Sunday, February 3, 2019

Ag-Gag Body Camera.

So called “Ag-Gag” laws have been passed in 8 states and a full HALF of the states in the United States have at some point attempted to pass Ag-Gag laws.

So what are Ag-Gag laws? Well I am glad you asked (because I actually know the answer to this one)!

The US 9th Circuit Court has described Ag-Gag laws as those laws which seek to criminalize the recording of the “conduct of an agricultural production facility’s operations.”

So what the hell is that about? Well I am glad you asked!

Basically these are laws designed to keep activists (henceforth referred to as DIRTY HIPPIES) from sneaking into agricultural production facilities and recording the goings on and then disseminating those recordings.

“But,” you ask, “what are the DIRTY HIPPIES doing breaking into dairies? Are they high or something? Is this a PSA about not smoking THE POT, because if it is then I have bad news for you because I am stoned like right now.”

Well no, that is not it at all.

“So what is it about then, man?” You ask this while gazing transfixed down at your hands.

Basically Ag-Gag laws exist …

“Hey,” you say, interrupting me quite rudely, “have you ever really looked at your own hands? Like really LOOKED at them?”

So Ag-Gag laws exist because …

“Really looked at them, I’m saying???”

This BTW is what you’re actually like when you’re high. Anyway, Ag-Gag laws exist so that the general public does not ever SEE the conditions in which livestock animals are bred, raised, and slaughtered.

Ask yourself, when was the last time you actually saw what a chicken farm looked like? The answer of course is that you haven’t seen one, because there are laws against anyone showing you one.

My family’s background is in agriculture and I grew up in a predominately agriculture focused region, so I know all of this. I’ve always known all of this. I’ve seen downer cows (these are cows that either due to damage, disease, or defect lose the ability to stand up) and I know what happens to them (they are slaughtered, but that was usually going to happen anyway) and so I am familiar with some of the cruelty that is built into our food systems. I think about it just about any time I eat meat. And I am no vegan.

It only recently occured to me that not everyone is me (though some of you could be trying a little harder) and so you might at this very moment be sitting down to a nice big steak with a side of scrambled eggs and a nice tall glass of milk and you MIGHT NOT EVEN KNOW that that food is made of ANIMALS!

“Animals???” You ask, still looking at your hands.

Yes, animals.

Realistically, I think that people low-key know that the large scale factory farming of meat has cruelty built into it, but I also think that people choose not to care because they do not know the scope of the cruelty, which means that people are not actually making informed decisions. And of course the reason they’re not making informed decisions is because there have been laws passed that make it illegal to inform them.

I don’t think that is great and I can’t think of another area in our civic life where such a thing would be true (except maybe Vietnam in the mid to late 1960s). Now I’m not a DIRTY HIPPIE and I’m not saying that factory farming is EVIL or anything (the cruelty has been ratcheted up because it creates efficiency in order to meet the demands of the marketplace), but I do think that the general population is being prevented from understanding this issue because of Ag-Gag laws. Don’t you want to know the real costs of things?

“No,” you say, suddenly looking up from your hands, “because you’re a DIRTY HIPPIE!” And then you pull out your badge because you’re A COP! “You’re under arrest!” You shout at me.

But you can’t arrest me because I am writing this in Arizona, which does not have any Ag-Gag laws.

“You think you’re so smart, don’t you?” You ask while pulling off your stoner disguise and revealing your uniform underneath, “Well you didn’t take into account that I’m no by-the-book cop, I’m the prototypical rules-are-made-to-be-broken kind of Hollywood movie cop that has totally fucked up the modern police officer’s conception of what it means to be police officer!”

Then you push me to the ground and start kicking me and you’re shouting, “Dirty Harry movies completely brain fucked my entire profession!”

Just before I pass out from your kicks to my face, I notice that you’re wearing a body camera and so maybe maybe maybe, some good will one day come of all this mess.

*** Please tune in next when we discuss whether it’s better to burn alive with your loved ones in a thermonuclear first strike, or to survive the blast and starve to death in the irradiated post-apocalyptic hellscape. ***


No comments: