesn’t take a room full of philosophers or theorizers to figure it out. You decide!