It must be the week for maps. I just recently announced that Food & Water Watch won an Interactive Media Award (IMA) for its interactive factory farming map. Now, news is there’s another great interactive factory farming map just out from Animal Visuals, an excellent site with “visual resources for animals” (I’ve shared some of their stuff when writing about livestock production in the U.S. before). Here’s more on the new map and issues related to it from Animal Visuals:
The map above locates factory farms that animal protection groups have exposed through undercover investigations. Among the findings of these investigations are animals living in filthy conditions, animals intensively confined for their entire lives, animals mutilated without painkillers, sick and suffering animals left to languish for extended periods, violations of animal welfare and food safety regulations, and egregious criminal acts of animal torture. Viewed individually, the actions shown might be dismissed as isolated incidents. Taken together, however, they reveal a pattern of disregard for animal welfare and routine cruelty-to-animals throughout animal agriculture. They also reveal that many legal, standard agricultural procedures are unconscionably cruel and cause prolonged suffering for animals. Many standard practices in animal agriculture must change, and new laws are needed in order to enforce basic standards of welfare for animals. There are currently no federal laws protecting the welfare of animals on farms.
Well-put. Bottom line: farm animals are treated horribly in this country, animals with the same level of intelligence as your do or cat, and there is no legal justice for that.
Unfortunately, due to uncover investigations like these highlighted above, legislation has been proposed in some states (Florida, Iowa, and Minnesota) that would make such investigations and unveiling of the truth illegal. “If passed, these laws would impose criminal penalties for creating audio or visual recordings of agriculture operations. Criminal penalties could also be imposed for any media or press organization transmitting any recordings that are made. The legislation has been defeated in Florida, but Florida Senator Jim Norman has vowed to bring it back next year. ”
Rather than improve the condition of animals on U.S. farms, it’s clear that the animal farming industry wants to intimidate and incriminate those who bring the matter up or spread the news. Horrible, unconstitutional, and downright concerning.