Thursday, June 30, 2011

Protection from Animal Rights Activists

There seems to a lot of recent backlash against legislators which seek to protect farmers from animal rights radicals. A lot of assumptions run hand in hand with this, but the short and simple of it is that there used to be a time when people pulled up your driveway at your farm and you were happy. Not happy because it meant an interruption to work, but at least happy in a curious sort of way, interested to see what this stranger would do to take your day out of the ordinary. And while a cordial visit with a stranger used to be ok, teaching them about what you do and where things are, now we're just skeptical. If a stranger shows up at our place, now my first thought is to get them out.

Even our little "farm" has had its fair share of unknown guests over the past few years, situated alone in a rapidly urbanizing community. These unwanted guests may or may not have been responsible for weird happenings at night over the years. Or it might just have easily been some pranking kids, but it leaves us suspicious and uninterested in sharing our life with other people anymore. What used to be a great outreach tool has just turned into a territorial defense against assumed perpetrators. And this is as much as anything because we don't have a lot of legal protection from randoms that might come wandering up. If you haven't guessed yet, I'm pretty strongly in favor of punishing undercover videographers.

This leads into another Farm Sanctuary blog post. I'm not going to spend a lot of time arguing that the West Coast laws are really doing anything for animals. But if you look at the history of widespread animal "welfare" legislation, none of it has. So at least this legislation doesn't make matters worse. But the real stinger is the commentary about prosecuting activists. My comments as always won't get published. They are below...


"You neglect to mention that in the past one and a half years, at least 3 videos have included undercover activists personally abusing animals, paying workers to abuse animals and telling workers to abuse animals. This is also all caught on tape and this is exactly why farmers don't want activists on farms anymore.

"These activists you uphold and condone are responsible for causing the abuse which they then document and edit to pervert into an accusation of the farmer. This is exactly why it should be illegal and why they should be, and in some cases now are, going to jail."

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