Will Potter’s Green is the New Red blog is a great resource for tracking what’s going on in the animal welfare/rights/environmental movements.
Today, in a fiery post, Potter reported that the USDA and the agricultural industry did not take too kindly to last week’s shutdown of the Central Valley Meat Company’s slaughterhouse due to undercover investigations by the nonprofit Compassion Over Killing.
That is to be expected, because there’s nothing a giant corporation hates more than losing money…but this feigned outrage goes a bit further. Wrote Potter:
“A few days after the plant was shut down, three U.S. Representatives from California stepped in, and sent a letter to the USDA calling for its immediate reopening. U.S. Representatives Devin Nunes, Kevin McCarthy, and Jeff Denham said that its closure was hurting the economy, and the USDA needed ‘to intervene against the onslaught of attacks that are occurring at the behest of radical groups.’
Who are these ‘radical groups’?
Nunes spells this out in a blog post about the investigation titled ‘Eco-extremists Strike Again.‘
‘The video was posted by extremists who are actively working to undermine production agriculture in the United States,’ he says. ‘In recent years, these kinds of “activists” have increased their attacks on animal agriculture, and have even carried out acts of domestic terrorism.'”
Labeling undercover investigators, whistleblowers and citizens who engage in First Amendment protected dissent tactics (like nonviolent protests and civil disobedience) has a dangerous, chilling effect on free speech, and leads to the repression of those in disagreement with practices like those of the massive Big Ag industry.
As Potter said, “Now, the biggest threat facing Big Ag isn’t that activists are breaking windows – it’s that they’re creating them.” The only reason Big Ag is trying to outlaw whistleblowers and investigators with things like “Ag Gag Bills” is because they are not treating animals humanely in the first place.
Image Credit: Green is the New Red on Facebook