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Life Arts

Uncovering Cruelty: Former MFA Investigator Speaks Out for Animals

By Nathan Runkle  Posted by Suzana Megles (about the submitter)     Permalink
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What kind of effect do you think undercover investigations into factory farms have had on the American public and the animal protection movement?

So much has changed for the better since I got involved in 2008, and I have no doubt that undercover investigations have been empowering people to make this happen. Above all, plant-based eating is booming; the number of vegans has doubled in the last few years alone. Also, states have passed desperately needed laws like California's Proposition 2. Even better, a federal bill that may soon become the first federal law to protect animals during their lives on factory farms is currently before Congress with bipartisan support. On the corporate level, major foodservice companies like McDonald's are turning their backs on some of the cruelest practices while adding more and more vegan options. It's obvious that compassion for farmed animals is an idea whose time has come.

Now that you're finished with undercover investigations, what have you taken away from it?

What has changed about your life and how you communicate with others on this issue? Before I got involved with MFA, I definitely had strong feelings about the way farmed animals were being treated, but would never have identified as an activist. After everything I've seen, however, it's become impossible not to be. As soon as I retired from investigations, I started doing vegan outreach and volunteering for legislative campaigns. Soon after, I enrolled in law school, where I've helped file a multi-billion dollar antitrust suit against the dairy industry and brought civil charges against an extremely cruel poultry hatchery. Sometimes I'm surprised at the dramatic turn my life has taken from the corporate job I had four years ago, but after seeing what I've seen, I can't imagine doing anything else.
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